How To Winterize Your Garden Hose
Before you can enjoy the snow and winter holidays in cozy comfort, you need first to make some changes around the house to ensure nothing gets destroyed, especially on your household plumbing. Burst water pipes can lead to extensive water damage and costly repairs, so it’s important to take the necessary precautionary measures when you can.
A great way to start is to winterize the garden hose faucet in early winter or late fall. If your outdoor faucet has a separate shutoff valve inside your house, make sure to shut it off and then turn on your exterior faucets. You’ll want to ensure that any remaining water runs out of the pipes and out through your hose.
How to Winterize a Garden Hose in 5 Steps
Failure to prepare for the cold season could lead to serious damage to your garden tools, hose reel, hose, and outdoor faucet. If you’ve invested in a quality garden hose, you’ll want to do a little winterizing to prevent cracks and extend its life so you can still enjoy its service next season. Here are some simple steps below to prepare your garden hose for the winter’s icy grip.
1. Disconnect the hose and other equipment
You’re going to have some plumbing issues if your expandable hose remains connected to the spigot and the tap water freezes. Therefore, it’s always best to disconnect it in winter or before the cold season approaches.
Then, remove anything you may have connected to the faucet and hose, such as a hose nozzle and an automatic timer. Allow the nozzle to dry completely before storing you store it for the winter.
2. Drain the hose
The importance of adequately draining your hose cannot be overemphasized. To drain your garden hose, drape it over something tall, like a chair or on your fence post, allowing gravity to help move the remaining water through the hose. Keep in mind that even if the hose is trained, changes in temperatures and the repeated freeze-thaw cycle can still cause the material of your hose to age faster and cause damage.
3. Remove the hose from the reel
If your hose is typically stored in a hose reel, now is the time to unwind it off your reel. Most hose reels can be left out for the winter, especially if they are made of durable stainless steel, brass, or aluminum alloy. Although moisture and cold winter temperatures won’t harm them, moving them indoors remains a practical method of protecting them from freeze damage.
4. Coil the hose
Coil it into large hoops, ensuring that it is not kinked or pinched. If necessary, secure the coil using a tie wrap to prevent unraveling of the loops. Also, ensure you don’t overtighten the coils, as it’s not ideal to have the hose tightly coiled throughout the winter season.
5. Store in a dry space
You shouldn’t leave your garden hose outside. Instead, it must be stored in a dry location that’s free from any weathering elements until the following season. You can place it in a garage, shed, or other dry storage areas.
Also, you shouldn’t leave it on the floor, as there might be pets or other burrowing animals hiding from the cold. They can easily burrow past the open ends of the hose and damage its inner linings. Buy fitting couplings to close the ends of the pipes and use a hanger designed for hoses so they’re not lying on the floor.
How to Winterize a Soaker Hose
While a garden hose that remains attached to the spigot and left outside during winter will create problems, a soaker hose can deal with the cold well. Leaving soaker hoses in place is the best way to winterize them.
Since soaker hoses have holes along their lengths, any water remaining in them will seep out without expansion and contraction issues. However, you’ll want to ensure they’re buried or covered by mulch or soil, as these materials can serve as insulators against the freezing temperature. But if you want to be sure, then follow these steps below to winterize your soaker hose.
- Run high-pressured water through the soaker hose to reduce the likelihood of ice or debris damaging it. The water should run from the hose entirely for effective winterization.
- Remove the hose coupling from the spigot and bury the end of the hose in the ground.
- Mark the buried area or ground so you can find them quickly once the cold season is over.
Do not wait to take action. It’s always better to prepare before the temperature plummeted than to deal with the costly damages after winter. But now that you know how to winterize garden hose, you can focus on other areas of your home that needs winterization for optimal energy conservation and overall safety of everyone in your family.
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