Hosebibs & Outdoor Faucets

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Outdoor Faucet Tips for Ottawa Homeowners


Frost free hose bibs is the term plumbers use in Ottawa to describe your outdoor tap.   With proper installation and maintenance, your outdoor faucets can last you up to 20 years, but I don’t know how many times I’ve seen brand new frost free hose bibs freeze up.  Your outdoor hose faucet is exposed to harsh Ottawa winter temperatures, and if they’re not maintained properly, you’re going to run into some trouble.  The proper installation and maintenance of a frost free hose bib, or outdoor faucet, is to make sure that there is a drain installed upstream of a ball valve.  This way, when winter arrives, and the temperatures dip below zero, you can isolate the outdoor tap or outdoor faucet by shutting the valve.  After you’ve closed the valve, there may still be water in the line.  The first step would be to go outside and open up your frost free hose bib (outdoor facet, or tap).  This will allow some of the water to escape from the pipe, and I recommend leaving it open for the winter.  Then take a small pail or container, and open the drain to allow the rest of the water to drain out.  If you follow these steps every winter, your now garden faucet or “outdoor hose bib” will last you twenty years or more.

Why do Ottawa winters affect hose bibs and outdoor faucets?

Hosebibs | Ottawa | John the PlumberIf you don’t isolate and drain your hose bib, then you run the risk of an Ottawa winter ruining your basement.  It happens when the garden faucets are exposed to the cold temperatures.  If you haven’t drained the line or shut off the valve then this water will freeze inside the pipe.  When water freezes, it expands causing the pipe to split open.  If you didn’t turn your valve off, then on the first warm day, the blockage of ice will melt, and probably cause the flooding of your basement.  If this happens, start with calling Gordmay Construction for any ottawa home repair services you may require.

If you only turn the valve off, and don’t have a drain installed, then you still run the risk of splitting the pipe, and hopefully when you turn the valve back on in the spring, you will notice the split in the pipe.  I once had a customer who was filling his pool, and the pipe was split wide open.  When he opened the valve, he couldn’t see that the water was running in behind his wall.  He then proceeded to stick his garden hose into his pool, and then left to go grocery shopping.  Needless to say that when he got back home he had a nasty surprise.

This is easily avoided by making sure we have a proper installation, as well as a shut down and drain plan.

If you are looking for our Kingston plumbers and would like a quote on changing your outdoor tap, give us a call today.


John The Plumber

1541 Riverside Drive

Ottawa, Ontario

K1g 4E2



[email protected]

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