Why you should disconnect your garden hose in the winter (even if you have a frost-free spigot)

If you own a home, you most likely have at least one outdoor spigot. It’s important to remember to detach your garden hoses at the end of the season. Even if you have a “frost-free” spigot, you still need to remove the hose in the winter, or run the risk of your pipes freezing and bursting.

Why? Water expands when it freezes, and nothing changes that. When you leave your garden hose attached and filled with water, and that water freezes when the temperature dips, ice takes up nearly 10% more space than the same amount of liquid water does. Unfortunately, in the case of a water pipe, there’s no room for expansion. The result is burst pipes, broken valves and joints, or all of the above.

As a precaution, Copperhead Plumbing recommends that everyone with an outdoor spigot remove their garden hoses. And for those of you with regular, non-“frost free” spigots, we recommend also closing the inside shut-off valve(s) and draining the spigot before the first frost.