Tip 1: Garden hoses: First and foremost, disconnect the garden hose from the outside faucet. If you leave your garden hose attached to the faucet, you’re asking for trouble.
Tip 2: Determine if your faucet is frost-free or not: A rule of thumb is that if the faucet has a knob that’s perpendicular to the house, it’s frost-free. The knob turns a long stem that closes a valve inside the house where it’s warm. If the knob is at a 45-degree angle, it’s not frost free, and it needs to be winterized. This is only a rule of thumb though; if a boiler drain is installed at the exterior of the home, it will have a knob that’s perpendicular to the house, just like a frost-free faucet, but it won’t be frost-free. The photo below shows an example of a boiler drain installed at the exterior of a house.
Tip 3: Winterizing standard sillcocks: With a standard sillcock, the water needs to be turned off and drained out to prevent freeze damage. To do this, you’ll need to first turn off the water supply to the faucet from inside the house. Exterior faucets should have a separate shutoff valve inside the house, but not all of them do. On older homes, these valves are typically located at the ceiling somewhere close to the outside faucet. On newer homes, the valves are typically located right next to the main water valve, and they’re also usually labeled.