If you’re from a region where the weather gets cold, you already know the importance of preparing your yard for fall and winter. Before freezing temperatures hit, there are things you should check off your list. From winter-proofing your pool to raking and mulching your leaves, every responsible homeowner should be winter-weather prepared. But your pool isn’t the only thing that can freeze. You need to prevent your garden hose from freezing, too.
A frozen garden hose can be more destructive than you think. From destroying your hose itself to causing significant damage to your plumbing, freezing water in your hose should be avoided at all costs. Here’s how you can protect your home, and prevent your garden hose from freezing this winter.
How To Prevent A Frozen Garden Hose
The process of preparing your garden hose(s) for winter is simple and straightforward, but follow steps carefully.
1. Turn off the spigot.
Your first action should be to turn off the spigot. Then, make sure that no water is currently flowing through your hose. Turn the spigot until it is tightly in the off position.
2. Turn off water.
The water flowing to your garden hose has to come from somewhere and for most homeowners, the source is inside your home. Most homeowners will have a separate valve for their outdoor tap. To ensure pressure does not build up in your main pipes, this should be shut off as well. The correct shutoff valve should be located on the inside of your home, close to where the external tap is located.
3. Work out any kinks or knots.
Kinked hoses cannot be stored properly. If you fail to unravel and unknot your hose before storing, you will be shortening its life. A well maintained hose can endure up to a decade of regular use. To unkink your hose, walk the length of it, working out any affected areas.
4. Drain the remaining water.
Once your hose has been carefully unraveled and is smoothed, drain all remaining water from inside the hose. If you have a spray head attached, discharge the extra pressure using the sprayer. Then, remove and manually drain all water from the length of your hose.
5. Disconnect hose from spigot.
After draining water from the entire length of your hose, you can safely detach it from the tap or spigot. Unscrew carefully and allow any excess water at the source to drain away. Ensure there is no water left in any part of your house that may freeze if your hose is stored outside.
6. Wind and store garden house for the season.
After the water is turned off, and the hose is neatly unwound and drained, it is time to move on to winding and storing. Then, make sure that you are using a quality spool or reel for your hose. Great hose storage systems will ensure the hose does not knot, coil, or kink over the winter months.
Once your hose has been wound, store accordingly. Many homeowners simply store their hoses in sheds or garages for the winter season. If you have space and a heated basement in your home, storing a hose indoors can guarantee that it will not be affected by the winter elements.
What happens if your garden hose does freeze?
So, let’s say you forgot to take the preventative steps above. What can unsuspecting homeowners expect from an unfortunately frozen garden hose? Well, the results of this will vary in severity.
In some cases, the damage may be limited to the hose itself. Freezing water expands. Because of this, the same forces that cause cracks in concrete and roadways every year are not going to spare your expensive new garden hose. In mild cases, freezing may simply create micro tears in the wall of your hose. These tears can easily become holes, and the lining of your hose will begin to weaken. Eventually, your hose will likely split under pressure.
In more severe cases, a frozen hose can mean big consequences for your pipes. A frozen garden hose that remains hooked up to your water system can spell disaster. Pressure may build up in your water pipes and water lines. Left untreated, this pressure can create big problems such as broken pipes, costly repairs, and water damage inside of your home.
To avoid this disaster, simply remember to turn your hose off in the fall and winter months. However, this isn’t an option for everyone. If you have a need for a garden hose in the colder season, there is a solution on the market–the heated garden hose.
Heated Hoses For Winter
Not many of us have a need for a hose during the winter. There’s little foliage to water and no kiddie pools or sprinklers to splash around in. However, there are circumstances where a heated hose can make a difference.
A heated hose is relatively affordable, and can resist freezing even at temperatures that range below zero. Relatively affordable and available for purchase on Amazon, anyone can invest in one of these. Just make sure you have an electrical outlet to hook them up to, and you’ll be off to the races.
At the end of the day, a happy homeowner is a prepared homeowner. If you take the right steps to make sure that you home is winter ready, then you can avoid the hassle and heartbreak of water damage. From freezing pools to freezing hoses, water is more destructive than you know. Thankfully, avoiding these issues is simple, free, and takes less than half an hour.