If you have an outdoor faucet, it is important to protect them from winter weather. Frozen water in pipes expands, which may cause the pipes to burst. This could also damage the rest of the pipes in the system. Taking time out to winterize outdoor faucets will save you costly repairs. Here are tips to winterize outdoor faucets.
Prepare to Work
For this project, you need:
- work gloves
- wrench old rags or clothes
- heating tape (optional)
- hair dryer
- hose bib cover
- foam or fiberglass insulation
Find and fix leaks in all faucets before the cold weather comes. Shut off the water supply to the outdoor faucets.
The water supply valves are commonly found near the faucet or in the basement. Some homes do not have a separate supply valve for outdoor faucets, so you will need to turn off the main house water supply. Rotate the valves clockwise to shut off the water. You may need to use the wrench to turn the valves.
If you encounter a frozen pipe, wrap it with thick, old clothes or rags. Do not use open flames to thaw pipes. Pour hot water on the pipe, or try to melt the ice with a hair dryer.
If the faucet is frost-proof, you don't need to drain it, since it is made to prevent water from getting into the spigot. Turn on the faucet to get remaining water out of the system.
Ensure all hoses are free of water or that they have as little water as possible. A small amount of water may expand, but it won't cause damage.
Twist the brass plug on the valve left to drain water. The plug controls the amount of water flowing to the pipe. Rotate the plug right, and turn the faucet off.
Insulate the Pipes
There are several ways to insulate pipes. Insulation is even more crucial if you don't have separate water valves to turn off the faucet.
Frost-free faucets must be insulated as well, They may be frost-free, but it doesn't mean they completely resist the weather.
A hose bib is an easy way to insulate pipes. A hose bib is a dome-shaped cover made from foam designed to fit over the opening
Another insulation option is foam or fiberglass sleeves that wrap around the pipe. Heating tape can also be wrapped around the pipes. Newspapers are commonly used for insulation, but they may not hold up as long.
Your outdoor faucets should now be protected. If you can't find a leak, or don't trust your skill, contact a plumber.