October is the perfect time to winterize your home plumbing. If you’re tackling this chore yourself (vs. hiring a professional plumber), you may be wondering: “Do I need a frost-free hose bib?” In this post, we explain what a frost-free hose bib is, why you might need one, and what steps you should take to ensure that your hose bib is ready for winter.
What Is a Frost Free Hose Bib?
A frost-free hose bib (a.k.a. frost proof hose bib) is constructed in such a way that you do not have to shut off the water supply from inside the house to prevent freeze damage in the winter. It contains a valve that opens and closes when you turn the faucet on and off, effectively cutting off the water supply whenever your outdoor faucet is in the “off” position. This prevents water from sitting in the pipe and freezing.
Why Choose Frost Free Over Non–Frost Free?
If you live in an area with cold winters and freezing temperatures (e.g., St. Louis), frost-free is the way to go. A frost-free hose bib is low-maintenance and gives better protection against faucet leaks, burst pipes, and water damage. Simply disconnect your hose from the hose bib before the first winter freeze, and you’re all set.
How to Winterize Your Hose Bib
If you have a frost-free hose bib, all you need to do is unscrew your hose from the hose bib before the first frost hits. As long as your hose bib is properly installed, this will allow water to drain out of the stem. (The stem is the short length of pipe that runs through the exterior wall. It connects the outdoor hose bib to the indoor water line.) If you have a non–frost-free hose bib, further steps will need to be taken to prevent frozen pipes. Call on the professional plumbers at Tony LaMartina Plumbing Company to ensure your home plumbing is ready for winter!