How Does a Frost Free Faucet Work?
A hose makes life a little easier. It's convenient to wash your car at home, or to blow off your cat with a hose after an unfortunate run-in with a skunk. But the hose can also cause a huge headache. If it is not disconnected before the winter weather, you may have a burst pipe. Installing an frost-free hose bib is a great way to be proactive. Burst pipes are one of the most expensive plumbing repairs. LiteHouse Inspect Home Inspectors often note hoses still attached to their bibs during winter months.
What happens during freezing
When the water inside the attached hose freezes, it expands and flows back into the attached pipe. The pipe will eventually run out of space to expand and burst. Once the ice starts to melt, you'll need to do some thorough cleaning and repairs.
The best way to prevent this mess is to disconnect the hose each season. Another way to have some peace of mind is to install a frost-free hose bib. The outdoor frost-free bib is designed in such a way that the pipe passes through the side wall of the house and, in combination with the flow valve, remains in the heated interior to avoid freezing.
Regular vs. frost-free hose bibs
The diagram below shows the difference between a normal outdoor bib and a frost-free bib. The main difference between the two is that the frost-free type valve is INSIDE the home where it is warm. There is no water near the faucet that freezes when it is closed. No matter what type of outdoor faucet you have, you MUST remove the hose during the winter to avoid burst pipes!
Installation of outdoor faucet
We recommend installing outdoor bibs in spring or fall. If you choose the fall period, they should be installed BEFORE the first frost. Installations should be performed by qualified plumbers.