Dewinterizing for Home Inspection

Home Inspector with Clarksville Home Inspections
I did an inspection today on a home that had been dewinterized & had the utilities turned on the day before, problem was, the TPR valve on the water heater had been opened for winterizing & never closed, so when the water was turned on it continued to flow out of the TPR drain for approximately 24 hours until we showed up for the inspection. The good news is that this TPR drain was run into the crawlspace, the bad news is the crawlspace was flooded,  a lot better than flooding the house, but still not something you want to have happen.

  So please check all your plumbing fixtures, faucets, & valves (including TPR) when having your property dewinterized for inspection.

Comments (5)

Michelle Way
AVALAR Pro Realty - Jackson, MS
Thanks so much for the post. With as many foreclosure out there we all need to know this
Jan 10, 2008 12:27 PM
Sean Dankers
Realty World Select - Fredericksburg, VA
Thanks for the post.  I have 13 foreclosure listings and one of the buyers was asking what was needed to dewinterize a house.  I did not know the answer so I referred him to the company that winterized the house and they charge him $95 to dewinterize the place.  Do you know what is needed to dewinterize a property?
Jan 10, 2008 11:23 PM
John Goad
Clarksville Home Inspections - Clarksville, TN
Sean, to winterize a propertly you turn off the water, open all the valves letting the water drain out of the lines from the lowest one (usually an outside faucet) The toilets are flushed to get the water out of the tank & anit-freeze poured in the traps. To dewinterize I would recommend closing all of the faucets, the washing machine supplies & the TPR valve on the water heater. Turn the water supply on & then go around opening your sink & tub supplies to get the air out of the lines. Do not turn the power on to the water heater until it has filled with water or you stand the chance of toasting the element.
Jan 11, 2008 01:33 PM
Experiences REO Professional

Before turning on the water at the well or street, the plumbing system needs to be air pressure tested to see if it can hold pressure.  If it can not hold air pressure then it will not hold water pressure.  Water does damage and potentially major damage as air does not.  A home that is indicated as being winterized does not indicate that it was properly winterized, has no leaks, or was not vacant the prior winter.  In this day of age, copper has been found to removed from a lot of homes.  If you do not know what you are looking for, you may miss something and cause a liability issue if water is spraying everywhere.  Hire a licensed plumber (not a Handyman) and ask them to air pressure test the system before turning on the water.  It is worth the money to save your butt from getting into high water if you know what I mean.  If an air pressure test was performed prior to turning on the water, the leak would have been discovered and possibly found.  This would have resulted in a drier crawl space than you found.

May 09, 2008 02:34 AM
Kate Yaglowski

We just bought a home that has been winterized for a while and we are going to be bringing it "back to life" soon. i tried to download your dewinterizing steps link


I can't seen to get this to load. Can you send me another link via email. I would really appreciate it!



Jan 10, 2010 11:52 PM