If you are a homeowner, you almost certainly have at least one outdoor faucet or water fixture of some sort. It is extremely important to remember to shut off the water to these outdoor faucets at the end of each season and completely drain the fixture before your area experiences a freeze.
Consider this—water expands when it freezes, and can occupy up to 10 percent more space than the same amount of liquid water. Now consider your pipes. The pipe is already full when water is in its liquid state, so if that water freezes and expands, the lack of available room will put pressure on the pipe and plumbing system, and will likely result in the pipe, joints, valves or all three breaking, requiring a call to a plumber in Fremont, NE for repairs.
These outdoor water fixtures are especially vulnerable to freezes and cold weather, so you must make sure you do not skip over this chore as you engage in winter preparation. The heat transmitted through the pipes from your home will not be enough to protect exposed outdoor faucets and piping.
With this in mind, here are the steps you need to take to avoid burst pipes during the winter months:
- Close shutoff valves:
The shutoff valve that controls water flow to your outdoor faucets is probably located inside your home, typically in the basement. Find where your faucet enters the house and then follow the pipes to locate the shutoff valve if you are unsure of where it’s located. It might be worth moving the shutoff valve farther into your home if it is located very close to an exterior wall.
- Disconnect hoses:
You should never leave a hose attached to an exterior faucet, as any water remaining inside the hose will freeze and expand, causing some significant damage to the hose. Disconnect it and hang it up for the winter after draining it—this will help your hose last longer, as you’ll be shielding it from the elements. It will also make them less likely to leak at the connector areas.
- Drain faucet:
Open up the faucet and let any remaining water drain out of the pipe, so you don’t leave any standing water inside the pipes that will freeze. This helps you create some space for air within a small segment of the pipe that allows any remaining residual water room to expand without damaging the pipes.
If your pipes are not already insulated, this is definitely something you should consider doing as an added measure of safety. Insulation will protect your valves and plumbing from major variations in temperature. Seal up any gaps, cracks or spaces that allow cold air to move around your pipes so you can keep them protected during the winter months.
These are just a few tips to make sure you keep your outdoor plumbing fixtures in great condition and avoid damage in the winter months. Contact Wiese Plumbing & Excavating, Inc. to speak to a plumber in Fremont, NE and get more information.
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