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Like the questioner in Do I need to do anything to protect my pool during a rare freeze? I live in central florida and its going to be a hard freeze tonight. Do I need to let the spigots drip or cover them for a short period of time? It is much less water volume than a pool, but there is also much less exposure since it goes right into a cinder block wall.

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If you live in Florida, it is never gonna get cold enough to freeze your outdoor spigots, don't worry. Come to Maine and see what cold is. lol –  shirlock homes Dec 17 '10 at 0:12
    
I like my shorts at Christmas :) –  chotchki Dec 17 '10 at 1:53
    
Yeah, no way in one night it would freeze over the water line, it takes weeks in in the 20 degree range for it to happen and cause damage. –  mohlsen Dec 17 '10 at 15:23

3 Answers 3

up vote 10 down vote accepted

A short freeze should not be a big deal for your area. I just bought some of the spigot covers for mine. I live in Virginia and have a bit colder temps than you do. Normally we have no problems with our area either. I just covered them to make sure.

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In colder climates at least, the norm is to have either shutoffs, or frost-proof sillcocks.

A shutoff is simply a valve on the inside of the house. You close it off, then open the outside tap, and the water drains out of the pipe in the wall.

A frost-proof sillcock (pictured below) is a tap with a very long stem, so the shutoff is actually at the base inside the house. The part that is exposed outside and in the wall is empty when the vale is shut.

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If you have one of these, you are fine. If you have shut-offs inside, I would close them and open the outside taps.

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It never occurred to me that in warmer climates there wouldn't be an indoor shutoff. I though that was just how it is done. (It's also handy to keep the kids from playing with the hose.) –  Chris Cudmore Dec 14 '10 at 17:19
    
I don't live in a super-cold climate (OH, where the coldest it usually gets is about -15F), but we haven't had indoor shutoffs in any of the houses we've lived in. The standard spigots used here (I'm assuming the frost-proof is standard, otherwise you'd think there'd be problems) seem to be quite sufficient down to that temperature. –  Brian Knoblauch Dec 15 '10 at 18:14
    
our house in OH has both. –  mohlsen Dec 17 '10 at 15:25

For rare freezes, you can turn on the faucet slightly, to drip a little. This will keep fresh warmer water coming in, and reduce the chance of freezing.

If your house has a crawlspace with the plumbing, those pipes are potentially susceptible to freezing, too. This trick helps there, as well.

Obviously, this is a waste of water if you have to do it more often.

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weird solution, but it would work! –  mohlsen Dec 17 '10 at 15:24
    
+1: This is a pretty common method where sub-freezing temperatures are rare. –  Satanicpuppy Dec 23 '10 at 16:42

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