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Home sweet home is for the birds!

     Insulated covers that are designed to cover outside faucets are very common.  It seems that the word about these covers has gotten out so well, that most people think that all outside faucets should have them.  I find that I am just as likely to see them on faucets that are “frost-free,” as I am to find them on outside faucets that can freeze.

     In modern construction all outside faucets are required to be frost-free type and have an anti-siphon component as well.  In this first picture we can see a cover that is poorly installed and that will not protect the faucet from freezing at all-----and this is a type that needs protecting. 

Insulated cover for an outside faucet

     Installing these covers on faucets that do not need them will not likely create any real problem other than annoy the inspector that has to take them all off to test the faucets----and be a waste of money and natural resources.  Some of these covers can take a couple of minutes to get off and a couple of more to get them back on.  This is not a fun part of the inspection when it is 20 degrees outside.  Some of them have cinch type attachments that make removal and installation very easy.

     While the previous picture does nothing for the faucet and possible freezing of pipes, it did make a wonderful home for some lucky birds.

 

Bird nest inside the insulated cover

 

Charles Buell

 

 

 

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Comment balloon 22 commentsCharles Buell • March 21 2009 05:04PM

Comments

My favorite part of Saturday is catching up on all the great blog posts that I missed during the busy week... thanks for making my Saturday educational and fun.

Posted by Eric Reid (Renaissance Realty Group of Keller Williams Atlanta Partners) over 9 years ago

thanks for sharing this - I love reading your blogs and learning something each time- again - what were they thinking!

Posted by Lise Howe, Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA, (Keller Williams Capital Properties) over 9 years ago

That's the best use I've ever seen for those things.

 

Posted by Jack Gilleland (Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton) over 9 years ago

I just had frost-free spigots put on my house last fall.  It was a pleasure not having to "turn them off" from inside, and drain them.. and not to have to turn them back on, this spring.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 9 years ago

Eric, thanks for visiting

Lisa, what were the birds thinking?:)

Jack---it was good

Alan----so what did you do with your old covers?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

That's probably the best use for those darn things. Change all the hose bibs to frost freeze and use the covers as birds nests. At least the birdies will stay warm.

Posted by Suesan Jenifer Therriault, "Inspecting every purchase as if it were my own". (JTHIS-Professional Home Inspection Team) over 9 years ago

Charles, I always thought that's what they were for, the birds.

                                                                                         ~ Life is Good

Posted by Roy A. Peterson, P.R.E.I. (Domicile Analysis of Texas) over 9 years ago

Suesan and Roy----seems most people don't like these things too much.  Is it only inspectors?

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Well talk about building a "Home Tweet Home" in one of these gizmos...

Your building consultant for life from Brentwood, TN

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Down here in South Louisiana we don't have much use for those.

Posted by Christopher Johnston (The Johnston Team) over 9 years ago

One thing you didn't mention Charlie, but is important.  A frost free hose bibb is NOT frost free if the hose is still attached.  That frost free bibb has to be able to drain.  I've seen lots of frost free bibbs with holes in the pipe due to freezing (with hose left on).  Oh yeah, I really hate those foam insulators.  Especially the ones with rubber bands that usually break when you try to reinstall them.

Posted by David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp (Helm Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

Good point, Charles, and I like David's comment, too.  Some people overdo, and many people don't have a clue as to how to do things right.  Have an inspection before you list the property. 

Posted by Suzanne McLaughlin, Sabinske & Associates, Realtor (Sabinske & Associates, Inc. (Albertville, St. Michael)) over 9 years ago

Michael----good one:)

Christopher, I would imagine not

David, for sure.  When I find hoses connected in the winter, I don't put them back on.

Suzanne----some day that will be the norm.

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

I second what David said. I hate to remove these, they can be such a pain to get back in place.

Posted by Steven L. Smith, Bellingham WA Home Inspector (King of the House Home Inspection, Inc.) over 9 years ago

Charles... I never had covers.   You don't have to "cover" a spigot, if there's no water in 'em.

Posted by Alan May, Helping you find your way home. (Coldwell Banker Residential) over 9 years ago

Some houses have four or five of these things----all on faucets that don't need them.  They can add a significant amount of time to the inspection.

Alan, yup

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

I can see why the birds would like these cozy little things.  But they are a little low on the ground so perhaps it wasn't birds  that built the nest?

Posted by Barbara S. Duncan, GRI, e-PRO, Executive Broker, Searcy AR (RE/MAX Advantage) over 9 years ago

Barbara, well I thought the same thing until I saw the eggs:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Oh come on Charlie!  Haven't you ever seen "squirrel eggs"?  I suspect it was Nutsy messin' with you.  Bet he was around the corner teeheeing!

Posted by David Helm, Bellingham, Wa. Licensed Home Insp (Helm Home Inspections) over 9 years ago

Nope they were eggs----not enough for decent omelet either:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

Almost never see those things out here. Seems useless to me.

Posted by James Quarello, Connecticut Home Inspector (JRV Home Inspection Services, LLC) over 9 years ago

James, you bring up a good point, because I don't believe they would be effective anywhere it gets below 25 degrees F.  Even here I have found them full of ice from a slow drip inside the cover.  And of course it never goes below 25 degrees in Connecticut:)

Posted by Charles Buell, Seattle Home Inspector (Charles Buell Inspections Inc.) over 9 years ago

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