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How to Prepare Your Outside Faucets for Winter

a frozen outdoor faucet As the cold and unpredictable Ohio weather creeps in, there are many things a homeowner should do to prepare for the winter months ahead. While you go through your winter prep checklist, don’t forget to inspect and turn off the outside faucets. The perfect time of year to do this is in the fall, before the first hard freeze or when temperatures go below 32 degrees.

It is very important to know how to winterize outside spigots because, without the proper care, your home could be damaged by a frozen pipe and end of up costing you lots of money in repair bills. Avoid expensive water damage by taking the following advice...

Why Is It Important to Winterize Spigots?

Most outside faucets are designed not to freeze unless a hose is left on the faucet over the winter. If you leave a hose on the spigot, water gets trapped inside the body of the faucet, and this is what freezes in the winter.

Walk around the perimeter of your home and remove any attached hoses from all outdoor faucets. Drain residual water out of each. If you have a valve specific to that faucet, shut the water off inside the house, and use a bleed cap to drain residual water out of the pipe.

Simply removing a water hose from an outside faucet is not enough to prevent freezing. Water must be shut off from the outdoor water supply source.

What Can Happen If You Don’t Winterize?

Water trapped in the body of the faucet will freeze and cause the body of the faucet to split. The problem then is that you would have a leak from the faucet until you turn it on in the spring for the first time, which will end up flooding inside the house. You won’t know it until it’s too late.

What Can You Do If a Spigot Freezes Up?

If you turn the faucet off, the leak will stop. However, you should call a plumber and have the faucet replaced.

What Other Steps Should You Take With Plumbing to Prepare for Winter?

Just remember that the warmer the home is, the less likely any plumbing will freeze. Be mindful of water and drain lines that were installed in the outside walls of the home, as these will get cold the fastest. Open cabinet doors on really cold nights to allow more heat to reach the pipes.

Winterizing outdoor faucets is easy for anyone to do. Protecting faucets and pipes during the cold months does not require plumbing experience or any heavy physical lifting. Just remember to shut off the outside faucets before the first freeze of the season.

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