Preventing Hose Bib Pipe Bursts
Outside faucets, or hose bibs, are one of the fixtures and pipes most vulnerable to freezing in your home. Since they protrude from the outside walls of your home, they are exposed to freezing winter temperatures. Often times, most homeowners won’t notice they’re frozen until the spring.
Most hose bibs are marketed as “freeze proof.” In order to be frost proof, an outside faucet must be up to code. Meaning, The washer inside the spigot that closes the valve must be far enough inside the wall that it will not expand and burst during a freeze.
Prevention – Protect the Hose Bib
Insulate the exposed faucet from freezing temperatures. There are many low-cost techniques to protect a hose bib. I’ve seen people wrap them in towels or extra insulation.
You can also purchase Styrofoam covers. Styrofoam covers are foam cups with rubber straps that attach over the spigot. These are the most popular insulators.
Disconnect the Hose
Hose bibs are designed to trickle out water away from the valve and out of the spigot after you turn the faucet off – they’re cantered down to release excess water. Leaving a garden hose on the outside faucet may actually build up water or ice (under freezing conditions) that will retain or push water back towards the valve – defeating the purpose of the hose bib.
Winterize Your Home
If you’re going to leave your home for more than a day, then I would recommend winterizing your home. Make sure you leach excess water from your home’s plumbing to reduce freezing pipes and pipe bursts. When in doubt – call a local, professional plumber to winterize your home. If you have any questions about water damage or need a free inspection. Call the Bend and Central Oregon pros at (541) 205-9354.