spigot cover

Remember to Winterize Your Outdoor Pipes

Take it from me, the guy who had to use a hacksaw to remove his hose last season: You don’t want to deal with this later in the season.

This is one thing you may not consider until it’s too late, but if you haven’t done so already, you’ll want to take the necessary steps to winterizing your outdoor pipes.

By “outdoor pipes” I’m specifically referring to your hose spigots and/or any sort of pipes that may be running water to your garden or pool.

As temperatures continue to drop, the risk of water freezing inside the pipes increases significantly. In addition to that, if you still have your hose connected to the outdoor spigot, then the cold will cause that metal to contract to a point where it might be almost impossible to remove it.

Once you’ve removed the hose, you’ll want to find your water shut-off valve, likely located somewhere in your basement or garage, and shut off all water to those pipes. Then, before you cap it with an outdoor spigot cover, open it up and let the water drain until its down to its last drops.

Now the final step is often something that I could never really get a clear solution on. Some websites and how-to guides suggest keeping the spigot in the open position for the remainder of the winter, while others recommend shutting it off. The idea is that if water does build up, and said water turns to ice, the indoor pipes in an “open” state will at least allow for expansion and/or melting without bursting entirely. Then there’s the other idea that keeping them closed from the very beginning won’t allow for any water to build up, so what does it matter if the pipes are closed?

I’ll leave that decision up to you and encourage you to do your own research. And the very least, you’ll want to shut off the water and cap the spigots to ensure you’re winterizing your pipes for the remainder of the season.