How to Turn Your Outside Water Back On

Sprinkler head

How To Turn Your Outside Water Back On

Winter is coming to a close! While it isn’t quite time to turn your outdoor faucets back on, you can save this blog post for when the day comes. Once you’re sure that the weather is going to be above freezing (and stay there) then you can start getting your lawn ready for the spring and summer. Make sure you follow all four necessary steps below to ensure you don’t end up with a flooded basement or yard!

The valve to the outdoor water source should have been turned off in the late fall before the first hard freeze. Then the water should have been blown out from your sprinklers and other outdoor pipes. As long as these steps were done, this means that your job now is very simple!


How to Turn Your Water Back On in 4 Steps:

One: 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.

Two: 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.

Three: 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.

Four: 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.

When to Turn Your Outside Water On: Timing Matters

Knowing when to turn your outside water back on is crucial to avoid potential damage to your plumbing system. Follow the guidelines below to ensure a smooth transition from winter to spring.

One: Watch the Weather: To avoid any risk of freezing and bursting pipes, it’s essential to wait until the temperature consistently stays above freezing. Check your local weather forecast and make sure that the nighttime lows are also above freezing for at least a week before turning on your outside water.

Two: Check Soil Temperature: The ground temperature is another factor to consider before turning on your outside water. Frozen soil can still cause damage to underground pipes, even if the air temperature is above freezing. You can use a soil thermometer to check the ground temperature, or simply wait until you see signs of growth in your garden or local plants.

Three: Be Mindful of Late Frosts: Keep an eye on the weather forecast even after turning on your outside water. Late frosts can still occur, so be prepared to turn off the water and drain the system again if freezing temperatures return unexpectedly.

Four: Test Your System: Before fully committing to turning your outside water on, it’s a good idea to test the system by partially opening the valve and checking for leaks. This can help you identify any issues that may have developed during the winter months, and address them before they become major problems.

In summary, the best time to turn your outside water back on is when temperatures consistently stay above freezing, the soil is thawed, and there is no threat of late frosts. By carefully monitoring the weather and following the outlined steps, you can safely and efficiently transition your outdoor plumbing system from winter to spring. Remember, taking the time to properly turn on your outside water can save you from potential headaches and costly repairs in the long run.