January 10, 2022

I grew up in colder climes and learned early how important it was to winterize your pipes against the cold.  That usually meant making sure to remove the hoses from the faucets if the outside temperature was going to drop below freezing.  I have known several friends who have had the pipes in their houses freeze.  These were rarely the outside faucets, but instead the open pipes in the crawl spaces under the house.  These crawl spaces needed to be at least enclosed, and preferably insulated.  If the pipe did not burst, there was the lengthy process of wrapping the pipe in thermal tape and hoping it would thaw before the pipe broke.  It was not until I moved to the southern state of Arkansas that I ever heard of putting faucet covers on the outside spigots.

When I looked online, I found that in colder climates, the winter cold may cause your water pipes to rupture, especially those attached to outdoor faucets.  The best way to minimize the damage from cold weather is to winterize during the late fall.  The first step in winterizing the hose spigots is to attach insulated covers to the tap.  Faucet covers are generally one of two styles.  This can be a square or dome-shaped shell made of rigid thermal foam with flexible gaskets that fit over outdoor faucets.  They may also be a flexible bag made of thick fabric stuffed with insulation.  Faucet covers work by trapping heat that naturally radiates through the interior pipes to the outdoor spigot.  When properly installed both form a tight seal around the base of the faucet.  If they are not, the pipes could freeze.

I was diligent installing my faucet covers last year, but not so much this year.  I mentioned we had installed a pool cover in October.  When I filled the water bags that kept them anchored down, two of the bags did not get enough water.  I told myself I needed to fill the bags before I took the hose off the faucet.  While this was not a big job, but it was not done, and the hose was still on.  The other excuse came when the weather was warm in December, and I was not motivated to complete the job.  When it finally dropped below freezing in January it was then too cold to entice me outside to finish the job.  Bottom line, the covers had not been installed and my pipes were in danger of freezing.  I finally filled the bags and installed the covers today.  It is supposed to drop below freezing again tonight.

Thoughts:  I find it easy to make excuses to not complete tasks I know are important when I do not want to do them.  It was not that I did not think installing the covers was important.  Instead, I was willing to risk delaying the installation because I figured the pipes freezing would never happen to me.  I knew I was putting Melisa and her succulents in danger if the pipes broke, but it was still hard to get motivated.  Many of the reasons I have heard for not getting vaccinated are similar.  People know it is important to protect others, but do not think there is a risk for them.  Sometimes we need to do things for others.  Follow the science.  Change is coming and it starts with you.

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