Protecting Your Outdoor Faucets From Winter
The harsh winter elements can harm your outdoor water faucets if you do not properly winterize them. You can fully protect your outdoor faucets by spending a few minutes to remove the garden hose, shut the isolation valves and off course drain the spigots. If you leave your garden hose connected all winter and decide not to winterize your outdoor faucet you could face some expensive plumbing repairs when everything thaws in the spring season.
Removing The Garden Hose From The Hose Bib Or Spigot
During the winter season you will always want to remove the hose from the spigot. If you leave the garden hose connected the water inside could freeze and then crack the hose bib. It is always best to completely remove the garden hose from the outdoor faucet spigot and then lift one end higher then the other to drain the hose free of any left over water that may be inside. Once the garden hose is fully drained free of water you will want to store it into a warm and dry place until the winter season is over.
You Should Also Shut The Isolation Valve
After you have removed the garden hose from the outside faucet spigot you will want to find the isolation valve for your outdoor faucet. The isolation valve will usually be within a few feet of where the valve is. If you have a basement your isolation valves for your outdoor faucets will probably be up the rafters. If you have a crawl space in your home the valves to isolate the outdoor spigot / faucet maybe inside of the crawl space. In older homes it is possible that you may not even have isolation valves. In this case you will want to make sure you have a frost free hose bib installed so you can be sure that your faucet does not freeze. The frost free hose bib faucets have a deep shaft which is different from a regular style hose bib. The frost free outdoor spigot protects way better then the traditional style hose bib or boiler drain.
Make Sure The Spigot Is Free From Any Water
Once you have removed the garden hose and stored it, the isolation valves have been shut, you will want to open the outdoor faucet and make sure there is no water left inside. You will just have to open the faucet for a few seconds and if no water comes out you know that you have properly winterized your outdoor faucet and you will be protected from the harsh winter elements.
What about draining the indoor shut off valve?
You didn’t mention that and I wonder if it is necessary in Portland, Oregon…where temperatures do go below freezing, but not by much and are not sustained.
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