Plumbing may be one of your last concerns as fall sets in and temperatures drop. However, it will soon be time to think about protecting your faucets for the winter – after all, a frozen or burst pipe is the last thing you want to worry about!

Any water left in your outdoor faucets or hose bibbs on a freezing night can expand and cause your pipes to split or burst. Taking the time to properly drain and shut off your outdoor faucets can save you the hassle of a leaking pipe come spring.

5 Steps For Preparing Your Outdoor Faucets For Winter

Getting your outdoor faucets ready for winter doesn’t need to be complicated. Here are a few steps to quickly and effectively prepare your outdoor plumbing for winter:

  1. Find and close your shut-off valve. The shut-off valve may be located indoors, such as in your basement, utility room, or crawl space. Once you find the valve, shut off the water to the outdoor faucets.
  2. Drain your pipes and hoses. Once the water has been shut off, open the outdoor faucets to let the water drain out of the pipes and hoses. Ensure that all of the water has run out of the pipes.
  3. Detach and store your hoses. Stowing away your garden hoses for winter can prevent damage and keep them in good shape. To properly store your hose for the winter, simply detach it, roll it up, and keep it inside of your garage or shed.
  4. Keep the faucets open during winter. Keeping the faucets open during winter can help guarantee that your pipes are always empty during freezing temperatures.
  5. Insulate your hose bibb. For extra security, it may be a good idea to insulate your hose bibb from the cold. Some good insulating materials include foam, fiberglass, or heating tape.

What To Do If Your Faucet Doesn’t Have A Shut-Off Valve

Not all faucets have a shut-off valve, which can complicate winter preparations. Since you can’t fully drain the water from the pipes without a shut-off valve, you’ll have to insulate the faucet to prevent freezing.

To winterize these outdoor faucets, you will want to wrap any exposed areas of the spigot and pipe with an insulating material. Styrofoam, fiberglass insulation, and heating tape can work great to protect your pipes from harsh winter conditions.

When in doubt, it may be a good idea to call in an expert. If you can’t locate a shut-off valve and want to be sure that your faucets are fully protected, a plumber can help you effectively protect your outdoor plumbing!

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