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Winterizing your plumbing includes several steps, one of which is to cover any exposed outdoor faucets. In the event that you forget to take this crucial step, you may end up with frozen pipes.
A significant plumbing leak or fractured pipes could develop as a result of this.
For the sake of your plumbing, it’s a good idea to cover up your outside faucets during the winter months. In this article, you’ll learn how to protect your outside faucets from the elements during winter.
How to Winterize Outdoor Faucets
In order to prevent your outdoor faucets from freezing, it is necessary to cover them with a heat-insulating covering. As the first point of contact with your plumbing system, frozen faucets can cause your water pipes to freeze as well.
Before installing a faucet cover, outdoor faucets should be drained and insulated with rags or other buffer material. Protecting the pipes and faucets from freezing in the winter requires the use of a thick plastic or styrofoam cover. Pipes can be damaged by frozen faucets.
Ensure that your outdoor faucets are protected from freezing by following these steps:
- Locate all of your exterior faucets. The plumbing in sheds and vacation houses can be overlooked when it comes time to winterize your faucets, so don’t forget about these areas. It’s a good idea to establish a list of all of your property’s outdoor faucets so that you don’t overlook anything.
- Taps should be turned off. When you cover and winterize your outdoor faucets, be sure to switch off the water supply to the pipes linked to the faucets through the valves. Locate water shut-off valves in the interior of your home or in the basement.
- Drain the water from the spigots. After you turn off the water to your outside faucets, you still need to check the plumbing system to make sure there is no water left over. Turn on the taps and let them run until there is no more water dripping out and the faucet is flowing dry.
- Turn the water knob back off and cover the faucets to winterize them when they are running dry. Make sure there is no free air in the covering of the faucet head by putting some rags or other filler around it. Styrofoam works just as well as the commercially available outdoor faucet sock.
You’re ready to go for the winter as soon as you cover your outdoor faucets! If there are any water-related tasks that must be accomplished before the faucets are winterized, keep in mind that you won’t be able to till the spring thaw before you become ready to utilize them.
Using Outdoor Faucets in Freezing Weather
Utilize the Freeze Miser outdoor faucet connector if you need to use your outside faucets in cold weather. Cool your pipes by dripping water from this innovative device, which attaches to your faucet. When you don’t have a specialized shut-off valve for your outside faucets, you can still utilize this product.
In order to keep the water from freezing, the internal mechanism only allows water to drip when the temperature drops below 37 degrees. The pipes will still freeze if you just let the faucet drip on its own, but you’ll save a lot of water that way.
Materials for Insulating Outdoor Faucets
Styrofoam is the most commonly used material for covering outdoor faucets. Due to Styrofoam’s superior thermal insulation, heat cannot pass through it. With its many tiny air bubbles, Styrofoam acts as a barrier, keeping warm air within and cold air out.
Styrofoam is commonly used as a filler in commercial faucet covers, which are then covered with a thin layer of plastic. Styrofoam will be better protected from the elements with this cover, which will allow it to be in use for longer.
Alternatives for Covering Outdoor Faucets in Winter
A business outdoor faucet cover is not the only option if you don’t want to cover your faucets. A business faucet cover isn’t your only option for keeping your outside faucets warm in the winter.
- Wrap an old towel, rag, or tee shirt around the end of your faucet and secure it in place. Maintain a tight seal between the material and the faucet surface at all times.
- If you’ve wrapped a cloth over the end of the faucet, you can use a Ziploc bag or other zipping plastic storage bag to cover it. Make sure the plastic bag’s edges meet up with the building’s exterior.
- Wrap the faucet head in a plastic bag with a cloth underneath using a roll of duct tape. To prevent the covering from slipping about, keep everything as tight as possible when doing this.
That’s all there is! You can use this method to quickly cover your outside faucets in the event of a sudden freeze if you don’t have access to professional outdoor faucet covers.
What Happens If Faucets Aren’t Winterized?
Even though covering outside faucets for the winter may seem like an easy operation, failing to do so before the temperature drops below freezing can have serious implications. Things that can go wrong if you don’t cover your faucets are as follows
- When the temperature dips below freezing, the water in the pipes freezes and expands, causing broken fittings or pipes. It is possible for the plumbing to be damaged or warped if water expands too much. Your faucets may leak if the fittings crack or break. In the event that your pipes burst, you could suffer extensive water damage.
- Broken sprinkler heads and valves: Winterizing irrigation system faucets is equally as vital as winterizing exterior faucets on your house or shed. Read more. If the irrigation system’s heads or valves freeze and break, you may have to replace the entire thing. In the event of extensive repairs, this may cost tens of thousands.
Allowing your outside faucets or plumbing to freeze can lead to a variety of problems, including the need for costly repairs.
Because of this, the plumbing fixture is out of commission while it is being repaired. Busted outdoor faucets may be a major pain in the spring when you’re attempting to get your landscaping back on track.
Winterize Faucets to Prevent Serious Damage
In most cases, you may finish the task of covering your outside faucets in under an hour, if not under. By the time the winter weather arrives, you could be dealing with a much more serious issue than a frozen faucet.
Why Cover Your Faucets?
Due to an increase in water pressure, your exterior pipes and faucets are more susceptible to freezing and rupture in the wintertime. Water damage and repair expenses might skyrocket if your pipes burst due to freezing and burst.
Even if you live in a milder climate, your pipes may not be well-insulated, making you more exposed. This is because homes in milder climes aren’t designed to withstand the cold.