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Winterizing a boiler


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I have been doing alot more bank owned homes in our present economy. One question keeps arizing with regards to boilers here in Wisconsin.

Is it best to drain the system or just to add anti-freeze to the system?

Many times I find burst pipes in so-called winterized systems here.

One must assume that the utilities are locked off for non-payment, etc. and that the system will remain inoperative indefinitely.



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Don't winterize. In addition to probably destroying the heating system, "winterizing" destroys entire homes.

It's way better to keep house conditioned, running minimum operations.

I realize that's completely unreasonable and will be ignored, but that's the best "winterization" option for the 42nd parallel.

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Besides what Kurt has said, banks know even less about winterizing homes than they do about owning them. Do you really want to look at a boiler that was winterized by a tilt-o-whirl greeser, the laid off auto mechanic from across the street, or Larry, Daryl and Daryl? [:-yuck]


I've inspected three winterized homes in the past two months and all three had issues, These were all winterized by the same "property management" company. Larry didn't pull the plug on the well pump which cracked the volute, Daryl forgot to drain the toilet tank, he just poured anti-freeze in the trap. And the other Daryl forgot to turn off the breaker to the water heater when he drained it. I had a guy call me and offer $30.00 each to winterize homes, said I could do three to five a day!!! I can see where the problem starts.

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If I had to winterize a hydronic heating system I'd fill with an antifreeze mixture and cirulate it for a while before killing the power to the home. There are too many nooks and cranies where water may not drain properly, the circ pump being one of these. Probably not the best idea to drain the boiler and then leave it set there to rust.

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