Cold weather is dangerous for your plumbing, especially the uninsulated pipes and hoses outdoors. When water freezes, it expands, and it can burst pipes if you aren’t careful. As the weather cools off, one home maintenance expert has offered a timely reminder for homeowners to protect their outdoor spigots from damage.
Kyshawn of Weekly Home Check (@weeklyhomecheck) presented this tip in a video that was posted in mid-October, just when the fall weather really started to set in. “Did you know that if you don’t drain your spigots for winter, you risk the possibility of bursting your pipes?” he asked.
He then walks viewers through the process of winterizing an outdoor faucet. “First, detach the hose and store it inside your basement or garage,” he said. This helps protect the hose from the unnecessary wear and tear of freezing and thawing over the course of the winter.
“Inside the house, find the water shut-off valve and turn it off,” Kyshawn continued, demonstrating how the water supply is off when the valve handle is perpendicular to the pipe. “Then turn on the spigot to drain any excess water.”
Kyshawn then demonstrates an insulated spigot cover to keep the pipe warm. “Lastly, you can buy one of these covers for added protection,” he said.
How it’s helping
Leaving the valve off and the spigot open is the main key to winterizing your outdoor pipes. The combination of shutting off the flow and leaving an opening ensures that as little water as possible remains in the pipe. Meanwhile, there’s no enclosed area for ice to get trapped in, so no pressure can build up.
By preparing your faucets in advance, you can avoid burst pipes in winter and the expense of fixing them. You’ll also prevent water from being wasted by plumbing damage, which is good for water conservation.
You can use a similar trick if the shut-off valve is still on by “dripping” your faucet. This means some water will come out, so here are a few ways to use the extra.
What everyone’s saying
Commenters were quick to confirm the importance of this tip. “Yup,” said one user. “We learned this lesson 40 yrs ago in our new house. The pipe split and leaked into the new ceiling of our basement den we just completed. We haven’t forgotten since.”
“Unfortunately, I do know…$4,000 later,” another user said.
“Yikes! Tough lesson to learn the hard way,” Kyshawn replied.
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