There is no denying the fact that outdoor faucets can be a lifesaver during hot summer months. From watering your flowers to washing your car, an outdoor fixture or faucet offers a remarkably convenient water supply. While they get used frequently during warmer months, they can’t be neglected altogether during the cold season. In fact, your outdoor faucet can even become a threat to your indoor plumbing during the winter if you’re not careful. Here are five things you can do to protect your outdoor faucets as well as your indoor plumbing as the temperatures drop towards freezing.
- #1 Detach Your Hose
- If you leave your hose attached to your outdoor faucets and the temperature plummets, you run the risk of the water inside the hose freezing and pushing into the supply pipe. This can create excessive pressure on this important pipe and may cause the pipe to give out or burst altogether. Go ahead and unscrew your garden hoses now and shake out the water the best you can!
- #2 Drain Outdoor Supply Lines
- While some homes have outdoor water supply lines that are insulated or buried in the ground, many supply lines are exposed and need to be sufficiently drained before freezing temperatures. Examples of unprotected outdoor water lines include those that supply hot tubs, outdoor irrigation, a fountain/waterfalls, greenhouses or an RV/camper. Neglecting to detach and drain these lines can lead to costly problems within your main water supply during a cold winter.
- #3 Be Smart When Unfreezing Your Hose
- Despite your efforts to protect against it, it is possible that your hose may still freeze. In such cases, you should be smart about how you unthaw it. This can be done by bringing the hose (in a bag) inside your hose to slowly unfreeze. If you’d prefer the thawing process to take place outside, you can pour hot water on the thickest part of the iced hose.
- #4 Install a Shut-Off Valve
- To keep it simple and effective, ask a plumber to install a shut-off valve for your outdoor fixtures. These can be placed in convenient place in a crawl space or basement. This ensure there is no running water escaping to your ice cold faucets or fixtures that remain outdoors.
- #5 Consider a Frost-Free Faucet
- Yes, there is such a thing as a “frost-free faucet.” If you live in North Georgia or areas where frequent freezes are common, it may be beneficial to upgrade your outdoor faucet to a frost-free version, which contains a drainage hole and sillcock to prevent water from accumulating on the most vulnerable portion of the faucet. Don’t worry, frost-free sillcock faucets will not cause a backflow into your main water line. Using this tactic, the only step you’ll need to perform before a winter freeze is detaching your outdoor hoses.
Are you confident that your outdoor faucets and water supply lines are protected from freezing temperatures? If not, let a plumbing expert from Metro Septic help. We can provide the accessories your faucet may need to withstand cold air, or we can simply perform the necessary steps it takes to prevent a plumbing freeze disaster.