Step 1: Shut off water

In order to winterize your outdoor faucets, you need to know if your home has an interior shut-off valve.

Usually, the valve is located on the interior wall of the house, directly behind the outside faucet. It will have either a gate valve (wheel-shaped handle) or a ball valve (lever-shaped handle).

To shut off water to the spigot, turn the gate shut-off valve clockwise until it stops. If the gate valve is difficult to turn by hand, apply a lubricating spray (like WD-40) and turn it with an adjustable wrench.

The ball valve needs a quarter turn clockwise (perpendicular to the water pipe) to stop the flow of water. This lever-style shut-off valve rarely gets stuck so you should not have any trouble manually turning it off.

Step 2: Remove and put away hoses

Go outside to the exterior faucet, detach and drain the garden hose and store it in a temperature-controlled area (they can burst too in cold weather). Make sure to drain any remaining water inside the garden hose. Do this by hanging it over a deck or fence, or simply extending the hose to its entire length. Finally, raise one end to waist level and, putting one hand in front of the other, walk the length of the hose. This will drain it of any trapped water. You may need to repeat this a few times.

Step 3: Drain all water from spigots

Open the outside faucet by turning the handle counterclockwise. Allow any water remaining in the pipe to drain out. This is a very important step, any water remaining in those pipes could freeze and cause your pipes to burst.

Step 4: Shut off all outdoor faucets

After all the water has finally drained from the outdoor faucet, shut it off by turning the handle clockwise. This will prevent cold air from entering the spigot and the water pipes inside your home.

Step 5: For extra protection

For added protection and to completely winterize your outdoor faucet, place a cold-weather cover over the faucet and secure the hook or drawstring (depending on what type of cover you purchase). Make sure the spigot is completely covered. For added protection, ensure the cover is tightened securely.