The unsuspecting early cold spell we had in Edmonton this past Fall caught many homeowners by surprise. As a result, many garden hoses were not removed from the hose bib before the temperature dropped below zero. This may not appear to be a problem now but could be catastrophic in the spring.
Garden hoses must be removed from frost free hose bibs, on the exterior and in unheated garages, before the temperature drops. If the hose is left attached, the water in the bib cannot drain. As the water in the bib freezes, it expands, and the bib could burst or split.The bib will not leak until the tap is opened, and this might not be until April or May when you are watering your plants. Unfortunately you might be flooding your basement at the same time.
What can you do?
If you have access, visually inspect the hose bib in the basement where it exits the house. If the bib is damaged, a bulge or split will be noticeable where the bib attaches to the house plumbing.
If you are lucky enough to have a service loop installed, you can simply remove the 2 screws on the exterior and pull the bib out for inspection. If the bib shaft is split, the complete hose bib will have to be replaced. New hose bibs are available at hardware stores for under $20, or you can call a plumber.
API’S monthly tip
When traveling in the United States, have you ever tried to fill your gas tank at the pump with a credit card, only to be stopped because you couldn’t enter a zip code? There is an easy solution. Remove the letters from your postal code and add 00 to the numbers. For example, if your postal code is T5T 4H7 enter 54700 for your zip code. Pump your gas. It works!