Do I really need to use frost-free spigots?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by leejosepho, May 19, 2007.

  1. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    I need to re-plumb (and to re-locate one of) my two existing outside spigots to take them off the water softener, and I want to add a third one in another location. My basement is heated and the existing spigots have been trouble-free even though they are not of the frost-free type. One of them is brass and is supplied by PVC actually sticking out through a frame wall just a bit, and the other is older, heavier and attached to galvanized pipe coming through a concrete-block wall.

    I will be plumbing these spigots with PVC, but I am thinking about using a short piece of galvanized pipe to go through the walls ...

    Do I really need to spend the money for frost-free spigots?

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 27, 2008
  2. HandyAndy

    HandyAndy General Contractor, Farmer

    Messages:
    68
    Location:
    Haxtun, CO
    If you have got by so far with out them apparently there not a necessity in your area,

    I am guessing it does freeze in your location. or you would not be asking.

    Doing a Google search in products on "hydrants"
    http://www.google.com/products?q=hydrants&hl=en&show=dd
    The average cost is about $25 each, and a standard sill c0ck us about $8.50 from ACE, http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1276499&clickid=body_rv_txt

    For the few bucks extra why would you want the not want piece of mind of of not having to worrying about possible freezing and breaking and possibly of flooding the house, for an extra $50 dollars or so, for the difference on the price of the 3 valves,

    MY opinion is the savings is not worth the possible problems do to a freeze.
  3. what is the difference????

    If you are in an area that freezes up all the time you
    should use them......

    If you want to conform to codes that say you must have
    a VACCUUM BREAKER on the hose bibs then it would be wise to use the frost free type.....


    The plain old WOODFORD frost free hose bib with the brown plastic
    handles ..... is the best made in the world and comes with
    the code approved vac breakers on the units.....for about 15 bucks each??


    In the long run all you are gonna do is jerry --rig up
    some cheap boiler drains on the outside of your house and
    probably save yourself only 5 bucks on each one .....

    and they might freeze or siphon back nasty water into
    your drinking system some day ---


    or if you try to sell your home some day they could become an issue with the
    home inspector....


    do you think its really worth all the big saveings???

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2008
  4. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    Messages:
    5,980
    Location:
    Ohio
    I would use them if I were you.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    27,047
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    hose faucet

    1. You should not be using PVC inside the building for any water line.
    2. If you install a shut off valve and drain inside the building, and a vacuum breaker on the faucet's outlet, then you do not need a frostproof valve. This assumes you live in an area when freezing can occur.
  6. I install the Quarter Master with vaccum breakers all the time, two today. I don't know how many times I've seen people forget to remember to shut the valves off inside the home and the lines break to the valves.

    OR, a slow leak in the shutoff and it bleeds the pipe full because they didn't leave the outside valve open.

    Galvanized can withstand freezing very well.......PVC shouldn't even be used indoors.

    What's nice about frost-free is that the faucet is operable year round without going through the ritual of closing/opening valves and draining them out.

    Vaccum breaker hosebibbs are going to be code here real soon in KY. Should of been enforced years ago; it's a protection that saves from possible cross-connections.
  7. Bob NH

    Bob NH In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,317
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    I have a frost-free and a standard. When I replaced my boiler about 10 years ago they replaced a standard faucet with a Mansfield frost-free. It was poorly built and came apart internally. It was fixable but I wouldn't put in another like it. I will look around for the WOODFORD.

    I have another with a hose bib selected with the largest valve opening I could find. There is a shutoff valve inside with a drain port. At the end of the season, I shut off the inside valve and open the drain, and open the outside valve. When I connect the hose in the spring, I close the drain cap and open the shutoff valve.
  8. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    I used to install the Quartermaster 1/4 turn frostfree sillcock, but had two service calls on them this year. I found a local supply house that carries the Legend 1/4 turn and I like it a lot better.

    [​IMG]
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2008
  9. Were they broken handles? .......or leaking? I've only had one leaker out of a few hundred and replaced the innards......fixed the problem. All the rest were handles breaking.
  10. joe in queens

    joe in queens New Member

    Messages:
    36
    I agree with Mark on Woodford... though I have a combined hot and cold frostfree hose bib with vacuum breaker... solid brass, very nice, though a little pricey, but well worth it. Now the dog can easily be washed outside all year round, and the car can be washed without freezing hands in the winter (hot water also works better to get rid of road salt).
  11. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,386
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    I concur with the previous answers, but I would add a word of caution. Always disconnect your hoses from the faucets in the winter. Frost-free faucets will not drain with hoses attached and will break when the water freezes.
  12. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    Both of the QMs were leaking. One, I pulled the stem and found a twisted o-ring. The other I swapped the cartridge with a new one. Unfortunately, both were under a year old, so I got to fix them for free.
  13. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Well, y'all sure convinced me! Frost-free it is, and I will look for Woodfords.

    What is the issue with PVC inside the house? The line coming in from my well and submersible pump is 1" PVC, and I was only planning to use PVC for the plumbing back to the outside spigots. For everything else, I am using CPVC to replace old galvanized and a little PVC.
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    If you read what is printed on the side of the pipe, my guess is that it says not for pressure. PVC is designed for drainage systems, not pressure. It is limited to somewhere around maybe 40 pounds.
  15. kordts

    kordts In the Trades

    Messages:
    551
    Location:
    exurban Chicago
    PVC is designed to be used for water service, cold water only. It's okay to use inside in Illinois, for cold only.
  16. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    That is what I have always heard, beginning in the mid-70s: Cold water only.

    I have some 3" sch-40 PVC that is marked "Not For Pressure Use", but I had never seen that until after Katrina and supplies were very low here in the north. And of course, I believe sch-20 PVC is not for pressure use. A piece of 1/2" sch-40 I just looked at in the garage is marked for 600 psi at 73 degrees. One of the problems around here where I live is that the drain fittings (short hub) and the pressure fittings (long hub) sometimes get mixed together on the shelves in the stores, but that can also be convenient when looking for pressure couplings to use in long drain runs!
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    I was looking at some pvc, I think it was foam core stuff, which is what was labeled "not for pressure use". If the stuff would get exposed to UV, I'd not want to use it...it just gets brittle. Always learning...you keep me honest!
  18. leejosepho

    leejosepho DIY scratch-pad engineer

    Yes, that is the stuff I have, and mine is actually 4" rather than 3. The "not for pressure use" label surprised me when I first saw it, but then I later read or heard something somewhere about the foam core. I used it to run about 40' of underground sewage line and it behaved just like the regular sch-40.
  19. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,266
    Location:
    New England
    Drains aren't normally under pressure, and if they are, it usually isn't more than a few pounds.
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