Winterizing hose spigots before winter

This past spring, we changed a lot of hose bibbs that froze and broke over the past winter. This upcoming spring, we would like to see that fewer of our customers start the new season with hose bibbs that froze and broke over the winter.



To prevent hose bibbs from breaking, if they are not the frost-free type, they must be winterized properly.

GLBC, as a general rule, only installs the frost-free type, but seeing as there are many non-frost free ones out there, we know most people instead install the non-free type hose spigots.  We consider this a best practice.DSCF4804

But sometimes, if not treated properly, the frost free hose bibbs will break as well.  To properly winterize, the hose outside must be removed and the valve must be closed completely. That’s it! It’s that simple.

For the plain (old style) hose spigots, there hopefully is a valve inside the house above the spigot that isolates the water supply line to the spigot.  That valve must be closed completely and then the valve outside must be opened to allow all the water in the line to drain out by gravity.

We often see newly flipped houses where the builders did not follow code and installed the old style sill faucets. Why do the supply houses still sell the old-style spigots if they are no longer allowed by Code? The old-style spigots are still sold because it is still permissible to use the old style for boiler drains and equipment drains inside the house.  Unfortunately, many plumbers do not recognize the difference and since they are cheaper, they use the old style.

Also, the Code requires the following for hose spigots:

“P2902.4.3 Hose connection. Sillcocks, hose bibbs, wall hydrants and other openings with a hose connection shall be protected by an atmospheric-type or pressure-type vacuum breaker or a permanently attached hose connection vacuum breaker.”

This is part of what we install, but the vacuum breaker is not included in the old style spigots.

Smart Locks

From Wikipedia:

smart lock is an electromechanical lock which is designed to perform locking and unlocking operations on a door when it receives such instructions from an authorized device using a wireless protocol and a cryptographic key to execute the authorization process. It also monitors access and sends alerts for the different events it monitors and some other critical events related to the status of the device. Smart locks can be considered part of a smart home.[1]

Smart locks, like the traditional locks, need two main parts to work. The lock and the key. In the case of these electronic locks, the key is not a physical key but a smartphone or a special key fob configured explicitly for this purpose which wirelessly will perform the authentication needed to automatically unlock the door.

Smart Locks allow users to grant access to a third party by the means of a virtual key. This key can be sent to the recipient smartphone over standard messaging protocols such as e-mailor SMS. Once this key is received the recipient will be able to unlock the Smart Lock during the time specified previously by the sender.

Smart locks are able to grant or deny access remotely via a mobile app. Certain smart locks include a built-in WiFi connection that allows for monitoring features such as access notifications or cameras to show the person requesting access.[2]

Smart locks may use Bluetooth SMART and SSL to communicate, encrypting communications using 128/256-bit AES.[3]


Some of the most known Models and Manufacturers are the following:




Tree Types Common in Capitol Hill

As the autumn set in and the leaves began to change colors and fall, I realized that the busy summer had flown by without my even starting on a hobby project that I have been thinking about since last winter. I grabbed the camera and took a long walk around the neighborhood. I took pictures of every different tree I could find.

I often am talking to one homeowner or another about a laundry list of items they have questions about. Now and again, a tree in their yard will come into question. Sometimes, the tree needs to be trimmed or come down altogether. I can normally name the tree type, but once in a while I come across one that I can’t identify. So I thought the idea of cataloging the neighborhood trees would be fun and educational for me and also be a good resource for friends and neighbors who, like me, wanted to identify the trees in our neighborhood. I welcome readers of the blog to submit pictures of their trees in Capitol Hill, especially if it is of a type I have not yet identified.

Interestingly, many blocks  have one type of tree that was planted up and down the block. There are also commonly a handful of miscellaneous trees sprinkled in, which the homeowners have planted over the years.

My block is filled with a bunch of Ginkgo trees. They look great in the late autumn. The leaves turn yellow, later then most other trees. The block looks great when all the leaves are yellow at the same time. Like some other species, the Ginkgo trees have a specific gender. Only the female trees produce fruits. Generally, in the city, people try not to plant the female ones because the fruits rot on the street and do not smell good.

The pin oak tree is very common both in Capitol Hill and in greater DC as well.

Common maples in DC are the Silver Maple and the Sugar Maple.

White oak,  black oak, and chestnut oak are also very common.