As our uncharacteristically warm winter here in Idaho comes to a close, you may be thinking about turning your outside faucet back on. Once you’re sure the weather is going to be consistently above freezing, you can go ahead and get that outside tap ready to go for the spring and summer. Whether it’s to wash the car, spray off the patio, or just to run water for yardwork purposes, make sure you are taking all the necessary steps to ensure you don’t end up with a flooded basement and a costly mess!
If you’ve done your due diligence, you turned off the valve to this outdoor water source in the fall before the first hard freeze, and then drained the water out of the system from the tap outside. This means that your job now is very simple!
Here are 4 simple steps to take when turning your water back on this spring:
- First, tighten (close) the wheel/valve on the spigot(s). You may have left them open during the winter, but be sure they are closed as you are about to turn on the water.
- Next, locate your water shutoff valve. It is located inside your house, usually in the basement, crawl space or utility room. The valve will be connected to a pipe that leads to the outside where your spigot is connected to your house. If you have more than one spigot, each one will have its own shutoff valve.
- Now, open the valve to allow water to flow to the spigot. If you have loosened the bleeder valves to allow water to drain when you shut the water off, tighten them now to help prevent leaks.
- Once the water is flowing, make sure there is a fair amount of water coming out, low pressure may mean there is a leak. Go back inside the home while you let the water run, and check for any leaks before you do anything else! Picture this: you’re outside washing the car or watering the garden, while water leaks inside the basement from a pipe you didn’t realize was cracked because it hasn’t been turned on all winter. Taking the extra step of going back inside once the water is turned back on can save you a headache later, because pipes and fixtures that have frozen and thawed may not start to leak until full water pressure is re-applied.