How to Keep Outside Pipes from Freezing

Missouri winters seem to be so different lately, with cold weather coming earlier than expected.

When temperatures suddenly go from 80° one day to 40° the next, it’s easy to get caught off guard and forget many important winterization steps.

Since we’ve already had a few cold nights this fall, it’s a good time to remember to unhook hoses from your outdoor hose bibs.

This simple but crucial step helps to prevent the faucet from freezing, which can lead to expensive and inconvenient repair bills.

Here are a few additional things to keep in mind when preparing your outdoor faucets for Old Man Winter:

  • As noted above, disconnect the hose. Leaving the hose connected traps water inside. All it takes is a single night below 32° for the pipes to freeze and possibly break. Unhook all hoses, splitters and other connections and store the hose inside the house, garage or shed to protect it from frigid temperatures.
  • Inspect. Autumn is a great time to check all hose bibs, hydrants and other outdoor plumbing fixtures for leaks, drips or cracks. Make all needed repairs or replacements before freezing temperatures arrive, as dripping water can also lead to frozen and damaged pipes.
  • Turn off the valve. Follow the pipe from the tap outside to the valve on the inside. Shutting off the valve keeps water away during the winter, reducing the risk of damage.
  • Drain. Again, you want to remove as much water from the tap as possible. If your hose bib is not freeze-proof, open the spigot to drain it after shutting off the valve.
  • Protect. If you prefer, you can also place a foam bib cover over the faucet to keep snow and ice from coming into contact with it.
  • Upgrade. Installing a frost-free hose bib can reduce the risk of a bursted pipe. Keep in mind that winterization is still necessary, however. For example, you still need to disconnect the hose to prevent the water inside from freezing and causing damage.

If you have questions about winterizing your plumbing or need upgrades or repairs, contact us at Elite Renovations & Design today.