How to Protect Outdoor Faucets From Freezing: 6 Simple Steps

The forecast shows the temperature will drop below zero in your area. Can you imagine how that will impact your pipes?

There is nothing more frustrating to a homeowner than frozen pipes.

Taking the time to learn how to protect outdoor faucets from freezing can prevent these from becoming a source of serious plumbing problems in your home in the future.

You may encounter numerous plumbing problems in the winter months if you have exterior faucets. In cold, snowy weather, water in hoses or faucets can freeze and expand, which can damage your pipes and lead to bursts.

In order to ensure that you’re fully protected from this type of issue during the winter, you’ll want to unplug your hoses, turn off your water valve, and secure your faucet in order to avoid such disasters.

To make sure that your faucets are protected, start securing them as early as October or early November.

There are several ways to protect your exterior faucets and pipes from freezing and bursting.

Even if it’s cold outside, there are some simple steps you can take to make sure your outdoor plumbing is safe.

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How to protect outdoor faucets from freezing

Outdoor Spigot Frozen: Why Should You Consider?

  • In the event that water is present inside your pipes during the freezing seasons, the ice inside them can expand to such an extent that the pipe may burst if it grows too large in the cold conditions.
  • Please call your local plumber if water is present around your faucet or inside your house.
  • When you delay in correcting the problem, extensive damage may result to your plumbing system.
  • In most homes, pipes are insulated from the cold and are heated by your central heating system (HVAC) throughout the year.
  • However, pipes that are connected to any outdoor faucets in your home are susceptible to freezing temperatures during the colder months.
  • It is likely that the water in your pipes will freeze and expand if it drops below freezing, which could damage your home and cause burst pipes.
  • Luckily, it is very easy to avoid having a frozen outdoor faucet.
  • This is because you can winterize your outdoor faucet yourself at a very low cost.
  • Spending a few minutes now could help you save time, money, and disappointment down the road.

How to protect outdoor faucets from freezing

How to Protect Outdoor Faucets from Freezing ?

Step 1: Pull the hose out of the faucet

  • It is not a smart idea to leave the hose connected to the faucet over the winter. That might cause your interior pipes to freeze and burst.
  • You can prevent this problem by disconnecting the hose from the faucet.
  • The hose can be disconnected by turning it to the left or in a counterclockwise direction.
  • You can wiggle the hose forward and back to clear clogged threads from the spigot.
  • Spray your spigot with WD-40 and lightly tap the pipe with a hammer.
  • Let the hose rest for a few minutes, then try to release it using pliers.
  • The metal spigot can be expanded by using a hair dryer or heat gun to make it move and this will help you take out the hose easier.

Step 2: Empty your hoses

  • When water freezes in hoses, it expands, causing damage to the material.
  • Whenever possible, you should lay the hose along a slope on the house where you have a slope.
  • As the hose drains, the water will drain in the direction of the slope.
  • As a rule of thumb, it would be best to store your hoses in your garage or shed during the winter time, to protect them from weather-related damage.
  • You may wrap them around and store them in your garage.
  • Consider wrapping your hoses in insulation tubes to increase their protection.
  • Fit the tubing over the hoses by prying the slit open.
  • Make sure the slit is closed with tape for a better seal.
  • Taping will also prevent damage from cold weather.

Step 3: Find the location of valve

  • It is essential that this procedure be followed only before winter when you are turning off the faucet and not during the cold season.
  • There is usually a valve located somewhere in the interior of every house, but it is not always visible.
  • So you must find the location of the interior valve.
  • Mostly it will be seen in the basement near the main waterline or under your sink.
  • In most cases, you can find this valve several feet from the outside wall.
  • Turn off the valve that supplies the water to the outdoor faucet.
  • Make sure that you rotate the handle clockwise around the valve until it stops.
  • Check for a lever handle, if there is one, then adjust the handle so that it is perpendicular to the pipe.

Step 4: Install Outdoor Faucet Protector

  • If your outdoor faucets are exposed to the elements, you should install an outdoor faucet protector, including a foam faucet cover that provides another layer of freeze-proof for your faucets and pipes.
  • These covers can be purchased from hardware stores or from online outlets at an affordable price.
  • When using the cover, you will need to make sure the faucet is securely covered.

Step 5: Apply Foam Insulation

  • Ensure that the pipe running from the faucet is fully insulated.
  • If there is an exposed plumbing connection to the outdoor faucet, apply insulation foam and cover it.

Step 6: Install frost-free Faucet

  • A freeze-proof faucet will save you the pain of having to winterize your outdoor faucet and pipe systems each year.
  • If you prefer not to spend the time and energy preparing your outdoor faucet and pipe systems for winter, you can install a freeze-proof or frost-free faucet.
  • Frost-free faucets are engineered to work in freezing temperatures.
  • Therefore, you can use your faucet all year long regardless of the weather.

What is A Frost-proof Faucet

How to protect outdoor faucets from freezing

Frost-proof (also known as freezeproof or frost-free) faucets offer a greater level of protection against freezing, and require no additional maintenance, besides taking the hose out at the end of the season.

How to Install a Frost-Proof Faucet

  • A freeze-proof valve called a sill-cock can be installed on the faucet.
  • The water flows through it via either a cartridge or compression valve, which is connected to a long rod that extends into the home.
  • Due to its location in the warm atmosphere of the house, the valve is almost impervious to freezing.

Let’s see how to install the frost-proof faucet.

Step 1: Turn off the water and drain it

  1. Disconnect the water line that leads to the outdoor faucet and turn off the water there.
  2. Alternatively, if the water line does not have its own shut-off valve, you will need to use the main shutoff valve to shut off the water to the whole house.
  3. There is still some water in the supply pipe of the outside spigot, so it’s best to drain it.

Step 2: Disconnect the Old Spigot

  1. As a first step, remove any mounting screws from the outdoor faucet spout.
  2. Then, turn the spout counterclockwise to disconnect it from the pipe end.
  3. A pair of channel-lock pliers might be needed to adjust the faucet spout.

Step 3: Faucet Measurement

  1. In order to prepare for cutting the water supply pipe, follow the instructions provided with the frost-free faucet.
  2. You’ll now have to calculate from the outer surface of the wall, where the faucet flange will sit, and to the area at which the faucet stem will join to the water pipe inside the house.
  3. Push-fit plumbing connections often require an additional inch of pipe length for insertion.

Step 4: Set Up a Water Supply Pipe

  1. As a frost-proof faucet has a long valve stem, the water supply pipe must be cut at the point where the faucet’s tube connects.
  2. To cut copper pipe, a tubing cutter should be applied.
  3. To cut galvanized steel or PVC pipe, a hacksaw should be used, and for PEX pipe, PEX tubing cutters should be used.
  4. The cutoff portion of pipe that runs outside the house needs to be removed and discarded.
  5. By using sandpaper or emery cloth, smooth the exposed end of the water supply pipe inside and out.
  6. Please ensure that the exterior of the pipe is clean and smooth, so that the fittings on the brand-new frost-proof faucet will fit onto this pipe.
  7. Ensure that the pipe end is marked with the push-in distance as described by the manufacturer (normally an inch from the end at which the pipe has been trimmed).

Step 5: Install the Frost-Proof Faucet

  1. Through the outside wall, install the frost-proof faucet and turn the spout in the proper direction.
  2. Insert the fitting end of the faucet straight into the pipe, and make sure you press it all the way into the pipe.
  3. Push the pipe in until it reaches the push-in mark, which signifies that the pipe has been fully inserted.
  4. In the case of a standard threaded faucet, you will first need to attach the push-fit transition fitting to the tube of the faucet, and then connect it to the water line.
  5. Usually, corrosion-resistant screws are included with faucets, which are used to fix the faucet flange to the wall surface from outside.

Step 6: Check the faucet.

  1. Allow water to flow freely out of the faucet spigot by opening the valve on the faucet, then turning the water back on at the cutoff valve.
  2. Check that the faucet spigot is operating correctly and that there is no spilling where the faucet tube attaches to the water pipe by opening and closing it numerous times.
  3. When you’re sure the faucet is working properly, apply external caulk to seal the junction between the faucet flange and the house wall.

Video to Install Frost-Proof Faucet

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Protecting outdoor faucets from freezing during the winter is essential to keeping your home safe and warm. There are a few different ways to protect outdoor faucets from freezing, and we hope this blog post will help you find the best solution for your home. Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have any additional questions or concerns. Thanks for reading, we are always happy to share useful information on a topic like this with our readers!

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