It’s that time of year again. The winter has finally left us and it is time to get back out into the yard and do some work on the lawn.
Due to the bitter cold winter that has been pounding the Midwest region, a lot of people have experienced frozen or burst pipes. However, some have experienced this and do not even know it yet. One of the most common burst lines is an outside spigot. Right around this time every year, the calls will start rolling in that there is water pouring into a basement or streaming down a wall inside. Typically these spigots will freeze due to a few problems:
- If a hose was left on the faucet all winter, there will still be residual water that can easily freeze within the stem of the faucet itself.
- A frost-proof (or freeze proof) faucet was not installed correctly or is angled in such a way that water is sitting at the back of the stem all winter.
A lot of people will not notice that their lines have frozen until that first time the faucet is used for the spring. Once the water is turned on, there is an active flow going past that burst section of line – and water will flow through the path of least resistance.
As a plumbing contractor, our advice to you is to make sure you are aware when you turn your outside faucets on for the first time. Have an idea where the line enters the house and where the access point to that line is. If you can see that line through floor joists or through an access panel in the ceiling, make sure you are checking it when turning those faucets on for the first time. If at all possible, the best way to watch for water damage is to have someone standing inside when turning that faucet on for the first time – this way someone will have eyes on the potential problem areas while they are being used.