How To Prevent Your Faucets From Freezing This Winter

Posted by on Thursday, December 10th, 2020 in Uncategorised

You know the phrase. It might be the tagline for a hit series, but it is also a painfully true annual truth.

Winter is coming.

Interior plumbing is often safe from the elements and cold temperatures, provided that you keep your insulation up to par and you maintain your heat at a consistent level. However, what about your exterior faucets?

A burst pipe that feeds to an outdoor faucet often results in water damage that is less obvious. A big reason for this is because the water damage usually ends up in an area of your home that doesn’t see a lot of traffic. It may even develop within a wall. In the long run, this sort of insidious water damage can be very costly.

That’s why it’s important to perform your due diligence! Read on to learn some helpful tips that will help you prevent your faucets from freezing this winter.

 

Why winterizing your faucets is important

Winterizing faucets is a key preventative measure in avoiding frozen faucets. Water often will remain in the exterior faucets and drain pipes. When frozen, the water expands — which is often the cause of a burst pipe. 

In a nutshell, winterizing your exterior faucets involves shutting off their water supply and disconnecting any hose attachments (be sure to store them properly). 

Curious about how to drain your outdoor faucets for winter? If your faucet has a drainage port, empty this and use a large tub or container to catch the water. If it doesn’t, simply run the tap until the residual water has emptied out of the faucet.

 

Ways you can protect your faucets

Install a freeze-proof faucet: These handy mechanisms are essentially spigots attached to a long tube that sources the water supply from inside the home where it is a more desirable temperature. 

Freeze-proof faucets (also known as frost-free) are installed at a slight angle, with the shutoff valve located further up the tube. This allows any water in the tube to drain safely out.

Drain out residual water: Whether you have a freeze-proof faucet or a traditional faucet, the first step is always turning off the water supply to these pipes and draining residual water in whatever method your faucets require.

Install an outdoor faucet protector: These are essentially little winter coats for your exterior faucets. They’re typically composed of hard, cold-resistant foam or come in the form of an insulated bag. 

 

FAQ:

Should outdoor faucets be left open in winter? The short answer is: yes, to a degree. If you are 100% sure you have drained all of the residual water, you can close it. However, many homeowners choose to leave the valve open slightly to let any chance water out.

Should I put anything under my faucet? A good rule of thumb is to dig a ‘trench’ of sorts and fill the opening with gravel. Doing this helps to avoid unsightly — and hazardous — mud buildup.

Where is my shutoff valve? In older homes, you’ll likely find your shutoff valve in the ceiling close to where the exterior faucet is. If your home is newer, the shutoff valve will be located (usually labelled) near where your primary water shutoff valve is. 

Still unsure? No problem! Call your Victoria plumbing experts at Miles Plumbing today!

Our professionals at Miles Plumbing understand that every home is different. You might even feel unprepared for the task of winterizing your faucets. However, don’t fear! Our team has years of experience and are up to the task. 

Give us a call at (250) 361-4488 or fill out our handy contact form! We’re happy to discuss your winter plumbing needs.