When winter comes and temperatures drop below freezing, outdoor faucets and pipes can burst. This can cause major water damage inside your home and very expensive repairs. But there is an easy way to avoid this problem – just cover and insulate your outside faucets.
Wrapping foam insulation around the pipes and putting plastic bags over the faucets keeps them from freezing, even when it is very cold outside. You may also use heat tape for extra protection. Following these simple steps can save you from a pipe-bursting disaster this winter.
By taking just a few minutes to cover your outside faucets, you can prevent pipe damage and the mess and high-cost repairs from water leaks.
- Key Takeaways
- How To Cover Outside Faucets From Freezing?
- At What Temperature Should You Cover Outside Faucets?
- Why You Must Cover Outdoor Faucets Before Freezing Temps?
- Cost of Fixing Broken or Frozen Pieps
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Faucet covers are essential for protecting outdoor faucets from freezing and causing costly damage.
- When selecting a faucet cover, it’s important to choose one that is the right size for your outdoor faucet and made from high-quality materials.
- Installing a faucet cover is a simple and effective way to prevent freezing and ensure your outdoor faucets stay in good condition.
How To Cover Outside Faucets From Freezing?
If you don’t have a freezeproof outdoor faucet, to protect outside faucets from freezing, you can use various methods such as hard faucet covers, soft faucet coverts, or DIY covers. Here are some common ways to cover outside faucets:
Hard Faucet Covers
You can buy plastic faucet covers at hardware stores to protect outdoor taps from freezing.
These covers are made of thick Styrofoam with a hard plastic outer shell. They slip over the faucet and pipe to insulate it. The covers are inexpensive – usually between $2 and $10 each.
Putting on these plastic covers is quick and easy. Just slip them over the outdoor faucet in the fall. The thick foam keeps the cold out and protects the pipe from bursting all winter. Then you just slide them off in the spring and store them.
The main negative about plastic faucet covers is that they take up a lot of space. Since the foam is thick and stiff, the covers cannot be folded or flattened.
If you have limited storage space in your garage or tool shed, finding a place to keep the bulky faucet covers over the summer can be difficult. They also don’t work well in very tight spaces.
But for most outdoor faucets that need insulating, these pre-formed spigot covers do the job at a low price. And they require very little effort to put on and take off each season. So they are a good winter protection option for pipes that can freeze and burst.
Soft Faucet Covers
You can also buy soft covers to protect outdoor faucets from the cold weather. These covers are made of thick, insulated vinyl or polyester fabric. They have long ties to wrap around the pipe and faucet to keep the cover securely in place.
The nice thing about soft faucet covers is that they are flexible. This allows them to be installed even in tight spaces where hard plastic covers won’t fit. And when winter is over, soft covers fold up flat for easy storage in a drawer or on a shelf.
Soft covers give good freeze protection for less money – usually $5 to $7 dollars apiece. You can sometimes find them sold in multi-packs which saves a bit more.
The downside with soft covers is they may not insulate quite as well as the rigid foam covers. And over time, the fabric can become worn and frayed.
However, the flexibility of soft faucet covers makes them ideal for faucets in cramped spots. And not having to find space to store bulky hardcovers over the off-season is a benefit for many homeowners.
What if winter weather arrives and you don’t have a faucet cover yet? You can make one yourself using things you already have at home. A homemade cover will protect your outdoor faucet all winter long.
You need just 3 supplies – an old T-shirt, some plastic bags, and duct tape.
Start by disconnecting any hose hooked up to your outdoor spigot. Then wrap the faucet and pipe tightly with pieces of the old t-shirt.
Next, top the t-shirt insulation with several layers of plastic bags. Use plenty of bags and wrap them completely around the faucet. Finally, wrap duct tape securely around the outside to hold all the insulation in place.
For extra freeze protection when temperatures stay below freezing, let indoor faucets slowly drip. This keeps water moving through the pipes. Leave kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors fully open so warm indoor air can circulate around pipes.
At What Temperature Should You Cover Outside Faucets?
Outdoor faucets need protection before temperatures drop below freezing – especially if it gets colder than 28°F outside. Icy temperatures make water expand inside pipes, causing them to break open.
But covering outdoor taps prevents freezing problems. Buy insulated faucet covers at the hardware store, or make your own using plastic bags, old t-shirts, and duct tape. Wrap pipes thoroughly and secure covers tightly for the best freeze protection.
You can also help keep all water pipes from freezing by taking a couple of other steps:
- Let indoor faucets drip slowly when it’s bitterly cold. Running water is harder to freeze.
- Fully open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors. This allows warm indoor air to better circulate around pipes.
Why You Must Cover Outdoor Faucets Before Freezing Temps?
Pipe Will Be Frozen
Outdoor faucets and the pipes behind them are not covered or insulated. So when it gets very cold outside, freezing air can reach the water in those pipes. If the water freezes and expands, it can burst the pipes.
If you do not insulate your outdoor faucets, the pipes in your exterior walls might freeze and break open. Then when they thaw, you will have serious water damage inside your home.
To check if your outdoor pipes are already frozen, turn on the faucet and look for only a tiny trickle of water coming out.
If the flow is blocked by ice, you’ll likely need to call a plumber right away. They can safely shut off the water so the pipes can thaw without leaking all over when they finally burst.
When water left in outdoor faucets and pipes freezes, it expands and takes up more space inside the pipes. All this pressure causes the pipes to burst open somewhere – usually NOT right at the faucet but rather somewhere in the walls inside your home.
That’s why insulating and covering exterior faucets is so important. It keeps connected pipes from freezing and bursting. Because when frozen pipes break open inside your walls or ceilings, water comes gushing out into your home.
Cost of Fixing Broken or Frozen Pieps
It can cost a lot to fix a frozen or burst outdoor faucet pipe. The average price to repair a basic sink or indoor faucet is around $200. That includes the plumber’s work time and new parts.
If your outdoor faucet pipe freezes and breaks open, you probably need more repairs. Just replacing a simple outdoor spigot faucet runs $60 to $300. But if pipes deeper inside your home walls burst, labor and repairs get much more complicated faster.
Major pipe repairs involving walls or ceilings torn open can cost thousands. Exact prices depend on things like:
- How many pipes burst
- Size of pipe damage
- Flooding mess extent
- Furniture/belongings destruction
Even on small jobs, most homeowners cannot DIY faucet repairs. But they best protect their wallet by insulating outdoor taps now. Taking a few minutes to cover exposed pipes prevents huge headache expenses later from frozen, burst plumbing disasters. Don’t wait if winter is coming.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Outdoor Faucet Cover For Winter?
There are many types of outdoor faucet covers available in the market. The best one depends on your needs and budget. Some popular options include foam covers, hard plastic covers, and insulated covers. Insulated covers provide the best protection against freezing temperatures.
How Can I Winterize My Outdoor Spigot Without a Shut off Valve?
If your outdoor spigot does not have a shut-off valve, you can still winterize it. Turn off the water supply to the spigot and open the faucet to let any remaining water drain out. Then, cover the spigot with an insulated cover or wrap it with a towel and secure it with duct tape.
Should I Wrap Outdoor Faucets In Freezing Weather?
Yes, wrapping outdoor faucets in freezing weather is a good idea. This can help prevent the water inside the faucet from freezing and causing damage to the pipes. Use an insulated cover or wrap the faucet with a towel and secure it with duct tape.
What Is an Extra Large Outdoor Faucet Cover?
An extra-large outdoor faucet cover is designed to fit over larger outdoor faucets or spigots. These covers are typically made of foam or insulated materials and provide additional protection against freezing temperatures.
James Lewis is a seasoned plumber and faucet enthusiast who shares his expertise on Faucetsavvy.com. With over 15 years of experience in the plumbing industry, he’s passionate about helping homeowners find the perfect faucet for their needs. He’s also dedicated to empowering DIY enthusiasts with the plumbing knowledge and skills needed to repair and maintain their faucets.