After a long winter, most homeowners are eager to get outside and start putting their yard in order. Whether you’re an avid gardener with fruit trees, vegetable beds and flower gardens, or you prefer the clean look of a wide swath of lush grass; exterior faucets make the job easier. These handy water sources are often taken for granted…that is, until they don’t work the way you need them to.
Follow these tips from St. Paul Pipeworks to keep the water flowing when and where you need it.
Keep Faucets Working Properly
All too often, property owners deal with leaking, cracked, clogged or broken exterior faucets. Maybe it’s simply due to the fact the faucets are located outside and aren’t used as often as interior ones. If your faucet had those problems inside the house, you would fix it immediately. That’s not the case with exterior faucets. For some reason, we’re more willing to let them go. But keeping your exterior faucets in good working order doesn’t take much effort, and it can prevent damage from occurring down the line.
Before your faucets get to the point of needing replacement, there are a few things you can do to protect the faucet and your home.
- Remove hoses at the end of the season. Even if you don’t store away the hose for the winter, at least disconnect it from the spigot. If you leave the hose connected, any water that is trapped inside has nowhere to go, leading to expansion and contraction as the weather changes. This puts pressure on the pipes and can cause them to burst or crack inside your home.
- Fix leaks. Not only can leaky faucets cost you money in terms of wasted water, they can cause water to drain along the foundation or leak into the home. This can cause foundation problems or water damage inside your house. If the leak or crack is on the pipe, the water may not even be able to exit the home. Fixing a leaky faucet is far less expensive than tearing out damaged drywall or repairing your foundation.
- Replace or repair tight handles. If your faucet is hard to turn on or off, replacing the faucet might be the best option. Too much strain when turning the handle can lead to cracks in the piping. Equally as important, a faucet that is difficult to operate won’t be used as often, if at all, rendering it nearly useless and not as likely to be maintained over the years.
Add Exterior Faucets To Make Yard Work Easier
Many homeowners don’t realize that adding more exterior faucets is an option. Instead of lugging around hundreds of yards of hose to get water where you need it, have an exterior faucet installed closer to where you’ll be using the water.
Exterior faucets can be added to nearly any type of home, but those with basements are particularly well suited for adding these faucets. If the plumber can get to the rim joist under the main floor of the house, he or she can install an exterior faucet regardless of what type of material the house is made of, or what material is on the outside of the house. Even brick homes can have exterior faucets added with ease if your plumber is a pro.
Remote faucets are another option. These faucets are detached from the home and located closer to the area needing water. To construct a remote faucet, the pipes will need to be buried beneath the frost line, generally between 5 and 7 feet, and run from the house. This option is more costly than adding a spigot to the outside of the house, but can be a good option, depending on how far away from the house you need the water.
Think About Frost-Proof Faucets
Frost-proof or freezeless faucets allow the property owner to turn the water off inside the house, rather than outside. The interior pipes on these types of faucets extend anywhere from 12 to 24 inches into the home. By cutting off the water supply that far into the house, and removing hoses from the spigot on the outside, any water trapped inside the pipe can drain out before it has a chance to freeze and cause damage to the pipe. It’s important to remember that even if you install a frost-free or freezeless faucet, in the winter the hose must be removed to allow water to escape from the exterior faucet. In addition, weather sealing around the faucet and the foundation of the home can prevent cold air from working its way into the home and freezing the pipes from the inside.
There’s no need to struggle with faucets that are difficult to operate, located in inconvenient places, or broken. A professional plumber can repair, replace or add new exterior faucets quickly and with very little alteration to your home, so you can get water flowing where you need it most.
For more information about exterior faucets or other home plumbing issues, contact St. Paul Pipeworks at 651-644-9400.