Turning off your outdoor faucets sounds simple enough, but each fall many homeowners forget or neglect to winterize the faucets on the outside of their homes. This can be a costly mistake, potentially costing hundreds of dollars in repairs. Water can stay trapped in the pipe behind the faucet and freeze in the cold weather, causing pipes to crack or burst.
The first step to prevent this from happening is to locate each outdoor faucet on your home. Next, you will want to determine the style of your faucet(s). Newer models are generally frost proof. If this is the style of faucet on your home, winterizing is as easy as disconnecting any hoses and turning the water off. In these frost proof models, the valve is located well behind the faucet itself so the flow of water is stopped on the inside of your home. (See picture below)
I f you determine that your faucet is not a frost proof model, you will need to locate shut-off valves that should be installed in your basement leading to your outdoor faucets. You will need to turn these valves off to cut off the water supply to the faucet. Next, you should open the faucet outside and allow the water between the shut-off valve and the faucet to drain out. It is important to note that although all the water may not drain out, as long as the pipe is not full, the remaining water should have enough room to expand without breaking the pipe.