Saturday, October 6, 2012

Prepare your outdoor shower for winter

There are certain things that you should be doing around the outside of your home before the temperature drops below freezing.

One of the big things that people forget to do or don’t even realize that they have to do is removing any outdoor shower heads. A lot of people today have outdoor showers or dog showers. These shower heads are usually hand showers so that you can accurately wash off your feet and legs before you proceed into the house. If you don’t take the time to remove the hand shower and the hose that it is attached then you could end up with the hand shower and the supply line freezing. When water freezes it expands in size, when water turns to ice and expands in a confined space like a plastic or copper line then it ruptures the line causing it to burst. This will basically destroy the hand shower and the hose attached to it. The other thing that can happen is that the water that is still in the line can freeze, this will allow the cold to travel into the tap that it is attached to the fixture and ultimately freezing the tap as well. Once the tap has frozen then the copper or plastic pipe on the inside of the house freezes and splits. This means that instead of having a broken shower head on the outside of your home you have a burst pipe in your basement that can potentially flood it with water.

The other thing that you have to do before the temperature drops below freezing is remove any garden hoses that you have still attached to your outside taps. Garden hoses are famous for holding water in them, since there is water left in them then it can freeze and if it freezes then if can actually freeze the tap it’s attached too bursting the pipe attached to the tap on the inside of the home, those flooding the basement.

You don’t have to take the garden hose inside to the warm of the house, allowing it to freeze usually doesn’t do any damage to it, as long as there isn’t something attached to the end, like a pressure nozzle.

If you have outside taps that are “frost free” then you don’t have to worry about them freezing as long as there’s nothing attached to them. If they are the older conventional taps then you need to make sure that there are shutoffs on the inside of the house. They need to be placed far enough inside of the building that they are in the heated space. You need to turn the shutoffs to the closed or off position and then go outside and turn the tap on so that any excess water from the pipes empties out.

If you have sprinklers or water lines that run to an outbuilding you should be giving them the same treatment to prevent freezing and those preventing leaks.

Rob Abbott
Operations Manager
Village Builders Inc.

1 comment:

  1. Very informative, Rob! Prevent frozen pipes rather than cure it. Now, if you open your faucet
    but nothing comes out and you suspect it's a frozen pipe, just keep it open! Let the frozen areas melt until the water starts to flow. Also, check your other faucets for other possible frozen pipes case.

    Darryl Iorio @