Don’t get hosed this winter: Turn off those hose bibs!

Is your outdoor plumbing ready for another rough Northeastern winter?

outdoorspigotA good place to start is somewhere you wouldn’t normally think about: your outdoor faucets. Will you be using them during the winter months? I’m sure most of you would say “no” without hesitation. You won’t be washing your car, house, deck or driveway and you surely won’t be watering your lawn, either.

In fact, as most of us Pennsylvanians know, you may not even see your lawn, deck or driveway as snow and ice will be covering them from late December all the way to mid-April. They will be the last thing on your mind other than scraping snow off of them.

You’ve got to be ready. My first piece of advice: turn off the hose bibs and replace them, if needed.

Your hose bibs are located on your outside walls. You connect your water hose to it before turning on the faucet. Water can freeze inside the bibs, stretching your pipes and causing them to burst.

So, to avoid several hundred dollars worth of water damage and a visit from your insurance claim rep, I recommend that you take the following steps to prevent unnecessary expenses from your pipe bursting:

  1. Turn off your hose bibs and let them drain.  You do that by turning the handle and rotating the stem attached to it. Let the water drain until it’s barely dripping. You definitely want to do this if you are not using them during the winter months.
  2. Install a frost-proof hose bib. It has a stem on a rod. On the end of the rod is a washer which sits on the inside and moves in a circular motion. The washer shuts off the water flow inside the building where it’s warm and prevents it from freezing. (Before doing this procedure, you’ll want to shut the valve off and let water inside the hose bib  run out.)

Unfortunately, I’ve seen many hose bibs that have reached the point of no return because the inside valve to a hose bib that was neither shut off nor drained. This ultimately resulted in a burst hose bib and pipe causing a major leak which rendered them useless. If the valve is not shut off and the hose bib has not drained out for the winter it will  burst. You can count on it.

You can prevent that from occurring simply by calling a licensed plumber from American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing who can replace your old hose bibs with one of the following versions:

  1. Loose key: Homeowner uses a key to turn it off and can give the key to anyone to turn it back on and off
  2. Frost-free: As I mentioned earlier, it’s installed on your outside faucet.
  3. Non Frost-free: Turn off the water and open the hose bib.
  4. Boiler drain: Another type of hose bib that is found on your water heater. It’s removed with a pipe wrench.

So, call a licensed plumber at American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing  at (610) 342-6852 FREE   or check out our website at and let us winterize or replace your hose bibs. Then, when spring arrives, turn them on and let the water flow!

American Drain Cleaning and Plumbing serves Phoenixville, Bryn Athyn, King of Prussia, West Norriton, Bryn Mawr and the surrounding counties.

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4 Responses to Don’t get hosed this winter: Turn off those hose bibs!

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