Get your outside faucets ready for winter with these easy steps in Ohio
Most Ohio homeowners have at least one outdoor faucet, and it’s something that just can’t be neglected considering the area’s harsh winter months.
When water freezes, it expands, and when it expands, it can take up around 10% more space than its liquid state counterpart. Pipes full of water are already at full capacity. So, there’s no room for that extra 10% of expansion.
The result of a frozen water pipe is the pipe, joints, and/or valves bursting apart when the water in the pipe freezes. And this damage isn’t just isolated to the outdoor faucet. The damage can extend into the pipes within the walls of the home, leaving the home and all the possessions within it subject to costly water damage.
Water supply lines connected to an outdoor faucet freeze when temps get 28 degrees or colder, and Ohio winters see much colder temps than that.
Outdoor faucets are particularly vulnerable to freezing because they are exposed directly to the harsh elements.
It’s imperative that homeowners prepare outdoor faucets for winter to prevent such a costly plumbing catastrophe.
How To Prepare Outdoor Faucets For Winter
Winterization of outdoor faucets is a simple, cheap, and effective way to prevent the nightmare that is a frozen pipe disaster.
1. Start by knowing where all the exterior faucets are located and removing any hoses that are attached.
2. Drain any residual water out of each faucet.
3. Most modern homes have an individual shutoff valve for each supply line leading to a faucet. Note that this isn’t the main water shutoff valve, which will disable water to the entire home. It should have a lever-style valve and a bleed cap to drain water. Turn this valve off for each outdoor faucet. Open all outdoor faucets. Place a bucket under the shutoff valve and remove the bleeder cap, which will drain all residual water from the lines into the bucket. Reapply the bleeder cap. Close all the outside faucets.
In some cases, especially with older homes, there may not be individual shutoff valves. In this case, a professional plumber may be needed to install a frost-free faucet. These are faucets that can be left on without risk of freezing. There are also kits that can be purchased from building supply stores; these usually are installed onto an existing faucet for winter and removed once spring arrives.
Feel free to contact us Contact a professional if there’s any question on how to winterize pipes and prevent costly water damage that could result in water damage, loss of valuables, and a home being unlivable until repairs are made. Preparing is always easier than repairing.
If you should have any frozen hydrant situation that happens, please feel free to call the professionals at H & H Plumbing, Heating, Cooling for help!