So you’ve either put away or covered the patio furniture. You’ve removed the leaves from the gutters. The furnace has been serviced. The snowblower has gas. You’re all set for winter. Right?

Actually wrong. There may be one more important thing you have not done – removing your hoses from the faucets.

You may ask: “Do I really need to do that? What could possibly happen?” The answer is: yes you should, because if you don’t you run the risk of having a flood later. Here’s why.

As the diagram shows, a frost free hose faucet has a long stem. When you are turning off the faucet, the faucet washer is actually on the inside of the structure where it is warm.  When the faucet is turned off, the water that is in the valve should drain out the end of the faucet.  But if a hose is left on the faucet, water is trapped in the valve. This water can freeze and split the valve.  When the faucet is turned on in the spring, water can leak through the burst section of the extension tube which will run down the basement foundation wall, flooding the basement.

So take the extra few minutes and disconnect the hose.