Go Back

Tips for Winterizing Your Hose Bibbs

winterizing-your-hose-bibbs-360Most homes have one or more outside hose bibbs that need to be winterized in the fall. The hose bibb is the tap or faucet where you connect your garden hose.
To prevent damage to the bibb or the pipes, the water supply must be shut off and hose bibbs must be drained before the freezing temperatures arrive. The process of preparing your hose bibbs for the winter is straightforward.
Simply follow these steps for each of the bibbs you have around the house. (Note: if you have frost-free hose bibbs, then all you have to do is remove the hoses to prepare them for the winter.)

Step One

Each of the hose bibbs will have its own shut-off valve located inside the house. They are most commonly found in the basement, utility room or somewhere in close proximity to the hose bibb. They are sometimes concealed under the kitchen or bathroom sink and usually have a colored handle. Turn the valve clockwise completely to shut it off.

Step Two

Return to the hose bibb outside and turn the tap on to allow the water to drain.

frozen-hose-bibStep Three

Some hose bibbs have a vacuum breaker attached to the hose end. Also commonly known as a back flow preventer, a vacuum breaker is designed to prevent the contamination of your home’s drinking water. There are two different kinds of vacuum breakers.

  • For vacuum breakers with a pin: located in the center of the valve where the hose attaches, push the stainless steel pin to the side and hold it in place until the water stops draining.
  • For vacuum breakers with a black ring: pull the black ring around the vacuum breaker up until the water stops draining.

Step Four

Go back to the shut-off valve in the house. Place a bucket or small container under the valve. You’ll find a cap or thumbscrew on the side of the shut-off valve. Remove it to allow a small amount of water to drain out.

Step Five

Before replacing the cap or thumbscrew, return to the hose bibb outside and repeat step three, leaving the hose bibb valve open. You can now replace the thumbscrew on the shut-off valve, tightening gently with a pair of pliers.
Don’t turn the shut-off valve back on until the spring, when you’re ready to de-winterize your hose bib.
With the water completely drained out of your hose bibb, it’s now ready for the harsh cold of winter.
Winterizing your hose bibb is a relatively easy task for the average do-it-yourselfer. Of course, if you prefer not to take any chances and leave the task to a plumbing professional, the experts at The Plumbing Dr in Arlington, VA will be glad to take care of it for you. Call us today at 703-525-9280.