Managing your utilities can be a time-consuming process that gets confusing quickly. Adding piping or making changes to existing plumbing is no easy task, especially if you have to contend with the great outdoors at the same time.
Everyone who has done yard work or enjoyed an activity like grilling can think of at least one use for an outdoor faucet. Having easy access to water wherever you need it can save a ton of time and hassle. Using tools like hoses and sprinklers becomes that much easier, and washing your car or plastic furniture is suddenly a simple task.
Many homes in the country or with large yards may already come equipped with an outdoor faucet of some type. Taking care of an outdoor faucet is all about understanding the year-round conditions it will need to weather. Once you know what you’re working with, it becomes easier to start asking questions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Regardless of if you are a first-time buyer of an outdoor faucet looking for a good brand, style, and location, or if you have a pre-installed one that needs care, you’ll have some questions. You aren’t alone! Here are some of the most common questions people in your position ask, as well as some helpful tips and answers.
1. What Size Should My Faucet Be?
There are many outdoor faucet styles and types. For this initial question, we’re going to presume you are referring to one of the most common, the hose bib or spigot. These versatile and widespread varieties of outdoor faucets are simple openings with a form of valve for running water. It’s most often used by hooking a hose up to its entrance, thus the name.
Knowing what you want to use your new faucet for is crucial if you’re looking to install a completely new one. Having a good notion of what you’ll be hooking up to your hose bib can help you avoid anguish later. If the faucet you already have doesn’t work with whatever extension or tool you want to hook up, look into getting an adapter before you consider the costly process of replacing the faucet.
What size is the standard outdoor faucet? Generally speaking, you’ll be looking at getting one of two sizes of an outdoor spigot, ½ inch or ¾ inch. These two sizes are compatible with the most commonly seen sizes of water pipes, as well. Thanks to the relative sizes of the water pipes and openings, you can expect a bit more water pressure from the ½ inch faucet.
|Faucet Size (Inches)||Faucet Size (Centimeters)||Relative Water Pressure|
|½ Inch||1.27 Centimeters||Higher|
|¾ Inch||1.9 Centimeters||Lower|
2. What Can I Use an Outdoor Faucet For?
Having outdoor access to water is useful for a wide variety of yard work, maintenance tasks, and fun activities. The water is guaranteed to be cold, and the mechanics in place for getting it are going to be much simpler than the way indoor faucets draw water.
Hooking up tools like hoses, sprinklers, or garden irrigation systems to your faucet are some of the most common uses. Watering your lawn, washing things like a car or lawn furniture, and maintaining a garden are goals made achievable with an outdoor faucet.
3. How do I Maintain an Outdoor Faucet?
The most important part of caring for an outdoor faucet is seasonal awareness. While checking for obvious problems in the faucet itself and the pipes connected to it is a year-round task, the issues that could show themselves are much more apparent. When dealing with the winter months, you have to be proactive instead of reactive with the majority of your care.
Make sure that any hoses or tools are disconnected completely from the faucet during these months. Outdoor faucets will come equipped with a special type of water shut-off valve that will stop them from working completely. This is a necessary step along with draining any remaining water from the pipes connected to the faucet to prevent damage from freezing.
If you remember to get rid of any water in the system before winter hits in colder climates, you’ll be set. For the warmer months, try and run your faucet consistently to clear it of any other debris or potential clogs that could build up over time.
If your outdoor faucet suffers some damage, make sure to look for replacement parts right away. If you can fix the problem fast enough, you’ll be able to use your faucet sooner, and avoid additional damage from faulty components.
4. What Types of Outdoor Faucets and Handles Are Available?
Though we initially touched on hose bibs and spigots, there are quite a few more variants of outdoor faucets to discuss. Plenty of these faucets also have unique or interchangeable handles to suit your own needs. Try to consider all the questions we’ve answered when looking into getting a faucet.
Faucet varieties include:
- Yard Hydrants – A heavy-duty outdoor faucet connected to a water supply pipe outside of a well
- Wall Hydrants – A faucet connected to a house’s supply and kept mostly winter-proof
- Frost-proof Spigots – An outdoor faucet with a special construction to insulate it from the cold
- Ball Valves – A binary faucet using a ball-like mechanism to control flow
- Anti-Siphon Faucets – A special faucet for preventing dirty water backflow
Handle varieties include:
- Wheel Handles
- Tee Handles
- Turn Hose Handles
- Handle Covers
The Right Faucet For You
The right process and the correct outdoor faucet will make all the difference in how you keep it in good shape. Keep a close eye on what the weather is like in your area, as the type of climate you deal with will heavily impact what you have to do in the future, and what needs you may have for the faucet.
Make sure to keep up with the maintenance of your outdoor faucet, and you’ll find life much easier.