• Turn off your main water valve, which is located outside by your curb.
    *Note: This should be done even if you are leaving your heat on or returning in a few days. It lessens the risk of costly water damage tremendously! Remember, shutting off your main water valve is  a good practice. Year round pipes and water heaters could leak without warning.
  • Turn off power supply (electric or gas) to your water heater. Drain tank with a garden hose.
    *Note: When re-opening, do not turn power source back on to water heater until it is completely full and a stream of water is coming out of the hot side of the faucet. Electrical elements will burn out if it is not full.
  • Go to the lowest point on your water system to drain. Check your basement or crawl space for any drains to open.  The best location is usually where your water main enters your house. There is usually some type of drain at this location.
  • Go to the highest point in your home and start opening all faucets and flushing toilets.
    *Note: Hold the handle of the toilet down until the tank is empty
    *Note: Disconnect washer hoses so those lines can drain too.
  • Continue these steps floor by floor until all fixtures are opened and drained. Leave everything in the open position until you reopen.
  • Don’t forget outside hose bibs and miscellaneous laundry tubs, bar sinks and any other water-using fixture.
  • Loosen the bottom nut on your water meter and make sure all water is out of the meter. If all of the water is not drained from your meter it could freeze and break.  The repair and cost of materials will be at your expense.
    *Note: Liquid in meter head is not water.  It is sealed in oil for moving parts and it will not drain out. 
  • When everything is drained, pour non-toxic RV antifreeze into every drain. Pour approximately 2 cups of the antifreeze into every drain in your sinks, tubs and showers, as well as your toilet bowl and tank.
    *Note: For best results on the toilet bowl, remove as much water as possible using a cup and/or sponge. Then fill the bowl till no air space is left in the bottom. This helps keep any smell from the sewer line from escaping. By removing the water, you also will help in not diluting the antifreeze.
Remember, every home is different, and this list of procedures is only a guide.  Different situations may require different procedures.  These are simple steps, which may assist you.  Some water lines may have “bellies” or loops that will not allow the water to drain.  Some lines may need to be blown out with an air compressor.  Using a compressor on water lines can help insure better draining of the pipes. 
Washing Machine – After the pipes are drained, remove the hoses from the water hook-up on the washer.  Turn the dial to “Warm Water” setting and slowly pour antifreeze into both the hot and cold-water hoses.  This will slowly pull anti-freeze into the washer.  Fill valve approximately 1 ½ cup per side, and then pour about 4 cups of anti-freeze into the washtub.  Turn the dial to the “Spin Cycle”, which will circulate the anti-freeze into the washer pump.  At the conclusion of this cycle, place the drain and fill hoses under the lid, so that any remaining anti-freeze can drip into the tub.  Remember to put anti-freeze into the trap of the washer drainpipe.
Dishwasher – After the house has been drained, turn the dial to “Fill”.  This will pull any remaining water from the supply line.  Put approximately 4 cups of anti-freeze into the bottom of the dishwasher.  Turn dial to “Rinse” for about 30 seconds.  This will pull anti-freeze into the pump.