Disconnect your hose from your hose bib... RIGHT NOW! Ok, so I'd like you to finish this article, but that's the gist of it, so hit the mental pause button and go disconnect your hose from your hose bib now. This is the most critical step in preventing busted pipes over the frigid winter months, especially when we get the very cold days like today.
Of course, there are a few more steps we'd like you to take to minimize any chance of freezing pipes: go find the shutoff valve for the hose bib INSIDE of your home, often in the basement just a few feet from the location of the faucet outside, and shut off the water. Finally, go back out and open the faucet to allow any water to drain out. There, you've done it - and you've just saved yourself from the grief and headache of a broken pipe and thousands of dollars in repairs.
In the last 72 hours we have inspected 6 different homes with hoses attached to the hose bib, and the water still on. All were frozen solid and could very easily have resulted in a broken pipe tonight if left in place. Of course we disconnected the hoses to help protect the property!
Additionally, if you happen to be a real estate agent or have rental properties that may be vacant, please make sure the heat is on. We inspected 2 homes this week that were vacant, the heat was shut off, and of course, the pipes were frozen solid because the interior temperature of the house dropped into the low 20s!
There are lots of fun gadgets you can install, from foam caps and collars to frost-proof faucets. However, the best approach is still plain old common sense; disconnect the hose and shut the water off. If you have a question about your hose bibs or anything else in your home, feel free to give us a call or shoot over an email. Our consultation and advice is always offered at no charge! Stay warm!