Quick Home Search

Winterize Your Big Bear Home

Big Bear Lake from the Sky Chair

It’s unbelievable! It’s mid-summer, the trees are still green, and yet there’s a chill in the air. September looms on the horizon. For Big Bear locals, it’s time to think of the upcoming winter season.

Winters in the San Bernardino Mountains can vary greatly. Recently, we’ve had both mild southern California style winters and winters where we’ve received six feet of snow at once. Although rare, we’ve had low temperatures down to -10 degrees, freezing water pipes in older homes.

If your real estate investment is a second home, you’ll need to winterize it. Here’s how;

If you receive city water,  turn it off at the stop/waste valve and drain.

Drain all pipes and the water heater. Turn off the circuit breaker or gas for the hot water heater.

Go to the highest water outlet (shower?) and open the valve. Continue with the sink in the kitchen and your washing machine. Flush the toilet and leave the small valve open. Remove and drain washing machine hoses. Open the hose bibs outside and then reseal them. Drain your sprinkler system if you have one.

Add one cup of bio-degradable antifreeze to sinks, showers and tubs. The toilet requires a quart of anti-freeze.

Drain the icemaker, the dishwasher, hot water heater and hot tub.

Reverse the procedure in the Spring;

Turn off faucets and then slowly turn on each one. Allow the water to blow the air out of the system. Fill the hot water heater. Then lift the safety valve to release air before turning on.

Open gas line to hot water heater and then light the pilot light.

With a bit of precaution, our mountain life is a LIFESTYLE.

More Information;

Big Bear Lake Municipal Water

Big Bear City Community Services

Bear Mountain


  1. Great article. I recommend not draining the water heater, and leaving the gas pilot on. This will keep the tank warm and avoid freeze in the tank. The hot water and cold water lines will need to be drained as you have recommended.

Speak Your Mind