Pipes located outdoors are subject to freezing once outdoor temperatures fall below 20 degrees. A frozen pipe can lead to a burst pipe, and a burst pipe means costly repairs and potential structural damage. Prevention is the key to avoiding burst pipes during the winter. Hose bibs, or faucets, are an outdoor plumbing fixture found on most houses. Winterizing your home's hose bibs is an annual maintenance task that should be completed before the freezing temperatures roll in.

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Hose bibs are susceptible to freezing in winter.

Step 1

Disconnect any hoses from the hose bibs. Drain the water from the hoses. Store the hoses inside during the winter to prevent damage.

Step 2

Turn off any valve inside your home or crawl space that supplies water just to the outdoor faucets. If you don't have a dedicated valve for the faucets, skip to Step 4.

Step 3

Turn the handles to open the hose bibs. Let the water in the pipes drain. Leave the faucets open throughout the winter to release the pressure caused by the freezing of any remaining water inside the pipes.

Step 4

Place insulating covers over all your hose bibs. Check your model for instructions about the method it uses for properly securing the cover over the faucet.