Add to your fall to-do list: “Winterize the outdoor faucet.” This essential chore will keep your pipes from freezing, avoid a leaky outdoor faucet and ultimately avoid a big, expensive mess inside your home.
The ideal time to winterize an outdoor faucet is in early autumn, before Ottawa’s first frost (which typically hits us sometime October 1-10).
Don’t panic if you miss that date, though — you can still get the job done. Whether you have a conventional faucet or a frost-free faucet, winterization is surprisingly fast and easy with the help of our guide.
1. Make sure to close the water supply to the faucet. Down in your basement, turn off the water shutoff valve closest to your outdoor tap.
2. If you have a hose attached to the faucet, disconnect it and take off the spray nozzle. Drain the hose thoroughly, repair any pin holes, and coil it neatly. (Your hose will survive the winter in good shape if you store it horizontally on a flat surface, sheltered from snow and direct sunlight.)
3. An older faucet will be equipped with an indoor drainage port. If this is the variety you have, open the drainage port, holding a bucket underneath to catch the runoff.
4. For an outdoor faucet without an indoor drainage port, drain out any remaining water by simply turning on the tap. Once all the water has drained onto the ground, turn the faucet off once again.
Installing a frost-free outdoor faucet is a clever move. Unlike a standard outdoor faucet, a Frost-Free hose bib is designed to safely drain off any water remaining in the pipe when you close the shutoff valve. Although you will still need to winterize this outdoor faucet, the process is simpler.
1. Start in the basement, by turning off the water shutoff valve that supplies your outdoor tap. Leftover water in your pipe will automatically drain out.
2. Essential: When there is a hose connected to the faucet, you must remove it after closing the water shutoff valve. Drain any water remaining in the hose. If you skip this step, the liquid in the hose will freeze. This will not only damage the hose itself, but also may cause cracking and leakage of your frost-free outdoor faucet.
Rely on Out of This World to keep your plumbing in top shape. Whether you need a new faucet installation, plumbing repair, or pipe replacement, our licensed plumbers are here to help you.
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