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How to Protect Your Outside Hose Spigot in the Winter

Leaking outside hose faucet / Spigot

How to Protect Your Outside Hose Spigot/Faucet in the Winter

Protecting your outdoor spigot during the winter is essential, especially in regions like the Northwest, to prevent freezing and potential damage. Here’s a detailed guide on what you should do to safeguard your outdoor spigot:

Steps to Protect Your Outdoor Spigot

  1. Disconnect Hoses:

    • When: By the end of October or at least before the first freeze.
    • Why: A hose or irrigation device left attached can freeze, causing pressure buildup and potential damage to the spigot. Reattach hoses in early spring (end of March or beginning of April).
  2. Insulate the Spigot:

    • How: Wrap the outdoor spigot with a hard plastic or foam cover.
    • Where to Buy: Available at any hardware store or online.
    • Purpose: This insulation helps prevent heat loss and keeps the pipe from freezing.
  3. Install a Frost-Free Hose Bib:

    • Function: These are designed to prevent freezing by shutting off the water flow inside the house where it’s warmer.
    • Important Note: Even frost-free spigots require that you remove the hose in winter to function correctly.
    • Maintenance Tip: Be aware that cold weather can cause the vacuum breaker to leak in the spring, but this can be easily repaired.
  4. Use an Interior Inline Shut-Off Valve:

    • Upgrade Consideration: When replacing or upgrading to a frost-free hose bib, consider installing an interior inline shut-off valve.
    • Benefit: This allows you to shut off the water from inside the house, enabling you to drain any remaining water from the pipe feeding the outdoor spigot, adding an extra layer of protection against freezing.

By following these steps, you can help protect your outdoor spigot from freezing and the potential damage that winter can bring.

Why You Should Consider Hiring a Professional Plumber

While some homeowners may feel confident in tackling these tasks themselves, there are several compelling reasons to consider hiring a professional plumber:

  1. Expertise and Experience:

    • Professional plumbers have the knowledge and experience to identify the best solutions for your specific situation. They can recommend the right products and ensure proper installation.
  2. Quality Assurance:

    • Hiring a professional ensures that the job is done correctly the first time, reducing the risk of future issues. Improper installation can lead to costly repairs down the line.
  3. Time-Saving:

    • A plumber can complete the work quickly and efficiently, saving you valuable time and effort. They can also identify and address any other potential plumbing issues during their visit.
  4. Safety:

    • Working with plumbing involves dealing with water pressure and potentially hazardous conditions. A professional plumber has the necessary tools and training to handle these safely.
  5. Peace of Mind:

    • Knowing that your outdoor spigot is properly protected by a professional gives you peace of mind, especially during harsh winter months.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed decision to protect your outdoor spigot effectively while ensuring the safety and integrity of your home’s plumbing system.

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