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What to Know About Frost-Free Faucets

Posted on 15 February 2021

The spigot you use on the exterior of your house likely gets a lot of use during the summer for watering plants or running sprinklers. But once the winter weather hits, that faucet could be vulnerable to cold weather, leading to potential pipe freezes.

While there are some strategies you can employ to winterize these outdoor spigots, you can also significantly reduce the risk of problems with your pipes during the winter by installing a frost-free faucet on the outside of your home. This is a faucet that has been specially designed to minimize the risk of water freezing inside of it.

About frost-free faucets

From the exterior of your house, a frost-free faucet will look essentially the same as a traditional faucet. It's the parts installed inside your home that are different. With frost-free faucets, the pipe that travels inside the home is longer than what you'd see with traditional outdoor spigots, and the shutoff valve is located farther inside the house to a warmer location. The pipe should be installed at a slight downward angle, allowing water to drain out, so it doesn't freeze inside the pipe.

When you have a traditional faucet with a shutoff valve installed right behind the handle, that valve is still located very close to the outdoors, meaning it's exposed to colder temperatures and thus is more likely to have problems with freezing.

Many frost-free faucets also have vacuum breakers, which prevent water from getting sucked back from the hose into the water system. This is an important feature to have because the hose water could otherwise contaminate the water going to other areas of your house.

Installing a frost-free faucet

As previously mentioned, proper installation of a faucet should include a slight downward angle from the shutoff valve through the faucet to allow for any excess water to run out of the pipe rather than freezing inside the system.

You'll need to remove any old spigot you currently have in place, and depending on the size of the parts in your new faucet, it may be necessary to enlarge or shrink the hole to accommodate the size pipe you'll be using. You'll then need to attach the new spigot to your plumbing, which will typically involve adding short sections of pipe and some new fittings.

There are still other steps you should take even with frost-free spigots to prevent freezing in the winter, including removing your hose. But this one piece of very affordable equipment will go a long way toward lowering your risk of frozen pipes, avoiding major headaches and repair bills.

Contact us today for more information about the installation and benefits of frost-free faucets for the exterior of your home. Our licensed professionals can help: info@pipemasters.ca or (289) 404-9063.

PipeMasters is part of Oakridge Plumbing Ontario Ltd. and serves the East GTA, Durham Region, North to Lindsay & Peterborough, out to Cobourg and all points in between. All Rights Reserved.

Tags:Plumbing Tips