Imagine my surprise when I came home from work one freezing cold evening and found water flooding my basement. I ran to turn off the water and then I called the plumber. Even though it was late in the evening, the plumber immediately came to my house and fixed the busted water line. The plumber told me that I could have prevented my water line from freezing and busting if I had winterized the pipes. After researching various methods, I insulated the pipes so they won't freeze again. My name is Joel Hampton and this blog is about the different ways to winterize your plumbing pipes to keep them from freezing. Coming home to a basement filled with water is a nightmare and I hope that after reading the information in my blog, it won't happen to you.
The hose bib is nothing more than an outdoor faucet. On most suburban homes, hose bibs are on the outside walls of your home so that they provide a handy spot to attach a garden hose or sprinkler for use in the yard. Just like the plumbing inside your home, the hose bibs require periodic maintenance and repairs.
Signs of a Broken Hose Bib
You may not notice a broken hose bib as quickly as you would spot damage to an inside tap, simply because you likely use the hose bib much less. For this reason, it's important to know the signs of a break. The most obvious sign is a leak. Hose bibs can drip from the faucet or leak from around the handle or base, just like an indoor tap. In some cases, the hose bib may always drip, while in others, you may only notice a leak around the base or tap handle when the faucet is running.
Another common issue is a major loss of water pressure from the spigot. This may happen in conjunction with the tap handle becoming difficult to move, or the pressure may drop without any other issues presenting.
The most common cause of hose bib damage is from freezing temperatures. Water trapped in the spigot or water line freezes and expands, thus breaking components in the tap or bursting the water line itself. Freeze breakage can result in a visible leak, or there may be a hidden leak further back on the line that causes a pressure drop.
Damage can also occur to components within the hose bib. Worn gaskets can affect pressure and cause leaks. A failed pressure regulator on the water line or hard water scale in the faucet are other common causes of pressure drop. Poor lubrication and corrosion can also make it difficult to fully open the tap.
The necessary repair depends on the cause of the leak. If the issue is with a worn gasket or pressure regulator, then the repair will be a straightforward replacement of the gasket or regulator valve. Sticking tap handles may require nothing more than lubrication, or you may need to replace them if they have become badly rusted or corroded.
Leaks due to freeze breakage may require more in-depth repairs. The faucet or water line will often need to be replaced, and water damage repair inside the wall may be necessary. In this case, replace the faucet with a frost-resistant variety to prevent future issues.
A plumbing repair service can help if you notice a leak or other problem with an outdoor hose bib.