Most people don't give their outdoor hose bibs a second thought until it's time to unwind the hose and water the lawn or hook up the pressure washer and clean off the driveway. And by the time fall rolls around, with leaves to rake and lawns to winterize, hose bibs don't even register on the radar.
These outdoor faucets are a great convenience in the summer. If you're not careful, they can cause giant headaches in winter. Here are some tips from Stahl Plumbing on maintaining hose bibs in winter and avoiding the need for plumbing maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA.
The Consequences of Not Winterizing
Freezing water is one of the most destructive forces in nature, and it can wreak havoc on exterior plumbing if you're not careful. Any water accidentally left in the supply line in the winter months can freeze, expand, and potentially split your pipes. This will lead to a watery mess that requires assistance from 24/7 emergency plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA, to fix.
Step 1: Disconnect
Proper winter maintenance starts with disconnecting your hoses. Failure to do so traps water that will freeze up your spigot. Keep in mind that it only takes one cold snap to cause issues. Connecting and disconnecting your hose takes only seconds. Get in the habit of disconnecting your hose after each use, and you'll always have a leg up on protecting your outdoor plumbing.
Step 2: Time to Inspect
Once all hoses are disconnected and the water is off, take a look at your outdoor fixtures and inspect them for leaks. If left unchecked, these tiny drips can freeze and back up your pipes, causing a problem that can only be fixed by all-service plumbing in Pittsburgh, PA.
Step 3: Drain the Pipes
The good news about empty pipes is that they won't burst. There are two ways to accomplish this. If your system is set up to shut off water access to outside spouts, do that, and then drain the line. Take this one step and you're all set. If not, just make sure to insulate your hose bibs. Many companies make hose bib covers specially designed to fit snugly over your outdoor faucets. It's also possible to make your own hose bib insulation with some foam, heavy-duty tape and a little bit of ingenuity.
You can stack the deck in your favor by installing frost-free hose bibs. It extends through the sidewall of your home. The heated interior ensures that the bib won't freeze in extreme cold. However, frost-free bibs aren't immune to freezing. Water left in attached hoses can freeze, expand, and cause issues, so ALWAYS remember to disconnect hoses for the winter! It's also a good idea to insulate these frost-free faucets; better safe than sorry.
Stahl Plumbing has been providing affordable plumbing service in Pittsburgh, PA, for more than 60 years. We take pride in our ability to handle just about every household plumbing issue. A little winter preparation can go a long way, but if you ever need plumbing maintenance in Pittsburgh, PA, look no further than Stahl Plumbing!