With the cold weather quickly approaching, homeowners in Pennsylvania need to know how to winterize their hose bib. The cold temperatures can damage your hose bib, hose and pipes by freezing the water that is inside and expanding the pipes causing them to burst. Luckily, homeowners can take easy steps to prevent any damage from occurring.
What is a Hose Bib?
A hose bib is a faucet that connects to your outdoor hose. Sometimes called a spigot, the hose bib needs to be protected from the cold to prevent freezing over and breaking. Protecting your hose bib and preparing it for winter can save you lots of money in repairs and damage. Not to mention the stress a burst pipe will cause, it is clear that homeowners should take precautions to prevent these damages.
Close the Shut-Off Valve for the Faucet
The very first step to winterizing your hose bib is to go inside your home and find the shutoff valve that leads to your outdoor faucets. Once you have found the shutoff valve, read the instructions and set it to the closed position. Most shutoff valves are controlled by a lever handle or a circular turn handle. Both valves are simple, so follow the instructions that came with them to shut off the valve that you have. Once the valve is closed it is time to go back outside.
Drain Water From the Outdoor Faucets for Winter
Now that the valve leading to your outdoor hose bib is shut off, it is time to drain the water from the hose and the faucet. Let the water drain out of the hose bib to relieve pressure from the pipe. This is important because if you skip draining the water here, the pressure will be very high and water will go everywhere when you try to drain water at the shutoff valve inside. So give sufficient time for the water to flow out of the hose bib and lower the pressure.
Drain Water From the Shut-Off Valve
After the water is drained from your hose bib, it is time to go back inside to the shutoff valve and drain the remaining water from the pipes. To do this you will want to find the instructions on your specific shutoff valve. The steps to release the water from the pipe might vary based on what type of shutoff valve you are working with, so make sure to follow instructions to avoid issues. There should be only a small amount of water that comes out of the pipe in this step, so make sure that you have something to catch the remaining water. Once the water is done draining and there is no drip or leak, you can recover the valve and make sure again it is in a closed position.
Inspect and Repair Any Leaks
Inspecting your hose bib and shutoff valve for leaks and damages is one of the most important steps in preparing your hose bib for winter, especially in the cold Pennsylvania winters. If you find any damages or leaks, you will want to have them fixed right away to avoid major damages and costs that could follow. If you are unsure if a repair is needed, have a professional take a look to be safe.
Cover Outdoor Faucets in the Wintertime
The final step to winterizing your hose bib is to get insulation or covers for it. Different types of covers can be installed to protect your hose bib. No matter which one you choose, make sure that it is securely on. Frost resistant hose bibs are a great option to reduce the risk of it freezing over, however, it is still important to cover it because it is not completely freeze-proof.
Detach Hose and Store Indoors for Winter
Just like your pipes and hose bib, your hose can suffer damage from the cold. You can easily extend the time your hose is good for by keeping it out of the winter weather. The first thing is to make sure that you let all water out of the hose. Once the water is drained, you can detach and store your hoses. Don’t store your hose outside where it is cold, instead put it in an insulated area or container where it will be protected from the cold air. Always make sure to wait until the weather starts to warm up before you bring the hose back outside and attach it to the hose bib.
Your outdoor hose bib is a vulnerable spot. It can lead to water damage and other issues. Our new homes throughout Chester County, PA are built with good innovations that will make it easy to winterize your hose bib. Contact us at Southdown Homes today to learn more about this feature and others that our new homes have.