Outdoor faucet (water spigot) winter care.

As thru winter we do forget to cover for the uncovered and end up dealing with burst pipes.

Thanks Gaurav (From waterton) for his contribution with below writeup and images.

Outside Wall faucet (water spigot) leaking behind the wall or siding.
First thing first – It’s called frost proof Sillcock Valve. To search and buy another one.

You might have left the hose connected during freeze time (below 30 degree Fahrenheit or 0 degree Celsius)
You might have left the faulty vacuum breaker on faucet which retained the water in the faucet pipe inside. That was the cause in my case. reference below for 12 inch and 10 inch, advice to check the existing (busted) faucet size before ordering.

PCR homes outdoor faucets are of a ‘frost-proof’ variety. These faucet special construction places the shutoff valve in the home wall several inches behind(see picture) the outside handle (maybe 6 to 14, depending on faucet). In other words, the valve is in the framed wall (where it stays warm) and the handle and spigot is outside in the cold of winter. This design allows the water to drain away from the valve and out the spigot, leaving the valve warm and unfrozen. The problem is when a hose, etc. is left on the faucet in freezing weather. As the water at the spigot freezes, the water that is trapped in the pipe between the spigot and valve gets compressed by the freezing water. Eventually the pipe between valve and spigot splits.

1. Remove garden hoses, drain them and if possible remove the vacuum breaker(in my case this was the culprit). The long pipe between valve and spigot should remain empty during freeze time.
2. If you have the individual shut off valve that supplies the hose bib then turn it off. Most of the PCR homes don’t have it. Then open the hose bib outdoors to let the rest of the water drain out.
3. Put the insulation cover, if you want as it doesn’t really help with the freeze but force you to remove hose which is one of the big culprit.

The only solution is to replace the entire frost proof faucet assembly( available at Lowes and Home depot for $40), for this 1-2 bricks might have to be removed to make space to loosen out the faucet and replace it with the new one. If you are really good DIYer and use right tool, you can do it without breaking any brick.

Contributed by : @gauravkvarshneygmail-com : Gaurav from – Waterton

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