Your hose bib makes your life a lot easier, allowing you to access water outdoors and water your gardens with ease. Problems with your hose bib, however, can quickly turn serious. A leak can flood your yard or expose your foundation to excess water, and a seized tap can keep you from being able to water your garden as needed. So, how do you prevent problems with your hose bib?
1. Drain it and turn off the valve in the winter.
In the winter, any water left in your hose bib can expand as it freezes into ice. This process can crack the hose bib and lead to leaks later on. Even if leaks don't immediately appear after the first year your hose bib freezes, years of repeated freezing and thawing cycles can cause serious damage over time. Always turn off the valve to the hose bib as winter approaches. After turning off the valve, open the faucet to let any remaining water drip out of it.
2. Turn the valve on and off periodically.
You do not want the valve to seize, and the best way to ensure it doesn't is to open and close it from time to time. Try to do this at least once a month, even when you're not regularly using the hose. If the valve ever seems hard to turn, apply some lubricant, and then open and close the valve to work the lubricant in. A basic household lubricant like WD-40 will work just fine, though a silicon-based lube is cleaner and more effective.
3. Don't leave the hose on and let the pressure build.
You should open the hose and let the water flow as soon as possible after turning on the valve at the hose bib. This way, pressure does not build up in the hose and on the hose bib. Leaving a hose attached to the water on and the end of the hose closed for a long time can cause the hose bib to crack or break.
4. Replace the bib washers from time to time.
Bib washers tend to wear out before any other part of the apparatus. When they do, they can allow pressure to build within and damage the system. So, arrange to have your plumber replace the washers every couple of years. This is a small job that should only take them a few minutes; they can do it while on-site for a larger project like replacing your water heater or cleaning a drain.
For more information, contact your local plumbing services.
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