Frost-Free Vs. Standard Hose Bibs- What’s the Difference?

Since Summer is in full swing, we all use our hoses for all sorts of things; washing the car, watering our plants, filling the pool. Many customers may find that where the hose attaches to their home, they have an issue. There may be water spraying out whether the hose is turned on or not, no water comes out, or even that the hose bib has been broken off on the outside entirely!

When it is necessary to replace a hose bib (a.k.a. outside faucet, exterior spigot), there are several different options available. Most customers are interested in the ‘frost-free’ version, which we recommend as well. But you may ask yourself, what is the difference between a frost-free hose bib and the standard version that has been available for decades? Is it really frost-free, as in you don’t have to winterize it once the weather turns and it won’t freeze? And how are these replaced?

The difference between a frost-free hose bib and a regular one is that with a frost-free hose bib, you are able to shut off the water much further down the stem than with a regular one. Therefore, when winter comes, it is possible to turn the water off and it will not freeze. With a regular hose bib, the water shuts off much closer to the home, which means water could cause the hose bib to freeze internally and split. Most customers find this out the first time they want to use the hose bib when the weather warms in the Spring.

While they are labeled “frost-free”, there can be no 100% guarantee that a hose bib will not freeze. The best way to ensure the hose bib doesn’t freeze is to make sure to have nothing attached to it once winter comes. Hoses MUST be detached so water does not penetrate the stem of the hose bib during winter. If this precaution is taken, it is highly unlikely your frost-free will have any issues in the winter.

In order to replace a hose bib, we must have access to the inside and outside of the home. Inside, there is a connection from your water to the hose bib in order to supply it. To winterize a standard hose bib, there is a valve located here that you can turn off, so that water does not seep into the bib and freeze, causing cracking and malfunction. If you have any issues with your hose bibs, give us a call! We repair and replace them regularly.

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