This hose was left attached to the shut off faucet outside which caused the system to freeze and split the copper pipe in the walls between the faucet and the actual shut off valve inside the home.
When hoses are left on the faucet, water can back up into the system and FREEZE! This can cost you a few hundred dollars to repair, not to mention the potential flooring and sub flooring damage that may occur as a result of the undetected water leak!
The leak may not show up right away either! Because the actual shut off valve is a foot or two back down the water line, normally in the crawlspace or an interior wall, where the warmth of the home keeps everything from freezing inside.
When the outside faucet is turned on in the spring, a possible leak may flood the interior of the home. This is usually when the issue is first detected.
Here is an example of where the shut off valve occurs inside the home –
How to test if your pipe is frozen?
In the spring, if a frozen hose faucet is suspected, have one person outside turn on the faucet and a second person inside the house, where the water line enters the wall (or crawlspace), listen for the sound of running water and visually looks for water flooding the area.
Take your time with this test!
Let the water run for a few minutes and if no flooding can be seen or heard then most likely there are no leaks present in the system (WooHoo!)
However, if you begin to see water leaking, turn off the faucet and call the plumber right away!
After calling the plumber, make sure to clean up the standing water produced from performing this test – You don’t want to cause further damage to your home’s flooring.
How do you prevent a frozen hose faucet?
The BEST thing you can do is to disconnect all the hoses outside your home well before temperatures drop below 32F outside (usually in early October to be safe).
This will normally avoid any problems with frozen outside faucets.
Additionally, most homes are now designed with frost proof shut off valves for exterior faucets. If your unsure whether your outdoor faucet(s) are freeze-proof or not, ask a plumber!
How can you further protect your pipes from freezing outside?
Installing or using an insulated cover over the faucet in the fall can help further prevent your pipes from freezing.
Make sure the cover is snug and secure so no air gaps can circulate the cold winter air around the faucet!
PLUS the beauty of these exterior insulation covers is that you MUST remove the hose before the insulated cover can be installed. So you’ll never forget to disconnect the hose! It’s a win-win!
Have you ever (accidentally) left your hose attached after winter started?