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Why is My Outdoor Faucet Freezing?

John Turpin is our resident home service repair expert here at Service Direct. He’s got the knowledge and experience to help homeowners like you make sense of most home repair issues. And with Service Direct, we connect you with top-tier service professionals to help with any repairs needed.

How You Can Stop The Outdoor Faucet Freezing

Every summer, residents in Chicago have to cope with the inconvenience and potential danger of broken pipes. This plumbing issue is not restricted to the occurrence of cold temperatures, but frigid temperatures are not restricted by the month of the year either. Temperatures may drop precipitously in the midst of a lovely springtime.

You need to be aware that it is possible for it to occur in your region as well. An outside faucet freezing over is probably the last thing on your mind when it hasn’t been cold in a while. It is possible for it to occur throughout the night, leading to burst pipes and leaving you to wake up in a wet home.

Have you ever dealt with a frozen outdoor faucet? This following article was put out for you so that you are aware of what you should do based on what is known about recovering houses that have been flooded during the spring as a result of faucets which ruptured because of the cold weather.

Outdoor Faucet Insulation
Check out this article for help with frozen outdoor faucets.

Guide To Prevent Outdoor Faucet From Freezing

You probably have insulation covering many of the plumbing pipelines in your house. They share the house’s insulation and may turn on the thermostat to warm themselves. Pipes might explode if they freeze, thus this information is crucial. Most individuals who live in colder areas have outside faucets, and even if every part of their inner plumbing appears secure and warm, they may still freeze.

Any experienced plumber can unfreeze your faucet and get it working again if you’re unsure about doing it yourself. There are things you can do if your faucets haven’t frozen yet to ensure that they never do.

Draining Before Winter

Draining water lines before the first of winter’s freezes is the simplest and least expensive approach to avoid pipe freezing. Water supply valves for outdoor fixtures are often situated in basements, so checking there is your first step. Then turn on every outside water fixture and let everything drain entirely.

To ensure appropriate drainage, disconnect the faucet from any splitters, hoses, or other accessories. The pipes won’t freeze if there’s no water inside them. A dedicated valve for outdoor faucets is ideal, but not everyone has one, and regardless if they have one, people might not be aware where theirs is. Luckily, there are alternative ways to prevent water damage to these fixtures.

Get A Frost-Free Bib For Your Hose

If you don’t have access to draining your exterior lines, a hose bib which is resistant to frost is the ideal replacement. This bib is going to replace your previous faucet entirely and extend a few inches in any side of your home to reach the water shutoff mechanism. By installing a valve only for that tap, you can quickly drain it during the winter months.

Changing out your spigot or bib with a frost-free one might be a daunting task that requires you to have soldering, caulking, plus plumbing understanding. Feel free to contact a trained plumber for expert installation services if you’re in need of them.

Insulate The Faucet

Insulating each faucet before winter sets in is another preventative precaution you should take. Styrofoam or insulated fabric bags are available to use as outdoor faucet coverings. To keep them in place, the covers often hook above the faucet, making annual installation and removal a breeze.

Outdoor Faucet Repair
Plumbing insulation is the best way to protect your outdoor faucet from freezing over.

How To Properly Thaw A Frozen Outdoor Faucet

Your property may suffer severe water damage if the water faucet located outside freezes over during the winter. When the faucet becomes too cold and freezes, it generates a great amount of pressure, which has the potential to harm the components of the spigot and perhaps break the pipes.

The water distribution system for the remainder of the home includes the pipes which are located behind the exterior faucet. This connection may result in bursting frozen pipes within the walls, which can then lead to floods in your basement as well as the rest of your house.

The good news is that you can prevent a spring frost from damaging an outside faucet by following each of these easy procedures.

1. Turn On Affected Faucet

Turn the handle of the faucet all of the way up. When you do this, the internal stem washer is unseated from the valve’s seal. This allows water to begin flowing again after the frozen faucet has been thawed.

2. Cover In Towels

Cover the handle, supply pipe, along with the spindle using towels or cloths that have seen better days. You should make an effort to get the wrapping as tight as you can, but you should still allow enough space around the entrance of the faucet to allow the thawing water to start flowing without any problems.

In this article, Our resident home repair guru, John Turpin, delves into the reasons behind your outdoor faucet freezing and provide practical DIY solutions and tips to address the issue.

3. Soak In Boiling Water

Pour boiling water onto the covered spigot in a careful manner. Soak the material in a gradual, even manner, then stop and examine the faucet for any trickles. It is possible that it might take you more than one attempt before the faucet starts to completely unfreeze.

4. Verify That The Water Flows

Wait several minutes after you have established a steady trickle of water before stopping it. After turning the frozen faucet off for a moment, you should then switch it back on. All frozen parts of pipe that are located beyond the faucet should unfreeze once water begins running through the hopefully now thawed faucet.

You may also defrost a frozen outside faucet by using a blow dryer or simply by covering it in thermal tape. Both of these solutions are viable options for fixing the problem. Both approaches call for an electric tool, so use extreme caution. If you are unable to utilize either item without the assistance of many extension cables, the most prudent course of action would be to make use of hot water plus towels.

Thawing Frozen Outdoor Faucet
Follow John’s DIY steps carefully to get your outdoor faucet working again.

Frozen Outdoor Faucet FAQs

Is it important to keep my outdoor faucet from freezing?

Pipes that are linked to any external faucets are susceptible to freezing circumstances even if the majority of the plumbing pipes inside a house are protected from the cold by insulation and get warmth from the house’s HVAC system.

If the weather outside makes temperatures fall past zero degrees, there is a risk that the water within the pipes could freeze, causing them to expand to the point of bursting, which would result in water damage to your home.

The plus side is that if you learn how to protect outdoor faucets from freezing, you won’t have to worry about having to contact for urgent plumbing assistance because of pipes freezing over.

What happens if I don’t fix my frozen outdoor faucet?

Thawing a frozen outside faucet may prevent various problems. Freezing faucets may expand water and damage pipes, causing leaks when they thaw. Significant leaks may damage your house and raise your water costs.

Frozen faucets may also cut off water to the external tap until they defrost. This makes gardening and cleaning difficult. In addition, prolonged freezing could harm the connection between the pipe to the faucet, heightening the danger of damage.

Should I contact a plumber to fix my frozen outdoor faucet?

Professional plumbers can safely defrost the faucet, inspect it, and fix it. If you fear freezing damage and want to avoid it by insulating and preparing your outside faucet to withstand subsequent freezing weather, you should seek their advice. A plumbing professional can fix the problem and avoid water damage from frozen exterior faucets.

Hire a Local Plumbing Pro

If you encounter challenges or have concerns about your frozen outdoor faucet, reach out to a local plumbing professional using the form and phone number on this page. They can provide expert assistance to ensure your faucet functions correctly and prevent potential damage.

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