How Do You Winterize a Cottage Water System?

To winterize a cottage water system, turn off the water supply, drain the water heater, flush and drain the pipes, pour antifreeze into the drains, drain the dishwasher, and drain the clothes washer. This procedure generally takes about an hour. Antifreeze is the only supply you need.

  1. Turn off the water supply

    Close the main water supply valve.

  2. Drain the heater

    Turn off the water heater, and open its drainage valve. If the cottage has a water softener, drain the main tank. You do not need to empty the brine tank.

  3. Flush and drain the pipes

    Disconnect hoses attached to exterior faucets, and open the faucets. Open the interior faucets, and flush the toilets until they are empty. Empty the interior sink and shower hoses. Remove the refrigerator ice tray, empty it, and replace it. If the refrigerator has a water line, drain it.

  4. Treat the drains with antifreeze

    Pour 1 tablespoon of antifreeze into all of the drains.

  5. Drain the dishwasher and clothes washer

    Turn on the dishwasher, wait several seconds, and turn it off. Shut off the water supply to the clothes washer, remove the inlet hoses, and drain them. Run the fill cycle for several seconds to purge remaining water in the machine, and then drain the waste line.