Outdoor faucets save time and energy in the summer and give you fresh water at your fingertips for watering the garden or filling the pool. They typically do not require maintenance or care during the summer, which makes them easy to forget when cold weather rolls around. Forgetting to winterize your outside faucet in the fall can result in broken faucets, burst pipes and a watery mess to contend with when you try to use them in the spring. How you winterize them depends on the type of faucet you have.
If you have an older home you probably have a traditional outside faucet that requires shutting down and draining the plumbing line before cold weather strikes. Here’s what you need to do to winterize a traditional faucet:
Some faucets are fitted with a vacuum breaker, also known as a backflow preventer. While they typically have a shutoff valve inside the home and can be winterized following the same procedure as the traditional faucet, the vacuum breaker might require additional attention. Water left in the breaker will damage the breaker in cold weather. Follow these tips for handling the vacuum breaker:
Winterizing your outside faucet before cold weather strikes will help you avoid problems with frozen or burst pipes and keep your plumbing in good shape. If you have problems locating the the shut off valves or draining the vacuum breaker, contact your local plumber for assistance.