By Bellevue Plumbing Pro
Do people steal water from your outdoor faucet? In some cases, they may. What can you do? Lock them up? The faucets, not the people. Or maybe both!
A faucet lock is a cheap and easy way to lock your outdoor water faucet. These locks can be purchased at hardware stores. The locks can be opened and closed with keys, a padlock system, or other types. A flow meter can be installed to check water theft and shut off the main outdoor faucet.
Let’s take a look at the reasons you want to lock your outside faucet and how to do it. We also offer some alternatives to prevent water thieves from taking your water.
Why Would I Want to Lock My Outdoor Faucet?
Although it may seem unlikely, water theft is possible. There’s a chance someone will “borrow your water” if you live in an area with a lot of people and have an outside faucet. This is not ideal as water doesn’t come free.
Although we aren’t pointing fingers, we have heard of city workers and pest control personnel helping to water their plants. This can be an error and these people may need to have access to water. However, it can be costly to them if they end up watering the entire neighborhood.
Water theft is illegal. While most thieves will not take water from fire hydrants but will sometimes take water from private residence faucets if they can reach it easily. Vacation homes and your home while on vacation are both easy targets since they’re usually empty.
Then there are the kids. If you have children, you will know how much they love water. You can save a lot of hassle by locking your outdoor faucet. Schools always have faucet locks, it’s worth mentioning!
How Do I Lock My Outdoor Faucet?
Installing an outdoor faucet lock is easy and quick. It is important to get the correct size. However, it is a good idea to have a standard-sized faucet in order that you can pick up the right lock at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
How Do I Get the Outdoor Faucet Lock Off Again?
Some locks have a padlock, while others come with keys. These locks are simple to remove but may require a quick spray with WD-40. Keep the key safe. It is important to keep it safe and easily accessible.
Attach the hook high enough to keep your children from reaching it if you have small children. A majority of locks come with at least one spare key, which is always handy.
Do I Need a Flow Meter to Monitor Water Usage for Theft from My Outdoor Faucet?
A water meter can tell you how much water is being used. Any sudden increase or decrease in water usage could indicate a water leak or water theft.
There are flow meters that can measure the usage of each faucet. This handy device will give you an idea of whether or not your outdoor spigot has been abused by water thieves and opportunistic landscaping workers. After you have installed your flow meter, you will be able to monitor your usage and see if any deviations are occurring.
A cold water flow meter is required for your garden faucet. It must be able to withstand the elements and can also be used for non-potable water (non-drinkable). There are two options: digital or dial displays. These are just a few outdoor faucet flow meters.
Take A Yard is a big fan of flow meters and water meters. They are a great way to monitor your household’s water consumption and alert you to possible problems. It can help you save money and water by keeping track of how much you use.
Are Outdoor Faucets All Equipped with Shut-Off Valves?
You can also install a cover or use a flowmeter to check for theft by simply turning off your water supply using the shutoff valve. There are many outdoor faucets that have shut-off valves within the house that turn off water to the outside pipe.
In case of a leak, it’s a good idea know the location of your shutoff valve. If you live in an area that is prone to freezing, you can prevent frozen faucets by turning off the outside water supply. Before going on vacation, we also turn ours off.
The outdoor faucet shutoff valve is located near the main water valve in newer homes. It may be located separately from the other valves in older buildings and near the outside faucet. It’s worth calling a professional to get a quote to install an exterior faucet that has no way to shut off the water supply.
This is the best method to prevent foolproof theft prevention. It is impossible for a thief to steal something that isn’t there. It is a vast difference between getting water from outside and entering a home to turn on the water.
How does it work? There is no upfront cost to buy a lock (unless you have a valve). Also, there is no risk of losing the key.
Let’s be real. It can be a hassle to turn the valve on or off while you are out in the yard watering your plants daily. They are not intended for daily use and are difficult to reach. The easiest way to prevent water theft is with a simple faucet lock, such as the one shown in the YouTube video.
Although it has never happened to me it is a possibility for others. It makes sense to purchase a faucet lock as they are inexpensive, simple to install, and easy to use.
If you are really worried about water theft, you can install a flowmeter to measure how much is being ‘borrowed’. Then you can take the extreme step of closing off the main outdoor faucet valve if necessary.
But, I believe that a few dollars on a simple faucet lock would be the best investment in the first instance. If you need a professional to install an outdoor faucet lock, contact us or call (509) 245-6477.