Outdoor faucets, also commonly known as hose bibs, tend to get a lot of use during the summer. Once the snow and freezing temperatures arrive, however, they create vulnerabilities for your plumbing. While the rest of your home’s pipes are protected from the cold, this exposed area can freeze, resulting in burst pipes and water damage. Thankfully, winterizing outdoor fixtures isn’t too complicated.
How Can You Winterize Your Outdoor Faucets?
Start by disconnecting all hoses. Even when they’re off, they typically still have water inside, which could freeze your faucets. Drain the hoses by holding them vertically, then store them indoors during the winter.
Whenever possible, you should close the hose bib’s shutoff valve. This will ensure that no additional water is sent to the outdoor unit during the winter. After doing this, open the faucet and allow all remaining water to leak out.
If shutting the valve isn’t an option, you can protect the hose bib by installing an insulating cover over the unit before the winter arrives. Some homeowners also install frost-free hose bibs that have individual shutoff valves.
What If a Hose Bib Freezes?
If an outdoor faucet becomes frozen, you can still fix the problem to avoid a burst pipe. Wrap rags around the fixture and carefully pour boiling water over it. This should help thaw the standing water and allow you to open the hose bib. You could also use a hairdryer to thaw the pipe.
Keep the faucet open until a normal flow occurs, then follow the instructions above to winterize the area.
If your frozen faucet results in a burst pipe, you can count on Flo-Rite Plumbing, Inc. Serving the Flathead Valley in Kalispell, Whitefish, Columbia Falls, Bigfork and Lakeside, their plumbers are available 24/7 to provide emergency repairs. They also work with water heaters, sump pumps and water softeners. Learn more about their plumbing work online or call (406) 257-6897 to schedule an appointment.