In order to properly winterize your outdoor faucet, there are a few steps you need to take. Disconnect and drain outdoor hoses, cover air vents, prepare frost-free spigots, and use a shut-off valve.
Disconnecting and draining outdoor hoses
Before storing garden hoses in the winter, make sure they have a plug at the end to drain water. These can be found on the side of the shut-off valve, and are usually white in color. Once the water has drained, close the plug. Repeat this process for other outdoor water sources if necessary. The shutoff valve on outdoor faucets is usually located in the basement of older homes. However, it can also be located on a ceiling part near the faucet.
If your outdoor faucet has no shut-off valve, you must learn about the piping system of your house and how to properly turn it off. Most exterior faucets have pipes running through the basement or garage. To winterize an outdoor faucet, disconnect and drain any hoses from it. Make sure to store the hoses in a location that does not get direct sunlight or snow.
If you do not have any experience with this process, hiring a plumber from your local area is a wise choice. A plumbing pro can teach you how to winterize an outdoor faucet and identify weak spots. Ultimately, you’ll save yourself the headache of repairing broken pipes.
Covering air vents
You can winterize an outdoor faucet without a shut-off valve by covering its air vents. This will prevent cold air from flowing in and freeze the pipes. However, this method is not as effective as draining the faucet. Nevertheless, it can prevent costly leaks and damages.
First, make sure to drain the water from your outdoor faucet. This is vital, as standing water can crack shut-off valves and break fixtures. Leaving standing water around the faucet can cause it to freeze and break. Also, remove the hose and store it inside your garage or storage shed.
The next step is to wrap exposed pipes and wires with insulation. You can purchase insulating covers at plumbing or hardware stores. You should also disconnect garden hoses and wrap exposed pipes. Using insulating tape or molded pipe sleeves will keep cold air from accumulating near the pipes. Covering vents around doors and windows can also prevent cold air from penetrating the pipes.
Preparing frost-free spigots
Frost-free spigots are a great idea for cold climates, as they prevent frozen water lines from damaging your plumbing system. They include a spout and handle that connect to a longer pipe. These pipes are usually four to fourteen inches long but can extend up to 24 inches. The longer pipe allows water to reach warmer temperatures inside your home. Before winter sets in, disconnect your garden hoses from these faucets.
Before winter arrives, disconnect your hoses and splitters from your outdoor faucets. You may also want to remove add-on features, such as washers and cartridges if you use freeze-proof spigots. These add-ons may trap water and freeze your spigot. Another great tip for maintaining your frost-free spigots is to check for leaks. If your faucets have leaks, they can freeze and split pipes.
If your outdoor faucets aren’t covered, you can use insulated covers to protect them from freezing temperatures. You can purchase these covers for about $10 at home improvement centers. You can also install insulated covers over your hose spigots.
Using a shut-off valve
Using a shut-off valve to protect your outdoor faucet from freezing is a quick and simple DIY project. It takes just a few minutes and protects the pipe system from damage. Before winter arrives, check your faucet to make sure it is working properly and replace any parts that may be broken or rusted. For additional protection, you can wrap the faucet with insulating material or heating tape. It’s also a good idea to install an exterior faucet cover.
Many homes feature an outdoor faucet. However, it’s important to know how to winterize it properly. First, disconnect the garden hose from the faucet. Then, close the shut-off valve on the inside. Once closed, drain any water that is remaining in the hose.
The best time to winterize your outdoor faucet depends on where you live. If you live in a warm climate, you can wait until the weather forecast predicts freezing temperatures. In colder climates, however, it is best to err on the side of caution and winterize your outdoor faucet when low temperatures are expected to fall below 35 degrees Fahrenheit.