In the winter months, your outdoor faucets are at the highest risk of freezing and bursting, which can have implications inside of your home or in the summer months after the thaw. In order to save yourself the headaches and expense associated with repairs, there are a few simple steps that you can take to winterize your outdoor faucets and prevent the cold weather from damaging them.
The first thing that you should do to prepare your outdoor faucets for months of below freezing is to remove any attachments that they may have, including hoses, splitters, or any other form of connection. Leaving these attachments still screwed onto the faucet can trap water in the faucet, which can then freeze and damage the fixture itself.
You should do a visual inspection of every hose bib with the attachments removed to ensure that there are no leaks or drips, or any other signs of damage. If any water is leaking out of your water fixtures, no matter how slowly, you will have to have the fixture replaced, as below freezing weather the water will damage the hose bib anyway, and can cause damage to the pipes inside your home as well. Call a plumber as soon as possible to take care of this problem before the temperature falls.
Drain the Pipes
Turn off the main water valve to your home, and open up all the outdoor faucets. Let them run for a while, as they will empty all the water in their pipes. Once the water stops flowing, you should close all the faucets again, and turn the main water valve back on. This will prevent the water in your pipes from freezing inside your home, and will preserve your outdoor faucets and hose bibs as well.
Once you have completed the above steps, the only thing remaining to do to protect your outdoor faucets is to insulate them. You should purchase a hose bib cover for each hose bib or outdoor faucet, as they will protect any plastic parts inside the faucet from frost damage. Hose bib covers can be found at most hardware stores, and tend to be fairly inexpensive, though price will depend on the size and model of the cover. Thankfully, these covers can be reused again and again as long as they remain undamaged, which means that they can be used for years to come.
To learn more, contact a company like Angeles Plumbing.