Everyone and everything need protection from winter, including your household items. Outdoor fixtures are even more vulnerable because they are constantly exposed to harsh weather conditions, and one such fixture is the outdoor faucet or spigot. Simple exposure to the cold will make this fixture freeze up and burst. So, how can you keep your outdoor faucet from freezing?
To protect your outdoor faucet from freezing, you should detach the hoses, shut off all valves, and cover them with faucet covers. Faucet covers are insulated materials that can be used to keep the fixtures warm throughout winter, reducing the chances of damage from cold temperatures.
Let’s take a closer look at what happens to faucets in the winter and how you can protect yours. We’ll also look at some of the best faucet cover available on the market.
What Happens if Your Outdoor Faucet Freezes?
When the temperature drops, water freezes in outdoor faucets and pipes. This will cause the water to expand, as ice occupies 10% more space than normal water. As the frozen water expands, it takes up more space in the pipes and faucet until there’s no more room.
Once that happens, pressure is placed on the plumbing system until something finally gives way. The faucet and pipes will burst, including the valves and joints. When this happens, you’ll need to spend a lot of money to repair the faucet or even replace it, depending on how bad the damage is.
How to Winterize an Outdoor Faucet
Besides dealing with burst pipes and faucets, other damages can include soaked walls, floors, and ceilings. All these will cause more headaches for you as a homeowner, so it’s best to avoid having a broken faucet in the first place. That means you have to get your outdoor faucet ready for the cold season by winterizing it. You can do that in the following ways:
Detach the Hoses
One of the first and most important things to do is detach your hoses from any outdoor faucets. A water-filled hose connected to the faucet can be a huge problem later on, as trapped water can cause the plumbing system to freeze up.
After detaching your garden hoses for the winter, drain them and store them in a cool, dry place for the winter. Doing this will protect both the garden hose and the outdoor spigot.
Turn Off Valves
Outdoor faucets are controlled by shut-off valves located in the house. To prevent water from getting into the outdoor fixtures in the winter, you should utilize the shut-off valves. After doing that, drain the faucet.
After turning off the valve, open the spigot and leave it that way for a few hours. Then close it. You need to do this before the weather gets too cold.
Inspect Spigots and Pipes
Now is the best time to inspect your pipes and faucets for leaks and spillage. Check the entire plumbing system to confirm that there are no issues. If you find leaks and drips in any part of the system, you need to repair or replace them as soon as possible, before the temperature gets colder.
Leaving a leaking or dripping plumbing system in the winter can cause pipes and fixtures to freeze, leading to a burst.
Use Outdoor Faucet Covers
The final step to winterizing an outdoor faucets is to insulate them. To do this, you need to use faucet covers on all the fixtures outdoors. These covers are either flexible thick bags stuffed with insulation or square/dome-shaped shells used over your outdoor faucets to protect them in the winter.
Some examples of faucet covers include the Trazon Faucet Cover (on Amazon) and the ArtiGifts Pro Outdoor Faucet Cover (also on Amazon). The insulation in faucet covers is usually enough to keep the spigots protected throughout winter, but you can always use extra loose insulation to be safe.
There are also frost-free spigots that are freeze-resistant, but you might still need to use faucet covers on them if the weather gets too cold. Besides that, rubber washers and gaskets in the frost-free faucets can also benefit from the extra insulation.
Remove Faucet Covers After Winter
After covering up your spigots and fixtures with faucet covers, you can rest assured that your plumbing system won’t freeze or burst. Faucet covers can be used for as long as winter lasts. Once the weather changes, you should remove them and store them away for the next cold season.
Faucet covers are durable, and you can use them for many years, as long as you store them properly.
Best Outdoor Faucet Freeze Protection
There are several outdoor faucet covers on the market, so you might be at a loss for which of them is the most suitable. We’ve put together a list of the best outdoor faucet freeze protection to help you decide.
- Frost King Outdoor Foam Faucet Cover: Our top pick is the Frost King Outdoor Foam Faucet Cover (on Amazon). It’s budget-friendly but still made of the best materials to ensure reliable coverage and protection.
- ArtiGifts Pro Outdoor Faucet Cover Socks for Winter: ArtiGifts Faucet Covers (on Amazon) are thick, heavyweight, and waterproof — a perfect combo for outdoor faucet freeze protection. This faucet cover has been infused with enough insulation to protect any spigot from adverse weather conditions.
- Demedo XXL Outdoor Faucet Cover: One thing that makes the Demedo XXL Faucet Cover (on Amazon) a top choice is that it’s larger than most other options. It’s also waterproof.
- Teal Turtle Reusable Outdoor Faucet Cover: The Teal Turtle Reusable Cover (on Amazon) is easy to use, durable, and reusable. These features make it a favorite among homeowners.
- Tipkits Outdoor Faucet Cover: The Tipkits Faucet Cover (on Amazon) is a heavily insulated cover that fits snugly over a standard fixture. This is another weatherproof cover that you need in your arsenal.