With the freezing cold temperatures we have been having lately, we have gotten quite a few calls for water line leaks caused by frozen pipes. Remember that water expands when it freezes. When a rigid pipe full of water freezes, that water will expand and exert so much pressure that it can rupture your pipes and fittings. So it is important to make sure that any water lines that could be exposed to freezing temperatures are properly protected.
How To Protect Your Pipes In Freezing Temperatures
- If you have a crawl space under your house, make sure all of the vents and entrances are covered throughout the winter months. This greatly reduces the cold air flow that can freeze your pipes under the house.
- Make sure water lines running through exterior walls are properly insulated.
- Winterize your hose bibbs until spring – see more steps below!
- If you lose power and do not have a source of heat for your house for an extended period of time, turn all of your faucets on to just a trickle. Moving water will not freeze.
Steps To Winterize Your Hose Bibbs
- Disconnect any hoses that are still attached to your hose bibbs, drain them, and put them away.
- Locate the shut off valves for your hose bibb water lines and turn them to the off position to stop the flow of water through those lines.
- Open your hose bibb outside so that the water in that line can drain out – this is the most commonly missed step!
- Leave that hose bibb open until spring when the temperature stops dropping below freezing and you are ready to turn the water back on.
- Finding Your Shut Off Valves
- Your valves could be located in your basement near your main shut off valve, or along the water lines leading to the hose bibbs.
- If you have a crawl space follow the line to your hose bibb until you find the shut off valve.
- Each hose bibb will have its own shut off valve.
- Remember To Open The Hose Bibb
- Just turning off the shut off valve for the hose bibb will not prevent the line from freezing.
- By opening the outdoor hose bibb handle you drain all of the water in that line that could freeze and damage the pipes.
Need More Help?
Sometimes it can be difficult to locate the shut off valves, or the valves can break and no longer shut off the water. If you have trouble with any of the steps to winterize your hose bibbs, or if you are dealing with a water leak, give us a call at 540-642-0023 or submit an online service request!