Frozen pipes are never fun. After waking up one morning to a frozen outdoor water tap I decided to be better prepared for the next winter.

Preparing Outdoor Faucets for Winter

Step One: Check the perimeter of the house and locate all exterior faucets. Remove any attached hoses and drain residual water.

Step Two: Inside the home, locate the individual shutoff valve in each supply line leading to a faucet. These should always be a lever-style valves as opposed to standard faucets and incorporate a bleed cap to drain residual water out of the pipe.

Step Three: Turn the water off at the shutoff valve. Open the outside faucet; allow any excess water to drain out. Return to the inside shutoff valve and remove the bleeder cap to drain remaining water out of the pipe. Replace the bleeder cap and close the outside faucet.

Step Four: Some older houses don’t have indoor shutoff valves for outdoor faucets. A professional plumber can retrofit the standard faucet with a frost-free faucet that allows you to leave the water on year-round. Alternatively, some hardware stores stock faucet insulation kits that can be installed on the existing faucet during the winter months and removed during the summer.

Avoid expensive water damage; prepare outdoor faucets for winter. For more advice to prevent freezing pipes in Chicago, contact Drain King: 773-238-4801.

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