A hose bib is a on the exterior of your home and has many uses.  It is used most often for connecting garden hoses. Unless a home has a frost-proof hose bib or the home is located in a climate where temperatures do not dip below freezing during the winter, homeowners will need to winterize their hose bibs in the fall and open them up again in the spring. In idaho falls, where temperatures regularly get below freezing, this is a vital plumbing task that most homeowners can handle themselves. If the hose bib is not winterized, freezing temperatures can cause any water left inside the spigot to freeze and expand, causing the pipes to crack. This is a fast task and one that is well worth a homeowner’s time because it can save him or her from hundreds of dollars of damage to the home and the plumbing.

First, homeowners will need to find the shut-off valve inside their homes. This valve is always separate from the valve that controls the rest of the water inside the home. It could be in a utility room or closet, or it may be hidden in a less conspicuous spot, such as a basement or crawl space. Those who have more than one outdoor spigot may have a separate shut-off valve for each one. A plumber will be able to help homeowners locate these valves if they have difficulty finding them.

Second, once the valve is located, it should be turned off. This can often be done with a quick push of the handle if it is controlled with a ball valve. The valve is off when the handle is perpendicular to the water line. Those who have gate valves will need to turn the small wheel clockwise to shut it off.

Third, homeowners must remove all hoses from spigots. Hold up the hoses vertically to drain all water from them and to prevent them from freezing and bursting during the winter. They should be kept in an insulated garage or a basement during cold months.

Finally, homeowners should head outside to turn on all outdoor spigots and let any excess water drain from them. The faucets can be left open throughout the winter. This will prevent any water from freezing and cracking the pipes should the shutoff valve leak.

Now that the hose bib is safely winterized, homeowners will want to consider making an investment in getting frost-proof hose bibs if they do not already have them. This type of spigot ensures that no water is left in the part of the water line that would be open to cold air. When the water shuts off, all of the water drains out of the hose bib because the valve seat is inside the warm part of the home.

Contact an idaho falls plumber, First Call Jewel for help with this or other plumbing tasks that will help keep a home safe and comfortable over the winter months.