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Old 01-16-2009, 02:22 PM
 
6,224 posts, read 9,785,494 times
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Default Outside spigot froze up! What to do?

OK I didn't think it could happen to me, but it did! I have two spigots, one on each side of my house. One was fine today, however when I turned the second one it didn't even turn! It was frozen. I used a hairdryer and after a minute of that it was able to be turned and water flowed out.

My question: What can I do about it? Should I leave it dripping? I've read mixed reports about leaving outside facets running. I hate to do it but I was also thinking about leaving my hairdryer propped up on a ladder and turned on facing the spigot to keep it warm.

I turned off my main water supply, and opened up the facets to drain all the water I could, then closed them and turned the water back on but there is no internal shutoff so I am worried that it will freeze again tonight.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:41 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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They make these styrofoam "covers" you can put over them, which will probably help a little bit--though when it is down in the teens, that might not be enough.

Thanks for the heads-up...maybe we should all run the spigots before we go to bed to at least give them less time to freeze up.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Turn off the feed to the spigot inside the house if possible. Then leave the spigot open.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
OK I didn't think it could happen to me, but it did! I have two spigots, one on each side of my house. One was fine today, however when I turned the second one it didn't even turn! It was frozen. I used a hairdryer and after a minute of that it was able to be turned and water flowed out.

My question: What can I do about it? Should I leave it dripping? I've read mixed reports about leaving outside facets running. I hate to do it but I was also thinking about leaving my hairdryer propped up on a ladder and turned on facing the spigot to keep it warm.

I turned off my main water supply, and opened up the facets to drain all the water I could, then closed them and turned the water back on but there is no internal shutoff so I am worried that it will freeze again tonight.
I have not done this here. But in Portland we use to buy spigot insulators from the hardware store. It's a styrofoam 1/2 oval thing (usually grey). Inside it has a plastic strip that attaches to the spigot. It's like a cozy for an outdoor faucet. That might help.
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Old 01-16-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: ITB Raleigh NC
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Yeah use one of the covers, without airflow over it, it should not freeze.

I assume you have crawlspace, if possible wrap the pipes under the house or put put a lamp there overnight and it should keep things warmer and not let it freeze.

Check for holes and airflow under the house and seal those up (make sure vents for the crawlspace are closed).
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:05 PM
 
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I was thinking about a cover, but not sure what effect that will have. How does it keep it warmer than freezing? If it's outside no matter how you cover it if it's got no heat won't it freeze?

No crawl space, it's a slab. Also no way to turn off the spigot inside the house, just outside. Unless I turn my main water supply completely off.
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Old 01-16-2009, 03:51 PM
 
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as long as there's no hose of any kind connected to it, you should be fine. The problem is when the water inside a line freezes - expands - and then bursts your pipes.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:19 PM
 
Location: Southeastern Cumberland County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheelsup View Post
I was thinking about a cover, but not sure what effect that will have. How does it keep it warmer than freezing? If it's outside no matter how you cover it if it's got no heat won't it freeze?

No crawl space, it's a slab. Also no way to turn off the spigot inside the house, just outside. Unless I turn my main water supply completely off.
Our house is built on a slab, as are the two houses on either side of us. My husband left both of those houses outside faucets dripping last night--and they were fine this morning. He wrapped and covered ours....when he tried to turn ours on this morning, the pipe burst....he had a cold morning replacing that. It will be left dripping tonight.
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Old 01-16-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by LRoyal10900 View Post
Our house is built on a slab, as are the two houses on either side of us. My husband left both of those houses outside faucets dripping last night--and they were fine this morning. He wrapped and covered ours....when he tried to turn ours on this morning, the pipe burst....he had a cold morning replacing that. It will be left dripping tonight.
Good to know thank you! How would I know that the pipe was burst? I would assume I would know by now? Would I see water dripping from where it's located inside the house? I didn't hear water rushing when I turned the main water feed back on, and it's been on for hours.
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Old 01-16-2009, 05:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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You'll know if water is running, just look for moisture around it, either inside or outside the house.

What happens is water freezes inside the spigot, next to the 'sillcock' and cracks the housing. May be a small drip or may not notice anything wrong. Then when you turn it on, or the ice melts, you've got a big issue all-of-a-sudden.

If you're replacing it anyway, then spend $2 more dollars on an anti-siphon spigot. The sillcock/valve is 12" within the house and the outer side drains each time the water is shut off. So there's no water near the outside to freeze. Works quite well -I leave hoses attached and never had an issue. I thought it was a building code to have this type spigot.

If you are concerned this night then let it drip, imo - 1 drop/second should be plenty as the moving water will keep it warm enough. Those foam 'ear-muff' covers trap some heat from the house.

Last edited by CajunWon; 01-16-2009 at 05:24 PM..
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