Is your outdoor plumbing ready for winter? There’s about a 50 percent probability that Portland will have its first frost by November 15, according to the Farmer’s Almanac. There’s still time to winterize your outdoor plumbing before the first frost hits. Don’t wait for cold temperatures to get outdoor plumbing ready for winter.

Between a Spigot and a Frozen Pipe

Pipes don’t burst at the point where they freeze. They break from water pressure, usually somewhere between a closed faucet and the frozen section of pipe. When you protect your outdoor plumbing during freezing weather, you reduce the risk of a broken pipe in an exterior wall. If you suspect a plumbing problem or think your pipes have frozen, turn off the water supply and contact a plumber right away.

Pipes in exterior walls are vulnerable to cold weather and will cause a lot of damage if the break. Water from a broken pipe will quickly flood your house. If you aren’t around to immediately turn the water off, your home could sustain thousands of dollars worth of damage. To reduce this risk, do the following before the weather gets cold:

Outdoor Faucets

Check all your outdoor faucets. Look for damage that needs repairing. Drain your garden hoses and store them for the winter.  If you find openings around the hose bib, you can fill the area with insulation. Insulation will keep cold air from seeping into the walls.

If your outdoor faucets have shut-off valves, close them. Then, open the tap to drain the lines. You can leave the faucets open until next spring. Do your faucets have a back-flow preventer? You’ll need to disconnect it to the let the water drain.

Pipe insulation is your best friend if your faucets don’t have shut-off valves. Wrap your faucet with foam insulation and place a styrofoam cap on top. You can find everything you need to take care of your outdoor spigots at your local hardware or plumbing supply store.

Sprinkler System

Sprinkler systems need draining and winterizing. You should consult your system’s manual to learn how to take care of the pipes and spigots. You may be able to find the manual on the manufacturer’s website. Winterizing a sprinkler system can be a multi-step job, and you might need a professional to help you out.


Clean your home’s gutters before the weather in Oregon gets cold and wet. Clogged gutters can lead to standing water. That water, combined with pine needles, leaves and debris can promote rot, mold or mildew. The backed-up water could leak under shingles, into the roof or between walls. Freezing water can cause the gutters to expand and break, creating a cold and dirty mess.

Contact Meticulous Plumbing for winter plumbing help. We’re here for you in fair or foul weather.

Recommended Posts