Well You Wanted Winter – We Got Winter

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Well for today anyway – I think tomorrow’s gonna go back up to 50. But thanks to a reader for sending this shot:

“how cold is it? corner East Capitol and 11th Street SE. today”

6 Comment

  • Sh*t – my pipes (insert crying emoticon). I have one external hose faucet that I’ve made sure is shut and bought a little sleeve for it for insulation. However, Ive been scared to actually put the sleeve on because I noticed a wire sticking out of the faucet — and maybe the wire is there to keep the pipe from freezing?? Are there wires that can do that?!?! I don’t know! I hate not knowing about this stuff.

    • a couple things 1) You should be able to shut off the hose bib from inside, virtually eliminating any chance the faucet freezes and bursts. If that isn’t the case it is smart to get the shutoff installed. 2) The wire may be a ground running from a cable, phone or other utility. If it is bare or has green markings that’s what it is and you ignore it.

      • Thanks! I haven’t seen a hose bib, and should get one installed. Would you believe that my plumber had to cut through drywall to find the main water shutoff valve for the house?!?! I kid you not.

        It is sort of connected to a cable wire for the internet or tv. Does this mean I can cover the faucet with my insulator sleeve thingy without causing, like, a fire??

        Thank you, TJ, NorthbyNE, and popville braintrust.

        • Yup. Go ahead and cover the facet with the insulated cover. You might want to look into a plug-in pipe heater (~$15 at Home Depot or Annies). Its just a plug with some metal tape attached…you plug it into an outlet anywhere near where you hose faucet exits the house and wrap the metal tape around your pipe. It acts like the rear defroster in a car and runs some electricity through the tape to keep the pipes above freezing.

    • You should have a shut-off valve inside somewhere that cuts off the water to your hose bib. After you’ve shut off the water, you should open hose bib valve to let the water drain and leave it open to keep water from accumulating at the bib.
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      Also, TJ is right, you can probably ignore the wire. It is probably a grounding wire, or possibly (hopefully!) a thermostatically controlled heating cable that conducts a current when it gets cold to keep your hose bib from freezing.

      • Thank you! As I mention above, Im pretty sure my house is not sophisticated enough to have a hose bib valve. Sigh.

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