When temperatures drop well below freezing, especially for an extended period in Philadelphia, there’s a lot of talk about preventing pipes from freezing. We all know the drill — insulate them, keep water taps dripping, and so forth.
One important part of your home’s plumbing, however, often goes overlooked: your outside spigots. You need to keep these exposed pipes in mind, though, because if they freeze they can cause a cascade of problems for the rest of your home’s pipes and plumbing.
How to Winterize Outdoor Faucets
With that in mind, and with winter not far away in Philadelphia, here are some DIY tips from Giannone. These steps will winterize outdoor faucets, ensuring they are protected during a deep freeze:
- Check them for a leak. Make sure your exterior faucets are not leaking. This can lead to ice buildup or blockage no matter how many steps you take to protect your spigots from freezing temperatures. If they are leaking, fix the leaks before taking the next steps.
- Drain them. Before the first freeze, remove all hoses from outdoor spigots, drain them, and store them. If your home has a cutoff valve, cut the water, then turn on the exterior faucet until it runs dry. This will prevent ice buildup on or in the spigot and valve.
- Replace them. Switch your old fixtures out for newer frost-free hose bibs, which are more frost-resistant than older versions.
- Insulate them. Exterior faucet covers are available at hardware stores. This is a good application for homes located in areas where it gets particularly cold in the winter.