How do I winterize my outside water spigots?

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What is the best way to winterize the outside water spigots and interior pipes? Is there anything specific that needs to be done to the interior pipes to prevent freezing pipes, other than shutting off the main valve?

  4 answers
  • For the outside spigot you turn off the water to them and bleed the lines dry. Is this house occupied or are you closing up a seasonal home? It does make a difference. Even an unoccupied home should maintain a minimum temperature of around 50°.

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    • Traffic is horrendous. And getting worse. I work 42 miles from home. How long do you think it takes? Think really really hard. I need to be at work at 8:00 a.m. sharp. (I like to be early to get myself settled.) I need to leave my house no later than 5:30 a.m. The return trip is typically around 2 hours. 4+ hours a day, not good, I have had multiple back surgeries. If it rains (a rare occurrence), add 1 to 2 hours each way. I get up at 3:30 every morning. Arrive home about 7 or later.


      Cost of living is higher. Take rent for instance. How much is a 2 bedroom apartment where you live? How about an average 3 bedroom 2 bath house? Where I live a 2 bedroom apartment is $2,000 and up, in the city, $3,000 and up. A home here is $3,000+ and in the city $4,000. I couldn't afford to rent. My mortgage is significantly less. My college kid clerks are stacked up 4+ in 2 bedroom apartments in order to be able to afford a place to live. My dump in the desert, in its current condition, could easily fetch $2,500 a month in rent.


      Gas prices? What do you pay? I filled up yesterday with regular. $3.49 a gallon, in the city a buck higher. And I have seen it over $5 A gallon on prime spots off the freeway. And this is pump your own gas, try and find a full serve station. A needle in a haystack.


      Car insurance? Outrageous. Homeowner's insurance, equally expensive.


      San Francisco is higher than LA. Still wanna live here?

  • Oliva Oliva on Dec 01, 2018

    Turn off water to outside spigots. Go outside and open that spigot. If hoses are attached, drain all water from them and remove sprayer attachments.

    Once all water has been drained, you can place a styrofoam spigot cover (available at hardware stores) over spigot and secure it. Turn outside spigot off. If you find that outside handle is too tight, spray threads with silicone.

    From inside your basement, open valve that permits water to travel to the outside spigot and see if any water leaks from inside, wall mounted spigot (if you have one).

    Once interior spigot shows no evidence of water drips, turn valve off for winter.

  • Oliva Oliva on Dec 01, 2018

    Re: interior piping, it's prudent to insulate water pipes with pre-slit foam pipe wrap, available at hardware and Home stores. There are sections available for curves and "T" shapes. Be sure to measure diameter of pipes prior to purchase. You may need to do some trimming, but once in place, remove tape from the slit and press together.

  • Seth Seth on Dec 01, 2018

    Do not insulate your interior pipe unless it is in a crawl space that is unheated. You want your warmer basement air to keep the interior pipe from freezing. Your pipe will lose heat energy from inside to the outside. Insulating the pipe inside prevents warm air from surrounding the pipe and will actually make it colder possibly leading to your inside shutoff valve bursting. If you use a heat tape or wire on the inside portion of the pipe, then you should insulate it.

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