Using outside water faucet in the winter

mikkel99

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What should I do from turning on a water faucet should I let the customer do it ?
 

Ed Cruz

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Do you have the ring with all the different types faucet adapters? I carry water but if I need more I just tap indoors. Most homeowners around here cut their outside water off. Best to not take the chance unless your willing to ask them to run the water before you get there.
 

Certified Carpet

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When I walk up to a faucet I turn it on for a quick few seconds to clear out any bugs, leafs, debris etc. Then hook up the hose and turn it on, once the water box fills or whatever water reserve you have fills up and turns off the inlet float you should hear the water stop running at the faucet if not you have a break somewhere turn it off. (course a flushed toilet at that same moment will cause you to hear water running) but turn it off and double check that's nothing running in the house. Never leave that faucet when you turn it on and listen closely. And it gets extremely cold here (Colo) but once the water is moving I've never had it freeze. PS I carry water for the winter.
 

Bob Savage

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Ask them if the outside faucet is OK to use. If it is, hook up. I've encountered faucets that had previously froze up, and not yet repaired so if you would use one it would leak all over inside their house.
 
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emeraldclean

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Try running hose to inside faucet. Get a faucet adapter ring for your garden hose. Up my way most outside spickets are self draining so freeze up is not a concern,
We get crazy cold and your garden hose will freeze up when you hook up to water box. I have a fresh water tank and when we need water we run hose to tank and fill.
Up my way... no fresh water tank in winter you are fuked.
We will even on occassion when hooked up to an inside faucet ( laundry sink or machine) use warm water to fill.
Ya, get really creative when you need water and your working in 10 below weather.
 
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matt30577

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In Northeast Georgia, our winters aren't too bad, so I haven't ever had a problem with water hookup at a customer's house. On days when it's under freezing, I don't even mess with cleaning carpet, just because I'm not prepared like the boys up north. I"m not in the mood to get a frozen hose and blow black water all over my customer's carpet. It only happened to me one time, and that will be the last.

My point is, if your temp is the same as georgia, in the winter, you shouldn't have a problem with hooking up to a water spicket at your customer's house
 

wandwizard

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Ask them if the outside faucet is OK to use. If it is, hook up. I've encountered faucets that had previously froze up, and not yet repaired so if you would use one it would leak all over inside their house.
So many faucets in my area are damaged during winter and often not repaired that it doesn't matter if it's winter or not. I learned the hard way you have to be careful around here when hooking up to any faucet no matter what time of year it is. The most common faucet around here won't leak a drop until you hook your hose to it and turn the water on then it gushes water inside the wall. Having a fresh water tank has greatly helped. I hardly use the customers' water anymore.
 

Bob Savage

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So many faucets in my area are damaged during winter and often not repaired that it doesn't matter if it's winter or not. I learned the hard way you have to be careful around here when hooking up to any faucet no matter what time of year it is. The most common faucet around here won't leak a drop until you hook your hose to it and turn the water on then it gushes water inside the wall. Having a fresh water tank has greatly helped. I hardly use the customers' water anymore.
The reason it doesn't leak until you turn it on is the valve for the faucet shutoff is generally several inches long, and inside their wall or between floor joists if there is a basement. The break is on the outer side of the water line (it doesn't get water until the faucet is turned on), and then the section from the valve to the outside, where the split is inside their wall, gushes out when you turn the faucet on.
 
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keep it clean

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The reason it doesn't leak until you turn it on is the valve for the faucet shutoff is generally several inches long, and inside their wall or between floor joists if there is a basement. The break is on the outer side of the water line (it doesn't get water until the faucet is turned on), and then the section from the valve to the outside, where the split is inside their wall, gushes out when you turn the faucet on.
are you talking about the frost free valves? been seeing those leaking more and more. water runs backward back into house.

home I was at yesterday. had one on front of house. guy said don't turn that one on. I need to replace that one. use the one on the side of the house. best to ask first for sure.
 

Bob Savage

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What I do is after turning on the water spigot I kink the hose and listen... if it's been frozen you'll hear water still rushing out.
I agree that will usually work, but I prefer to ask the customer if it is OK. We carry fresh water in
both vans/truckmounts, so my general rule is this:

I check the job size and soil condition first, to gauge if we have enough water to complete the job, or I look to see how far their faucet is from the van, and if it is close, I hook up so we can do the job and leave with full water tanks.

You never know when you might arrive at a job, in the winter, and their hose was left connected which froze it up, so it can't be used at all.

I do carry just about any type faucet adapter in both vans in case I need to connect to water inside. With today's new kitchen and bath faucets, you have less to choose from inside.

As a last resort, you can unscrew their shower head from the wall, and connect your water hose with an adapter. Always carry Teflon tape in your toolbox to replace their shower head, and use a towel and small pipe wrench to perform the surgery. I said, as a last resort, and of course, get permission before doing so.
 
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Ed Cruz

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I like to just hook right up to the customers kitchen sink for warm water in the winter. Ill always ask if they have a water hookup available if I may need it the day before when I confirm appointment. I have 150' of Top Brass Pocket Hose that the first 50' stays clean and next hondo is what hits the ground. Youll know right away if theres any leaks when you turn the handle. Nothing freezes and I get hot solution. Never had any problems.
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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What I do is after turning on the water spigot I kink the hose and listen... if it's been frozen you'll hear water still rushing out.
I've done that method a lot for a number of years and until today no problems. Normally I can easily hear if there's a problem. I needed to hook up to the customer's water today. It looked like they had a good faucet and actually installed properly. Just to be safe I pinched the hose off several times and carefully listened. I heard absolutely nothing so I think I'm good and begin work. In just a few minutes the husband comes out and lets me know he had to shut the water off because it was leaking inside the basement of the new home they are today moving into! He wasn't angry and we were both very glad he caught it quick. This could have been a bad water damage had he not seen it as fast as he did.

Needless to say, I will NEVER, EVER JUST listen for a leak if there is a basement especially!!! Maybe if I had a stethoscope to put up to the wall I might of heard it, but I heard absolutely NOTHING. I try to use my freshwater tank as much as possible, but I wanted to use the customer's water for this one due to the size of the job.
 

PistolPete

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The water faucets in the laundry room are garden hose connections and are usually close to the garage.
But I live in Florida so what's a frozen water line?
 

gasmaster5000

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Years ago, I hooked up to a customers spigot and started cleaning. It was a big ranch style house with the living room in the middle and the bedrooms and game room on either sides. When I wrapped up the game room and living room, I headed over to the bedrooms and most of the carpet was squishy. The water spigot I was hooked up to was broken and spewing water into the house. I told the customer and she said “oh my God, I forgot to tell you not to use that”! Anyway, she filed an insurance claim and we did the dry out ;)
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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The water faucets in the laundry room are garden hose connections and are usually close to the garage.
But I live in Florida so what's a frozen water line?
We have some places like that here too, but this was not one of them. I used to hook up inside a lot years ago. Since getting a freshwater tank I only occasionally hook up for water at all. If there is a faucet on the outside that looks like it's in good shape I normally hook up, but always pinch the hose off and listen to try and hear if there's water going inside the wall. This is the first time this has failed me. I also watch for very poor water pressure which can indicate a water leak somewhere. I've seen numerous faucets around here get freeze damage in winter and are never fixed until something forces them to get it fixed. A lot of times the freeze damage is only revealed when you hook up and turn the water on. I've personally flooded 2 basements because of this. One was just one room of carpet while the other was pretty serious. It was because of the second one that I finally purchased a freshwater tank. I'm ALWAYS on guard when I do have to hook up, but this one didn't have any obvious signs of a bad faucet.
 
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wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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Years ago, I hooked up to a customers spigot and started cleaning. It was a big ranch style house with the living room in the middle and the bedrooms and game room on either sides. When I wrapped up the game room and living room, I headed over to the bedrooms and most of the carpet was squishy. The water spigot I was hooked up to was broken and spewing water into the house. I told the customer and she said “oh my God, I forgot to tell you not to use that”! Anyway, she filed an insurance claim and we did the dry out ;)
Once I hooked up during early spring just to clean a couple rooms at a fairly upscale home. The husband was a retired master plumber btw. I hooked up for water at a faucet right beside the garage thinking nothing of it and I cleaned both rooms when someone informed me the basement was flooded! I was in horror thinking I'd done it this time! The wife was a retired school teacher who saved EVERYTHING and had it all stored neatly in HUGE stacks to the ceiling nearly in the BASEMENT right where the water went. I'm talking a MASSIVE amount of stuff this woman stored down there. This was way beyond the scope of something I could take care of and there was an insurance claim filed by them. I was off the hook and they didn't blame me for the flood.

This is before I learned to check for water leaks outside and before I purchased a freshwater tank. I did notice the water pressure was very poor when I hooked up and that should have tipped me off, but I didn't know better. The faucet was just inside the wall with no insulation to protect it at all so it's no wonder it had freeze damage! This was one of the scariest experiences I ever had in over 30 years of cleaning. Believe it or not, they continued to use my service for years after this happened.