home reno/DIY · Projects

Ease the Winter Freeze

 

Prepare for winter! Avoid a frozen mess from an outdoor pipe burst

Have you been winterizing yet? Umm yeah sure 🙂  An essential priority on your winterization checklist you may forget- do you take care of your outdoor hose faucet?

Prepare for winter! Our leaky hose spicket is a condition for a frozen mess to develop
Our leaky hose spicket

What do I mean you ask?  Do you always remember to turn off the water valve to the outdoor hose spicket before the freezing cold temperatures come? Shhh….we forget sometimes too!!

Prepare for winter! Is "Turn off shut-off valve to hose spicket" on your checklist?
Our shut-off valve for our outdoor hose spicket

 Or perhaps you add an outdoor faucet cover on the outside over the hose spicket.  Shhh….we NEVER do this!!  This pic is from Amazon because we don’t even own one!

Winter preparation: Is this on your checklist? How about not anymore!!!
FaucetBeanie Outdoor Faucet Cover from AMAZON

There may have been years you remembered this winterizing ‘TO DO’ and years you forgot, but in either case, everything was fine and you dodged the dreaded pipe freeze….OR SO YOU THOUGHT.  However, if you have a leaky hose spicket, then it is quite possible your spicket had undergone some freeze damage at some point in time without you knowing.  AND….a leaky hose spicket is a problem and quite common.  By doing this one thing, you can remove “Remember to turn off that darn valve!”  off your Winterization TO DO LIST forever!

Winter prep- switch to a freeze-less outdoor hose faucet
A Freeze-less outdoor hose faucet

SWITCH IT OUT TO A FREEZE-LESS OUTDOOR FAUCET!  I bet many of you didn’t know this even existed. We didn’t until a few months ago.  We had a leaky hose spicket,  so Ed decided to switch to a freeze-less to prevent any pipe problems from occurring.  You have to check these hose spickets out.  Ed got this at either Home Depot or Lowes.  We are not paid by anyone to promote these.  Ed was just excited to come across this and wanted to share! 

If DIY plumbing may be a problem?  Call someone to do it!  You may not think it is a big deal but let me just show you this old pic from when my kids were smaller.

We were out of town visiting family and I needed a Christmas pic for our Christmas card.  I suddenly saw one of the townhouses on our walk that had a bush with icicles all over it. There hadn’t been any ice storm.  It hadn’t even rained in a week!!  We realized their leaky outdoor hose spicket had burst on a freezing day because they had forgotten to care for their hose faucet.

Winter Prep: Look at the frozen bush! Result of frozen hose spicket burst
Nope not visiting Canada here!

Her little karupped look in her eye I know :)…  Runs in the family, hehe!

Of course I couldn’t miss an opportunity to take advantage of this frozen bush especially when my kids just so happened to actively be eating candy canes…It was a perfect setting for a Christmas Card!  Do you see that pic.. you guys, am I right?  However, Ed thought differently and said I was taking advantage of this poor persons misfortune….blah blah…”they may be out of town blah…get in touch blahblah  and they have no idea blahblahblah spicket burst”.  “But Ed, my Christmas card!” HAHA …Alright, he was right, maybe I was being a little cold-hearted.  Funny thing was, after I hurried them into position behind E’ds back to snap a quick pic, there was another family right behind us who thought it was a great idea.  baHA!  This mess got more play than Santa and the fire engine down the street where we were actually going. OK ok…We tried to see if they were home.    Unfortunately though, no one was there, we were out of town ourselves and there was nothing we could do to help this homeowner out.  Wow, that must have sucked to come home to that!

That same homeowner has just now googled about frozen spickets, is now reading this story, and sees their frozen bush…….. “Oh thaaaat little B”!

I’m sorry, forgive me whomever it may concern…..just couldn’t resist! I did get the BEST Christmas card picture out of it that year!!!!:):) Ed is shaking his head at me right now.

So here we are.  A freezeless outdoor spicket would prevent any horrible mess like this one inside or outside of the house just because you forgot to turn a valve.  Look at the 2 types of hose spickets.  The left is the old hose spicket and the right is the new improved Freezeless.

Inside these outdoor spickets, there is an inner valve mechanism.  When you turn a regular old hose spicket on and off, this inner shut-off valve is opening and closing OUTSIDE of your house.  This means that the water flow is stopped and under pressure at the valve point, and with it being outside and exposed to the elements, it is more likely to freeze.    Look at these 2 pictures again with my drawn arrows.

winter prep: switch to freezeless outdoor hose spicket...this is why
Our old spicket

On the freeze-less type, the inner shut-off valve is farther down the pipe purposely placed to be in the inside of your heated house.

winterization: switch to a new freeze-less outdoor faucet
FREEZELESS

I will spare you all from the “exciting” diy plumbing installation pics! 😉 Please comment with any installation questions since Ed did install it and I do have those pictures if you need to see something.  If you own a new home, it is possible you already have a freezeless hose faucet but it is worth looking at it to see what you have.  Each house is different so installation may vary considering the type of pipe and where the shut-off valve is in your house.    However, I wanted to show how it is a pretty simple switch out that can be attached to all of your existing plumbing.

winterization: switch to new improved freezeless outdoor faucetNOTE: The new freezeless 1/2 inch outdoor faucet has a slightly bigger diameter which may involve drilling a bigger hole through your cinder-block(or wood).  However, the pipe connections are all 1/2 inch and will connect fine to your existing 1/2 inch pipes.

Here is the before and after on the outside of the house:

Inside the house – the before and AFTER the switch to freeze-less:  See…It is a pretty seamless switch.

Every year, our mantra- “OMG- it was 20 degrees last night and we forgot to turn off the hose spicket valve!!!”  After this switch to a freeze-less hose spicket I feel like I can rest easy knowing that we won’t be waking up to a mess in the morning or when we come back from vacation.  winterization: frozen bush shows the result of a frozen hose spicket burstAfter seeing the real consequence of a frozen pipe freeze, as much as this Christmas pic continues to make me giggle, it won’t ever haunt me thinking it could possibly happen to me.  Although after writing this post…..thoughts of possible revenge from these angry homeowners may be slightly daunting  :/  Until our next project….

Happy winterizing!!

K. Rupp

Everything Karupped- Winterizing your home by switching to a freezeless outdoor hose faucet

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8 thoughts on “Ease the Winter Freeze

  1. Thanks for the reminder. We haven’t winterized yet. I know, not good of us. I like that there is a freeze-less option. I never knew that. Thanks for this tip! Your picture is so cute for your Christmas cards! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know we didn’t either! Around here temperatures are sort of drastic. 70 degrees can drop to 30 degrees the next day often in the Fall and Spring. It is easy to forget when you are blindsided like that! HAHA. Sounds like I would love South Texas! I like to be warm:) Thanks for stopping by Roseann!

      Like

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