As freezing temperatures arrive it is very important to remember to winterize your hose bibbs. Each spring we receive a number of calls regarding broken and burst pipes in the basement and crawl spaces. These pipes are discovered when homeowners turn on their hoses for the first time. Unbeknownst to them, while they are running their hose outside, the basement is being sprayed and damaged by gallons of water.
First, what is a hose bibb?
Simply, the hose bibb is the faucet or faucets located outside your home. Sometimes it is referred to as the spigot. The faucet, or spigot, is connected to pipping that is connected to your homes water system. Because the home’s pipes are connected to an outside faucet, they are particularly susceptible to freezing in colder climates. In order to prevent freezing, follow these steps:
- Remove and drain hoses: Remove your hoses and drain them of as much water as possible, and then store them in a warmer location like a basement or heated garage. This will help prevent damage to the hose itself and increase their lifespan.
- Locate all the hose bibb shut off valves in the home: Each hose bibb will have its own shut off valve. These valves can be located in utility rooms, crawl spaces, and basements. Please feel free to ask us to help you identify and label these shut off valves anytime that we are at your home for service or repair.
- Turn the valves to the off position: This part is easy. Remember . . . righty tighty (closed), lefty loosy (open).
- Open the outdoor hose bibb: These seems counter-intuitive but it is the correct step to take. Opening the hose bib all the way will allow any water still trapped in the pipe to flow out. A small amount of water should come out of the hose bib and then stop. This will indicate to you that you did in fact turn the inside valve off. Leave the hose bibb in the open position. Just don’t forget that you left it open come spring when you turn inside valve to the open position.
Congrats! Your hose bibb is winterized!
If you have any problems winterizing your hose bibb please do not hesitate to give Rick’s plumbing a call. We can answer most questions over the phone, or schedule an appointment if needed.