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Winterizing Outside Water Faucets

You can prevent water damage to your home by winterizing your outside faucets each fall. Winter temperatures can freeze the water that is trapped in the outside faucets and pipe connections. In some cases, this can damage the faucet or cause the pipe burst in the wall. Turning off the water supply to your outside faucets is the best way to prevent this problem.

Time Needed: 30 minutes
Frequency: each fall
Number of steps: 4
Tools you might need: small pail or container, stool or ladder, towel, pliers, crescent wrench
Skill level: moderate

Step 1: Locate Outside Faucets

Locate all outside faucets. There is a separate shutoff valve inside for each outside faucet.

Step 2: Locate Inside Shutoff Valves

Locate shutoff valves inside for each outside faucet. Inside valves have similar handles but may be painted different colors. Inside valves will also have a small cap used for draining excess water from the pipe to the outside faucet.

Step 3: Turn Off Water

Turn off water at inside valves by turning handle clockwise. Next, open outside water faucets. Drain excess water inside by opening drain cap with pliers, holding pail underneath to catch water. When water stops draining, close drain cap and snug slightly (Do Not Over-tighten!) with pliers. Close outside water faucets.

Step 4: Insulated Covers

Turning off the water and draining at inside valves is the best course of action, however you can also purchase inexpensive insulated covers for your outside water faucets. These are easy to install and will offer some protection against freezing.

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