Almost every home has an outdoor water spigot or two. These are extremely useful during the summers since many people use them to water the lawn, fill up an inflatable pool and even use it for their sprinkler system.
On the other hand, during the winter, there doesn’t seem to be much use for these spigots so many of them are left alone. However, the freezing temperatures can cause water in these spigots to freeze and swell. When frozen, ice expands to take up 10% more space. In a pipeline, this can cause a burst very easily since they are always full of water. Spigots are also problematic since they connect to the main water supply. If the whole pipe freezes, it can harm the pipelines inside your home.
For this reason, it is necessary to prepare them for winter. Here are some easy to follow steps to ensure you prepare your outdoor water spigots for winter:
Examine All the Spigots
Before you apply any measures, take a walk around your house. This is to identify the number of water spigots you have and where they are located. This will give you a better idea of which valve you need to turn out. This will also help you identify if you have any leaky spigots, need to be repaired or fortified in some other manner. Examining them beforehand allows you to avoid forgetting an important component in preparing the outdoor water spigots for winter.
Turn Off the Valve
Once you have looked at the spigots, you need to turn off the valves from the main water system in your home. While most people usually leave the spigots open until winter arrives, it is a good idea to do this before winter sets in. Turn off the valve when the first signs of a chill appear. Since the spigots are outdoors, they will be more likely to be affected by the changes in the weather.
Remove Excess Water
Your next step is to remove all water from the spigots. Once you have turned off the valve, go out and turn on the spigots. This will drain the excess water sitting in the lines. Turn the spigots off and let them air dry. Go back inside and remove the bleeder cap on the lines to get the rest of the water out of the line. Be thorough about removing the water to prevent any chances of damage to the water line.
Consider Insulating the Spigot
To keep the outer part of the spigot protected from the cold weather, try a hose bib. These are crafted from foam and tend to prevent the cold from affecting the metal of the spigot. Keep in mind these hose bibs aren’t always frost proof. If your area experiences extreme frost during the winters, opt for the heavy duty hose bibs.
Winter can be a harsh season for our homes. But we hope this article has helped explain how simple it can be to take the necessary steps to prevent any pipes bursting. Avoid a headache and the pocketbook drain by preparing your outdoor water spigots for the winter season. While you're at it, it's best to winterize your swamp cooler if you have one!