Winter temperatures have arrived and now is the time to prepare your outdoor faucets for the cold months ahead to prevent water from freezing, expanding, and bursting your pipes. If you’re like most people you’ve got conventional outdoor faucets, which are ones that stop the flow of water at the control handles on the exterior walls of your home. To help prevent your faucets from damaging your water lines this winter season, follow these four simple steps.
Step #1. Turn Off Your Water Supply
In most instances the water line that goes to your outdoor faucets has a shut-off valve that allows you to turn the water supply on and off. This shut-off will likely be in your basement or crawlspace, and situated just a few feet from the wall. Be sure that the valve controls only water to the outside faucets, and shut it off.
Step #2. Detach and Drain Your Hoses
If you have hoses attached to your faucets, disconnect them and drain the water from them. Gather your hoses and stow them away for the winter.
Step #3. Drain Your Faucets
With your water supply off, turn on your outdoor faucets and allow residual water to drain from the pipeline. This is perhaps the most important step because draining the pipes of water that would otherwise remain in the lines prevents freezing and expanding water, and bursting pipes.
Step #4. Attach an Outdoor Faucet Cover
For extra protection against extreme winter temperatures consider insulating your winterized faucet with an outdoor faucet cover. Be sure to invest in one that seals snugly to the area around your faucet.
What Are Freeze-Proof Outdoor Faucets?
There are freeze-proof outdoor faucets available on the market, and they function in a way that keeps water within the interior wall of your residence when the faucet is turned off, which greatly reduces the likelihood of freezing water. Depending on climate, a freeze-proof faucet can safely stay active throughout the winter season, but in extreme cold even it may require a faucet cover for extra protection.
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