Time to Drain the Hose Faucet

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With temperatures heading to 32 degrees F this Wednesday evening it is time to think about draining your outdoor hose spigots. In most cases, this is fairly straight forward and can be accomplished by following these simple steps:

  1. Locate the faucets on the outside of the house.
  2. Go inside the house and find the corresponding cut off valve - an example is pictured. Typically there is one valve for each faucet located just inside the basement or crawl space, but sometimes you might have to follow the pipes until you find the valve.
  3. Turn the cut off valve(s) off by turning clockwise.
  4. Go outside the house and open the faucet to allow the water to drain.
  5. Go back to the cut off valve (from step 3) and open the nipple that is pictured at the bottom of the valve. You might need to use a pair of pliers to turn it counter clockwise, and if it is rusted shut you might shoot a squirt of liquid wrench in the lip of the cup. The purpose of this nipple it to introduce a little air in the line to help the water pour out of the faucet, and if the pipes have a little back flow towards the valve the water will drain out here.
  6. When all the water is out of the line, either flowing out of the faucet (as it should with the correct slope) or through the nipple if there is a little negative slope towards the valve, ...then tighten back up the nipple (gently as this is just a wee thread), and I personaly like to leave the faucet open a tick as this will tell me if some water is building up in the line by its noticeable drip.

The lines are now good for the winter. Please keep in mind that if your cutoff valve is in the garage, then keep the garage door closed in the cold winter. Will your pipes freeze at 32degrees F? Not likely but the twentys are likely right around the corner.

Enjoy your home.

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