Calgary winters often seem to yo-yo between fierce cold and balmy chinooks. But just because we may be seeing a few highs in the double digits doesn’t mean that winter is over. A cold snap can strike just as quickly as a chinook. That said, if you want to turn your outdoor water on for an afternoon to hose off your patio or wash the car, that shouldn’t be a problem as long as you’re careful.
Be Cautious This Early.
Turning on your outdoor water for the afternoon isn’t a problem when the highs are above zero, but with Calgary’s weather, you don’t want to push your luck too soon. April is happy to flip flop between balmy and blizzards, and if your pipes freeze with water inside, the pipe can crack or break leading to a flooded basement, mould, and all sorts of problems.
Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent these issues. Once you’re done hosing off the car, go inside and shut off the water line to the outdoor bibb. The waterline shut-off will likely be in the basement close by to where the outdoor faucet is located. Once the water line is closed, go back outside and turn the water back on. That way any water lingering in the line will be flushed out.
Check For Leaks.
While we’re sure you diligently flushed the water out of your outdoor line in autumn, it’s a good idea to check for leaks when you turn the water on for the first time come spring. That way if there is any damage, you’ll catch the leak right away and can have one of our friendly, Calgary plumbers fix the line before your basement floods.
All you have to do is turn the water line on from inside your home and then go turn on the water from the bibb outside.
If no water comes out of the bibb, you’ll definitely need the help of a professional plumber. Turn the water off at the bibb, and go back inside and shut off the outdoor water line again.
If water flows normally, everything is looking good! Leave the water flowing (maybe use it to water one of your trees) and go back to the basement. Check carefully for any signs of leaks around the outdoor water line. If you flushed the water in fall, everything should be fine, but a quick check is still a good idea.
Invest in a Frost-Free Hose Bibb.
A great, relatively affordable investment for any Canadian is a frost-free hose bibb. You can expect to spend anywhere from $30-$100 on these handy outdoor faucets, but it’s a worthwhile investment since they’ll protect you from frozen lines — even if you forget to turn off the water in autumn.
Need help installing a frost-free hose bibb? Our team of Calgary plumbers is here for you whether you want a new bibb or have a burst line in need of repair. There’s no job too big nor too small for our team to tackle. Give us a call today!