When winter comes, especially here in the Northeast, it is important that we are ready. Not just with making sure the HVAC works or reversing the fans, but also that our outdoor faucets are ready.
Likely, they won’t be used for a while so putting a cover on the outdoor faucet can help in keeping the pipes from freezing. Do outdoor faucet covers work? Yes! If you cover and seal them appropriately, you can prevent your pipes from freezing.
Let’s take a look at why this is important, style of faucet covers, reasons to use these, steps to install, cost, dewinterizing, and when to call a professional.
Why This is Important
In the Northeast, we have many cold days where the temperatures may not get above freezing, along with nights that are bitterly cold. We have winterized our home and think we are ready for the first cold snap. However, are we? What about the pipes?
When the freeze comes, the pipes can freeze and burst, thus outdoor faucet covers are used in hopes of keeping this from happening and also to keep air and heat from escaping the home.
You don’t want to do cover them when the first freeze hits, but in the fall when you are setting up the house for the winter cold.
Styles of Outdoor Faucet Covers
1. Rigid thermal foam – looks like a cone and fits over the spigot. You can tighten it to create a seal.
2. Flexible insulated bags – fit over the spigots like a sock to keep the cold air out.
How the Outdoor Faucet Covers Work
The faucet covers trap the heat that naturally goes out of interior pipes to the outdoor spigot. The cover is insulated and doesn’t allow the heat to escape so the water doesn’t freeze. Thus, there is no expanding or breaking of the spigot or pipes.
Reasons to Use Outdoor Faucet Covers and How They Work
Drafts in the Home
Drafts in the home can lead to higher electricity bills. When looking for drafts in the home, such as by the door or window, homeowners don’t think to look where the spigot is attached to the home to see if there is a draft. Covers for the spigot can help with this.
Prevent Pests from Making Nests
When it gets cold outside, many small animals like to get into places where they know they will be warm. One of those is in the spigot. The last thing you want is an animal making a nest inside. This can cause blockage in the hose and pipes and possibly something destructive can happen that we can’t see.
Avoid Water Running Unnecessarily
The outdoor faucet covers can also act as a childproof device to keep kids from turning the water on accidentally. Thus, this can save you a lot of money. Think you may have a water leak though? You may need a professional to come out and check it for you and also check your water meter.
Keep Others From Using Your Water
Some of the covers come with a lock and this is good to have if you think your neighbors or the construction crew next door might be using your water. If you can’t find one with a lock, you can buy a lock to attach to it. You can find out if the water is being used by installing cameras or checking your water bill each month.
Avoid Disasters and Expenses That Can Be Prevented
If your pipes freeze to the point of bursting, you will have a lot of damage inside the walls along with the floors and ceilings. This will require a lot of money and time to fix. Using the spigot covers can help avoid this situation. If you are one who heads south for the winter, you want to make sure that you use these so there are no surprises when you return home in the spring.
Steps to Install an Outdoor Faucet Cover
Want to install an outdoor faucet cover on your own? You can!
- First, go to the outdoor faucet and take off any hoses or accessories that are attached.
- Look at the faucet. Are there any leaks or repairs that need to be made? Complete repairs before putting the covers on. This is because the purpose of the cover is to keep the drafts out and that can’t happen if there are leaks. The cover can’t do its job.
- Turn the water off and drain the water out of the pipes and faucet.
- Look for the loop inside the cover and put it around the faucet- but not the part that turns.
- Cover the faucet with the faucet cover and pull the string to make it have a tight seal. Mash the button and then pull the string tighter for a better seal.
- Finally, if you want to take the cover off, mash the button and loosen the string.
Cost of an Outdoor Faucet Cover
You can buy these at the local hardware store or online and they cost about $5-20 depending on the type of outdoor faucet cover you buy.
Dewinterizing the Home
After winter and the last cold snap, dewinterizing the home is important. There are many things to do and one of these is checking the outdoor spigots and making sure they open and close easily. Additionally, you want to make sure that there is good water pressure. If the water pressure is low, you will want to investigate.
When to Call a Professional
If you find there are issues with the pipes or spigots, contact a professional for help. They can come out to your home and help you.
Winter weather can cause havoc on the home in many places in the U.S. Preparing for the first freeze early can help avoid any financial or house disasters. Have questions about outdoor faucet covers? Or need an inspection to make sure everything in the home is working well? Leave us a note below or contact us and we can help!