Frozen Outdoor Faucet


Old 12-25-08, 10:49 PM
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Angry Frozen Outdoor Faucet

First off I am an idiot for not turning one of my outdoor faucets off before the winter. What do I do now? There are no signs of frozen pipes inside my home and I just turned off the shut off valve that goes to the outside faucet, was that good to do? I have been reading and it looks like I may have to get a hair dyer and heat up the outside faucet in hopes to get the water to come out. Is this true? Of course I cannot turn the knob since it is frozen.

Please help.

Thank you,

The Big Dummy
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Old 12-26-08, 04:15 PM
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Hey, big, you have the right idea. Don't under any circumstances use a flame. The hair dryer is the best tool. With the shut off valve closed, heat the outside until you can turn the handle and let it all drain out. Hopefully you don't have a split pipe from your shut off valve to the bib. We'll wait to hear your results.
Old 12-28-08, 08:20 AM
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With the temp in MN being 37 degrees I was able to open the faucet. Should I leave the faucet open or close it at night?
Old 12-28-08, 08:22 AM
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I would say leave the faucet open - that way if water is getting past the shutoff valve you have a chance of noticing.
Old 12-28-08, 08:52 AM
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They make those inexpensive (cheap) little covers that can be strapped over the faucet to give it some protection. If you have insulation inside, like the rim joist, pull it back around the area of the pipe to allow more warming from inside. The energy loss will not be noticable. Since you are in cold country, this will be an every year problem, so consider the frost free shut-off controls which automatically drain when turned off. Isolate it from the cold and expose it to the heat and you will be all set.

Old 12-28-08, 11:21 AM
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Frozen Outdoor Faucet

Keep out outside faucet open with the shut-off closed and the "bleeder: open.

Those stupid foam "ear muffs" do make a big difference if they can cover the outside faucet. If you have narrow siding or an irregular surface. you may want to add a littl more foam for a better fit.

I use them every year since I have a supposedly freeze-proof faucet, but the pluming is buried in a finsihed wall and the sut off is has very poor access and is 15' away. Fortunately, the copper picks up enough heat to keep everything warm enough even though it is a north facing wall that never sees sun in Minnesota. So far, it has worked in -20F.

It is much easier to prepare early instead of doing it in the cold.

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