[FoRK] Freezing weather newbie

Ken Meltsner meltsner at alum.mit.edu
Tue Dec 16 19:59:43 PST 2008

I haven't been good about doing this and there's been no visible
effect after more than a decade.  YMMV and all that.  There are some
hose bibs (the official name for those faucets outside) that are
designed to freeze without damage, but shutting off the inside stop (a
valve that you put on a water line) is a good idea -- I just forget.

One good rule of thumb for any homeowner is that if something doesn't
have a stop in place, add one, and if the current stop leaks, replace
it as soon as you can.  Otherwise you end up turning off the master
supply when something has to be fixed and that tends to add time and
success pressure to your repair efforts.

[You gotta' speak plumber if you want to find the right replacement parts....]

I also don't rake my roof edges either -- I had them install a rubber
compound water barrier and we'll see whether that's sufficient to
avoid problems with ice dams.

I, too, was ignorant of proper winter house care, but after 15+ years
as a homeowner in various snowbound spots, I've learned most of the
tricks.  I hope...

Final tip for the formerly snowless -- find out whether your area
tends to get thaws in mid-winter.  If not, take care where you put the
plowed or blown or shoveled snow since it'll be in your way until

Ken Meltsner

On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 8:20 PM, Corinna Schultz
<corinna.schultz at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 16, 2008 at 3:02 PM, Adam L Beberg <beberg at mithral.com> wrote:
>> Yes, that's bad. Open the outside valve, and close the one inside the
>> house that leads to them.
> Cool! I didn't know there was a valve that controlled the outside
> water. Maybe they don't build houses like that in the south. I found
> them, and managed to close one. The other is for the one that I put
> the styrofoam cover on, and lucky me, that was enough to thaw it, so I
> turned on the faucet and moved the cover to the one that's still
> frozen. I'm hoping that will do the trick.

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