Winterizing your outdoor water faucets (AKA hose spigots or hose bibs) is an excellent idea because it will help avoid major headaches and expensive repair bills in the future. But how to winterize outdoor faucets without shut off valve?
A properly maintained faucet or hose spigot will prevent expensive repair bills out of the whole winter. Moreover, winter may cause different issues with the plumbing. The fall in temperature and freezing of the water in plump lines will affect the whole plumbing of the house.
If you’re also worried about the leakage of the plumb lines or looking for ways to winterize your outdoor faucet, keep reading to find out how to handle the issues resulting from the freezing. You might also enjoy reading: Do You Need Really A License For A Garden Sprinkler (Here’s the truth!)
What Does Winterizing Your Outdoor Faucet Mean?
Generally, to winterize your water pipes simply means protecting the pipes from the effects of freezing and low temperature in winter. Winterizing your outdoor faucet will protect the pipes connected to your outdoor faucets to withstand freezing temperatures.
If not properly looked after, the water pipes in the winter may undergo damage resulting from bursting and shrinking.
More importantly, winterizing can help you save time and money. This is true, particularly for your outdoor faucet.
Learning how to winterize your outdoor faucet can help you avoid headaches and have a peaceful winter. See also: How To Effectively Get Rid of Clover Faster (Here’s!)
How To Winterize Outdoor Faucet Without Shut Off Valve?
Here are different methods to winterize your outdoor faucets without a shut-off valve. Adopt any depending on the materials you have available.
Method 1: Easiest Way To Winterize Outdoor Faucet Without Shut Off Valve
Whether you are planning to stay home or set out for a winter trip, winterizing the outdoor faucets will help you avoid damage to the water pipe.
Here are the steps for the easiest way of winterizing your outdoor faucet without Shutting off the valve.
Step 1: Locate The Pipe
Find where the pipe is located inside your house, leading to your outside faucet. Generally, you can find it in your garage or basement.
Step 2: Disconnect and Take Off the Hose
The next step is to disconnect the hose, which will prevent your hose from being damaged.
However, most gardeners forget this while winterizing them. It will perfectly survive the winter if you store your hose horizontally on a flat surface and keep it from snow and direct sunlight.
Step 3: Turn Off the Water Flow
Simply turn off the water flow knob clockwise until the water stops flowing. In some systems, the knob may be replaced by a simple lever. Proceed in the same way for levers too.
When you have a water pipeline without a shut-off valve, it’s easy to winterize it. Generally, you can find the shut-off valve to your outdoor faucet in your basement in an older system. Sometimes, you can find it under the ceiling part near the wall where your outdoor faucet is.
But if your house or building has a more modern system, including a frost-free faucet, you don’t need to go to your basement, as the water will drain on its own.
Step 4: Remove the Water From the Outdoor Faucet
Turn on the valve of the outdoor faucet and make sure that the whole water has drained out. This will help in emptying the water pipes.
If you have valves without handles or knobs, clamp vise-grips or pliers onto the square post and turn it clockwise until it stops.
Step 5: Place a Bucket Under The Valve
After you have drained the outside faucet while the main flow knob or lever is off, you have emptied the water pipes. Go back to your basement, shut off the valve, and place a bucket under it.
Go outside and turn on the exterior spigot until the water stops flowing to release the water trapped in the pipe, which will reduce the chance of that pipe freezing and allow you to repair the faucet, if necessary, safely.
Double-check to ensure that your water pipes are empty. Now, there will be no danger of the bursting of plumbing due to freezing issues.
Method 2: Using Outdoor Faucet Cover
You can use an outdoor faucet cover as an alternative if you are unable to manage a frost-free faucet due to its unavailability on the market or due to the unavailability of the plumber.
The outdoor faucet cover is made up of a material that is not affected by harsh weather conditions, which prevents the freezing of your faucets even in low-temperature situations.
With an outdoor faucet cover, you will still have to go for the above-mentioned winterizing process to prevent any damage to the water pipes or faucets.
Method 3: Replace Old Faucet With a Modern Frost-Free Hose or Spigot
If you’re worried about the above-mentioned procedures to winterize your water pipes, replacing the old shut-off valve with a frost-free hose will work for you.
Choosing a frost-free outdoor faucet is an excellent idea because this type of faucet is made to safely drain off any water that remain in the pipe when you close the shutoff valve.
You will still need to winterize frost-free hose; however, the process is more straightforward.
- Begin in your basement by turning off the water shut valve off that supplies your outdoor tap. Don’t worry about leftover water in your pipe because it will automatically drain out.
- Ensure you remove any hose connected to the faucet after turning off the water shutoff valve.
- Drain any water remaining in the hose as skipping this step, the liquid in the hose will freeze, damaging the hose itself and causing cracking and leakage of your frost-free outdoor faucet.
In addition, most gardeners prefer this method as it has a lot of advantages and is also inexpensive. It consists of replacing an old faucet with a modern frost-free spigot.
Also, if you are still an old-fashioned shut-off valve drain system, replacing it with the modern frost-free hose or spigot will prevent any damage to your water pipes in winter.
But, What Does Frost-Free Faucet Actually Mean?
Also called a frost-proof faucet, the frost-free faucet is an anti-siphon will cock valve. It has two advantages over the traditional shut-off valve. It is also cheaper, about $35. Here’s a link to purchase on Amazon.
With a frost-free faucet, the pipe going inside your home is longer than a traditional faucet, and the shutoff valve sits inside your home where it is warmer.
When you shut down the water on a frost-free faucet, the water stops behind the valve, set further back inside the home. It means that the water will not freeze because it stays in your home, where the temperature level is warmer. Because you leave the water in the outer part of the pipeline to drain to the outside; therefore, there is nothing left to freeze and trigger pressure in the pipes.
Advantages of Using Frost-Free Faucet
When using frost free faucet, all you have to do is remember disconnecting the hose from it during winter. Here are the advantages of using frost free faucet.
1- Keeps the Water Flowing
The anti-frost faucet keeps the water inside the hose flowing so that it doesn’t freeze.
In addition, the water level inside the faucet will be low when there is no usage of water. This will prevent damage to the water pipes resulting from freezing or bursting.
2- Prevents the Backflow of Water
The anti-siphon valve of the frost-free faucet will prevent the backflow of the water, which will help in draining the water lines. So, there will be no chance of any damage in case of low temperature.
If you want tension-free plumbing in your home that will not disturb you even in winters, go for a frost-free faucet that will not freeze water inside the water pipes. This can also make your winters quite pleasant as there will be no tension of bursting off of the water pipes.
At What Temperatures Should You Cover Outside Faucets?
When the temperature falls up to 28°F or below, you should manage to cover the outside faucets. This may prevent the damages resulting from the low temperature or freezing.
Do You Need To Cover Outside Faucets?
If you live in an area that features 28°F temperature or even below, you should manage to cover the outside faucets. At such a low temperature, the faucet may freeze which may cause different issues like the bursting of the water pipes.
So, the covering can help you prevent such damages resulting from low temperature as this will lower the effects of low temperature on the faucet.
Winterizing the outside faucets will give you peace of mind and may save you money in the future. Whether you’re setting out on a winter trip or leaving your apartment for any other task, winterizing your outside faucets will help you in an effective flow of water when you return home.
Also, it will prevent any damage to your water pipes that may result from freezing temperature.