Frozen Hose Bib? Not this year!!
Updated: Sep 24, 2021
How to Prevent Broken Hose Bibs and Frozen Pipes
The cold winters can play havoc with the water systems and pipework in your home. If you are interested in picking up some tips and advice on how to prevent broken hose bibs and frozen pipes, you’ve come to the right place. Prevention is far better than repair and if you follow the recommendations highlighted below, you may be able to save a lot of time, effort, and crucially, money.
First things first, though, just in case you are unfamiliar with the terminology, it might be a good idea to clear up exactly what a hose bib actually is.
Hose Bib – What’s That?
A hose bib often referred to as a sillcock is a section of pipework and faucet on the exterior of your property that is used to hook up your garden hose to your water supply. The problem with this important connection is that because it is partially sticking outside the property, it is more vulnerable than other pipes to freezing. If your hose bib freezes up, several things could happen. For one thing, it could thaw over when the weather improves, and everything will be fine.
However, more serious issues include it splitting and causing a leak after the weather improves and because of its connection to your home, the water could leak into your house.
Obviously, the last two scenarios are the ones you would want to prevent.
How can you do it?
By following the steps below.
Turn the water off to the line your hose bib is connected while the temperature is still above freezing, when you know you won’t use your garden hose anymore.
Next, you need to drain the hose and disconnect it completely from the bib.
Then insulate the bib, particularly if there is any northern exposure and you should even consider having a frost-free sillcock installed that is designed to be more effective at withstanding cold snaps.
How to Prevent Frozen Pipework
Most of the other parts of your home’s piping are unlikely to freeze up, particularly if you have effective insulation and live and stay in the house. The areas of your house where the water lines are vulnerable are found in the parts of uninsulated or unheated parts of your home like the crawl spaces, basement, or garage. You also need to be aware that the piping around cabinets and those attached to exterior walls are at risk of freezing over.
Preventing pipes from freezing over is a lot easier than you may think.
If you don’t already know, find out where the shut-off valve is for your water supply if there are emergencies, and make sure it is clearly marked out.
Think about either winterizing part of your water system if possible or even shutting it off. This is especially important if you are leaving your property during cold weather spells.
On the occasions when you are only gone for a day or at night when you settle down, make sure your thermostat is set higher than 55-degrees
Install insulation into the areas where the most vulnerable pipes run and/or add insulation around those pipes. You can even buy an insulated hose bib (faucet) cover at your local hardware store. They are often found in the garden section.
To stop pipes from freezing, you should keep a slow and low, steady drip running through the most at-risk piping.
For more information, help, and advice, speak to a professional At 24HR Flood Response, although a lot of our work revolves around dealing with emergencies and repairs, we can help provide preventative help too.