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How to Winterize Your Outdoor Faucet

No matter what type of outdoor faucet you have, you still need to get it ready for winter, ideally before the first frost. This is important to avoid having the pipe burst, thanks to water’s natural tendency to expand when it freezes.

Here’s Dave explaining how to winterize both a frost-free and a regular outdoor faucet:

Winterizing a Regular Outdoor Faucet

With most regular outdoor taps, you can protect them using the following steps:

  1. In your basement, find the shutoff valve closest to the outdoor tap. Close it.
  2. For older faucets, there may be a drainage port. If there is, open it while holding a large drinking glass under it to catch the water.
  3. Outside, disconnect the hose and store it.
  4. If your outdoor tap doesn’t have an indoor drainage port, you’ll need to leave the outdoor tap open a bit to ensure all the water has left the pipe.
  5. Close the outdoor tap for the winter.

You’re done! Go inside and enjoy a hot cocoa.


Winterizing a Frost-Free Faucet

A frost-free tap is designed to close off the water further back along the pipe, as opposed to near the front opening like a normal faucet. This allows any water still in the pipe to drain out when the valve is closed (as long as it was installed correctly).

Your winterization steps are simpler:

  1. Close off the outdoor valve.
  2. Disconnect your hose and store it.

The key thing with a frost-free faucet is to disconnect the hose. This ensures that the automatic drainage can actually happen. Leaving the hose connected can actually cause your frost-free faucet to freeze.

Winterizing Saves Headaches… and Money

By following these simple steps, you can save yourself the replacement costs of a burst pipe.

DS Plumbing installs frost-free faucets if you’d like to make your outdoor tap as durable and easy to use as possible.


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