Outdoor pipe freezing

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Old 01-06-14, 04:24 PM
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Outdoor pipe freezing

I'm sorry if this has been asked, I looked for this and I've found similar topics but not exactly what I am looking help on.

Temperatures are getting worse tomorrow and I'm worried about my outdoor faucet where my garden hose is freezing up.

So, I know the best answer is to disconnect the hose, shut off the valve inside then open the faucet outside to let out any remaining water. But here is the problem: nobody can figure out where that pipe is coming into in my basement...so we can't shut the water off. I'm sure if I brought in a pro plumber or contractor, they would find it in a moment and make everyone look like fools. But I tell you, it's not where it should be, it's the darnedest thing.

I'm not looking to tackle the issue of my missing pipe. I'm looking to figure out a way to get through this next cold snap coming tomorrow. So my question:

I know it isn't ideal, but can I use the trick of running a small stream of water on the outside faucet tomorrow to prevent freezing there? I know that trick can be useful for indoor faucets when there isn't electricity or similar scenarios, but I can't find whether or not I can do the same outside. It will drop right into a drain so I'm not worried about flooding or ice or anything like that. I'm just looking to protect my home in the short-term (ie the next 24 hours).
 
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Old 01-06-14, 05:07 PM
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For tonight, I would just turn off the main water to the house, and open the outside sillcock. Then, when the temp moderates, call a plumber. Yes, disconnect all hoses.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 05:50 PM
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I'd second gilmorrie's suggestion. A trickling faucet works well when it's 20 or 30 in a crawlspace, but you'll see it freeze quickly if dripping outside.

Definitely disconnect the hose, that will solve many issues right off the bat. often times because of the way the outdoor faucets are run, the warmth from the house will keep them from freezing.

Turning off your water main overnight will ensure you don't wake up to a mess of a flood.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 07:13 PM
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Unfortunately, shutting off all water isn't an option for us for personal reasons. But I can definitely disconnect the hose outside. I won't drip it though per your reply, so hopefully, unhooking the hose will suffice.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 07:29 PM
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Where is the outside faucet in relation to bathrooms , kitchen or laundry areas?

Often the shut off is located under sinks.. Open up the cabinets and look around..

Another place is in the laundry rooms... Lone valves sticking out of a wall...etc..

Last look for access panels in closets or walls near where the hosebib is...

Is this a frost free hose bib???

If its frost free disconnect the outside hose and your done... You should not have an issue...
 
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Old 01-06-14, 08:38 PM
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I don't know if it's frost free. If you couldn't tell, I'm new to homeownership and not very good at this stuff.

I already went ahead and took the hose off, and it was already icy, right at the end of the hose where it screws in, it was all ice. So I turned the faucet on to see if it was frozen and it was. But I warmed it up and water started flowing again. I dried it off and went in.

But now I am getting a little worried. So I worked something out so we can shut off the water to the house. My question is, is there any risk or problems with shutting it off? I mean, I noticed that after the water meter, the water pipes go into the house heater. (I have a Weil mclane heater in the basement with radiators throughout the house). If I shut off the water, won't that be affected? Any other issues?
 
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Old 01-06-14, 08:45 PM
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Yes.... the water line connects to the heating system but it should be ok just overnight.
 
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Old 01-06-14, 10:11 PM
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Take a pic of thehose bib when you het a chance...

Or tell me if it has a plastic cap on the top above the handle?
 
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