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How to Keep Hose Bibs from Freezing

Are you ready for the long, cold winter? Did you refuel the snow blower? Get your snow tires on the car? Did you drain your hose bibs?

Protecting your hose bibs from freezing is often one of the last winter chores many homeowners tackle — but it’s a crucial one. If you neglect to drain it, your hose bibs will still contain enough water to turn to ice. Allowing outdoor bibs, or spigots, to freeze destroys the bibs themselves, the hoses, and can even damage your pool pumps or indoor pipes.

It’s no exaggeration to say that a few minutes of prevention, draining your hose bibs, can easily save you a few hundred dollars.

Learn to how to find and drain both your hose bibs.

When to Drain Your Hose Bibs

Any time is the right time to drain your outdoor bibs — any time before they freeze, anyway.

As soon as you know you’re finished working or swimming outside for the year, you can feel free to drain your bib. However, you absolutely MUST drain them before the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.

We see the most emergency frozen pipes and frozen bibs at 20 degrees and temperature below. However, snow on the ground and wind chill can cause your outdoor spigots to freeze at a higher temperature.

If the temperature is dropping, the wind is blowing, and some snow is piled up, look out!

How to Drain Hose Bibs

Step 1: Find your hose bib outside.

Step 2: Use the location of the outdoor bib to locate your outdoor bib shutoff valve – inside your house.

Step 3: Turn the indoor shutoff valve until you feel it close.

Step 4: Test the outdoor faucet to ensure the water is truly shut off.

Step 5: Remove the hose and drain it of water. Store the hose inside your shed or garage.

Step 6: Drain any remaining water from the hose bib.

Step 7: Go back inside and find your “bleeder” valve which will allow you to drain the final drops from the outdoor bib. Collect the droplets in a bowl or basin and then pat yourself on the back — your hose bib is ready for winter.

Drain Your Pool Bib (if you have a pool)

Owning a pool is an awesome source of relaxation. During the summer, nothing beats having a one, however they require extra maintenance. Just like with your hose bib, you need to drain your pool bib to prevent freezing damage.

The steps to drain a pool bib are very similar, you just won’t need to worry about an indoor shutoff valve or a hose.  Typically your pool bib is found on your pool pump — follow the same steps and you’re ready for winter.

Frozen Hose Bib Damage

When water freezes into ice, it expands. When water inside an outdoor bib expands, it tears apart the rubber hose and fractures the outdoor bib.

Furthermore, if you left your indoor shutoff valve open (step 3) the ice can actually push into the piping in your house. That’s what causes the really expensive damage.

The same way that a frozen hose bib damages your home’s plumbing, your pool bibs can damage your pool pump. Keep them free of water and completely unfrozen.

Keep Hose Bibs from Freezing: Wrap-Up

When it comes to your hose bibs, a few minutes of prevention is worth hundreds of dollars and a huge headache.

Find and drain your hose bibs to prevent damage inside — and outside.