You probably don’t want to start thinking about it yet, but winter is coming! We’ve already seen some little white flakes drifting down and had a few mornings with a hint of Jack Frost in the air. Along with tuning up the snowblower, bringing in the lawn furniture and plants, you should be thinking about your plumbing!

Outside Lawn Faucets

Frozen outside faucet and hose

Don’t wait until the first snow to take your hose in!

This spring and summer, we replaced a record number of outside lawn faucets. We also serviced a number of burst pipes leading to outdoors faucets. Last winter was harsh on these fixtures, with multiple days below zero. Some days the mercury never made it up to zero degrees for the high. Since water expands as it freezes, if you don’t turn the shut off valve in the basement off, chances are very good that your pipes will burst and the faucet will not work next spring.

First, locate each outside faucet – many homes have more than one. Go down into your basement with a flashlight and locate the shut off valve for each faucet. It’s likely to be over your head, leading directly outside through the foundation. Most shut off valves are ball valves – turn the flat handle perpendicular to the pipe, as shown here. Your pipe  will  probably be horizontal. Repeat for each outside faucet. It’s a good idea to walk around your home’s perimeter to make sure you’ve got all faucets!

Next, go back outside and open the faucet. This will allow any water between the shut off valve and the faucet to drip out.

During the winter, it’s a good idea to occasionally check your faucets – if you see frozen drips or icicles, give us a call and we can check out your shut off valve and piping.

-Deb Axness at Jake the Plumber