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Do I Need a Frost-Free Hose Bib?


Here in Pennsylvania, freezing temperatures—and the potential damage they can cause—are a serious hazard to our homes. What can you do to make sure your home is safe from some of the risks to your plumbing posed by winter weather? We recommend a frost-free hose bib.

What is a frost-free hose bib? How will it benefit you? And how do you go about getting one? We’ve got the answers for you right here.

What a Hose Bib Is

Let’s take a step back and begin with defining the term hose bib in the first place, in case you haven’t heard it before. It’s also sometimes called a sill cock, spigot, outdoor faucet, or hose tap. It’s the water source on the outside of your home where you can connect your garden hose.

Generally, inside your home, there’s a shut-off so you can prevent water from getting to that faucet during the winter when it would potentially freeze and burst the pipe. But unfortunately, that shut-off is often very close to the exterior of the home, and still vulnerable to freezing. 

What a Frost-Free Hose Bib Is

As you can see, the main concern with the standard hose bib is how close together the outdoor tap and the indoor shut-off are. A frost-free hose bib is designed to give more space between the two, putting the shut-off farther inside where it is safe from freezing temperatures. This simply requires a longer pipe.

Professional Installation

Perhaps adding a longer pipe seems like a job you’d want to DIY or hire an amateur to do. We strongly advise against that. Plumbing work done without proper training is very risky because if something goes wrong, you can end up with gallons of water every minute gushing into your home and causing tremendous damage while you frantically try to find an emergency plumber.

Due to our experience installing frost-free hose bibs, we are highly knowledgeable about the length of pipe required for proper protection in our climate. It’s also critical to have the angle right so that water will drain properly instead of backing up. 

The Risks of Freezing to Ordinary Hose Bibs

If your hose bib freezes, if you’re lucky, it’s just that bit of plumbing that will burst and need to be replaced. However, it’s quite likely that the freezing will extend deeper into your home’s plumbing than just the pipe that leads outdoors.

This means the shut-off valve will be compromised, potentially causing a massive leak as soon as the ice thaws. And since this valve is often located near other critical things, such as electrical lines and panels and appliances, the damage can be catastrophic.

Our team of highly trained experts in plumbing in Norristown, PA would love to help you assess your home for risks like that so you can take appropriate action before next winter and put your mind at ease.

Contact Platinum Plumbing & Heating, Inc. today to schedule an appointment with our pros.

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