Faucets are faucets, right? They all do the same thing, don’t they? So, what’s really the difference between indoor and outdoor ones? Well, their inner workings tend to be decidedly different from their inside cousins. Why? Because hot water isn’t an issue here.
On the other hand, they do have to be able to cope with adverse weather conditions without ruining themselves or causing havoc during cold times. Thankfully, there are several options of outdoor faucet types to choose from.
Let’s have a look at 6 different types of outdoor faucets for your garden or backyard.
Traditional Compression Valve or Spigot Faucet
Traditional compression valves are the ones that everyone will have seen before (unless you live in a freezing climate where these wouldn’t work).
They let the water from your house pass through the faucet’s opening once you turn the handle to the left. Therefore, turning it in the opposite direction will close it and stop the stream. Simple, right?
A good way to remember which way turns the faucet off and which turns it on is to chant this rhyme: “Lefty loosely, righty tighty”. It really does work!
Frost-Proof Outdoor Faucets
These are great if you live somewhere extremely cold (you know, like the northern countries or states in the USA).
Traditional compression valve faucets (the one we just talked about) can’t cope with harsh snow, frost and cold wind. Thus, their frost-proof brother was invented.
They stop the water from turning to ice and damaging your pipes or valves by implementing a metal tube that reaches into your house or outbuilding.
When the faucet is off, the valve keeps the water inside the warmer environment to stop it from freezing.
As long as it’s properly positioned, the water will drain towards the outside so there isn’t any water left in the pipe to cause damage. Just let this happen naturally. Don’t leave the hose attached as this won’t do you any favors.
Hose Bib Faucets
Otherwise known as sillcocks or spigots, hose bib faucets are generally put on the side of all homes as industry standard.
However, they can be pretty faulty — especially if you live in a super-cold area. They freeze under what some people would call mild conditions (bit of a shame really but after all, there are frost-proof variants for a reason).
Hose bibs work just like traditional compression valves. Don’t get us wrong, this isn’t a bad thing. It just means you can easily attach a frost-proof valve!
This type uses a ball (shocker!) that lives in the valve chamber. The ball itself has a single hole drilled into it to let the water through.
You won’t get as much control over the flow as you do with traditional compression ones. Having said this, it’s pretty perfect if you only need your water to be on or off and not somewhere in between.
FYI: They’re usually used in indoor plumbing too since it’s easy to shut them off without water dripping from the faucet’s head.
These are brilliant for large outdoor areas that need sources of water far from your house or outbuildings. They tend to stick fairly far out of the ground with a riser pipe connecting the water supply to the spigot.
To use yard hydrants, you usually have to pull the handle located behind the spigot upwards. This starts the stream of water. From there, you can continue to lift the handle higher to encourage more water to spew from the end.
For best results, we suggest you install the frost-free variants (don’t worry, they’re easy to find). Then, you won’t have to worry about frost damage of any kind.
Anti-siphon faucets (sometimes called backflow prevention solutions) are found in lots of outdoor plumbing.
The great thing about these is that they aren’t high-tech at all! You can purchase an anti-siphon valve and attach it yourself. It’s that easy. Although, you probably already have one since most faucets (the ones outside at least) come with one as standard.
So, what does it do? Well, this handy little valve stops contaminants from entering the water. Should these nasties find its way in there, pollution isn’t far behind.
In some locations, having an outdoor faucet without an anti-siphon valve is illegal. Be sure to check if you’re unsure about where you stand with this.
And There You Have It!
In a perfect world, all faucets would just work regardless of where they’re placed. But unfortunately, life isn’t quite that simple so we have a bunch of products that all do the same thing (relatively speaking).
Anyway, you’re basically a certified outdoor faucet expert now! Go forth and conquer all your outside faucet needs with ease.
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