As the weather turns colder, you may find yourself looking forward to all those appealing winter-related things: snow, cozy fires, holiday lights and warm cocoa. But it's also a time for thoughtful preparations, and a faucet cover for your outdoor water faucet needs to be at the top of your winter-prep list. The last thing you want during low winter temperatures is a frozen faucet and pipes. Freezing water can create expensive damage, which is common if your pipes are consistently exposed to the cold.
Outdoor water faucets are specifically susceptible to this kind of damage and can sometimes burst under the pressure of expanding ice. If you're lucky, only the body of the exterior faucet will burst during frigid conditions. When luck isn't going your way, however, the rupture can occur inside the walls of your home, leaving a giant hole in your drywall and possibly a bigger hole in your pocket. But don't worry — there's a simple two-pronged solution available to help prevent this catastrophe: Take preventive steps beforehand and install insulated covers on your faucets.
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Prevent Frozen Outdoor Faucets
You can prevent ice from forming in your outdoor water pipes by taking a few common-sense precautions:
Cut off the main water supply to the outdoor faucet.
Close the supply valve located outside your home before the weather turns frigid.
Remove any water hose attached to the faucet.
Open the faucet to drain all remaining water, once the outdoor water supply is shut off.
Drain underground sprinklers if you have them.
Cover your outdoor pipes with insulating material, especially if the temperature is forecast to reach the subzero range and/or you don't have a separate outdoor valve for cutting off the main water supply.
How to Make a Faucet Cover
Whether your nearest hardware store is sold out or you simply prefer taking the do-it-yourself route, creating your own faucet covers takes very little time and effort.
Things You'll Need
- Stack three plastic foam cups inside each other.
- Cut off the topmost parts of the top two cups so all three cups are the same height.
- Tape the
cups over the faucet if you don't have an empty plastic bottle or the
- Cut off the bottom half of the bottle and place it over the cups for an added protective layer.
- Stuff the insulating material (fiberglass, thick socks or old towel) between the cups and the bottom part of the bottle.
- Duct-tape this over the faucet. If you don't have duct tape, drill a hole and use zip ties to secure it over the faucet.
If you're using fiberglass insulation, don't forget to wear gloves while handling it. And when you finally use the duct tape to secure the cover, make sure to use it liberally so the cover is firmly held in place for the entire season.