Fall Maintenance ~ Time to Winterize Your Hose Bibs

An exterior frost-free hose bib identified during a home inspection

October 27, 2023


Examina Inspections

How to Maintain Your Exterior Hose Bibs

If you have a garden, a lawn, or any outdoor space that needs watering, you probably have one or more exterior hose bibs. These are the faucets that connect to your garden hoses and provide you with a convenient water source outside your home. But did you know that there are different types of hose bibs, and that they require proper maintenance to prevent damage and leaks?

Let’s explore some of the common types of exterior hose bibs, their pros and cons, and how to winterize them to protect them from freezing temperatures. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how to choose and care for your outdoor faucets.

Types of Exterior Hose Bibs

There are several types of exterior hose bibs, each with its own features and benefits. Here are some of the most popular ones:

Spigots or hose bibbs

These are the standard outdoor faucets that most homes have. They are designed to work well with garden hoses, making them perfect for watering plants or washing cars. They are usually made of brass, stainless steel, or plastic, and have a threaded outlet that allows you to attach a hose easily. They are also relatively inexpensive and easy to install.

Frost-free faucets

These are a type of spigot that have a long stem that extends into the wall or the ground, where the water supply valve is located. This prevents the water from freezing in the faucet and causing it to burst. Frost-free faucets are ideal for cold climates, where regular spigots can be damaged by frost. They are also more durable and leak-resistant than standard spigots.

Ball valve faucets

These are a type of faucet that have a simple lever that controls the water flow. They are usually made of brass or stainless steel, and are very durable and easy to use. They rarely drip or leak, giving you a reliable water source in your yard or garden. They are also compatible with hoses, but may require an adapter.


These are a type of faucet that are mounted on the wall of your house, usually near the foundation or the basement window. They have a long stem that extends into the house, where the water supply valve is located. They are similar to frost-free faucets, but they have a downward angle that allows water to drain out of the faucet when it is turned off. This prevents freezing and corrosion.

Yard hydrants

These are a type of faucet that are installed in the ground, usually near a well or a water main. They have a long pipe that extends underground, where the water supply valve is located. They have a handle that lifts up to turn on the water, and pushes down to turn it off. They provide a high water pressure and volume, making them suitable for irrigation or filling large containers.

How to Winterize Your Hose Bibs

Winterizing your hose bibs is an important step to take before the cold weather arrives. If you leave water in your outdoor pipes, it can freeze and expand, causing cracks or bursts in your pipes or faucets. This can result in costly repairs and water damage to your home.

To winterize your hose bibs properly, you will need to follow these steps :

– Locate your shut-off valves inside your home. These valves control the water supply to your outdoor faucets. You may have one valve for all your hose bibs, or separate valves for each one.
– Turn off the shut-off valves by turning them clockwise until they stop.
– Go outside and detach any hoses from your hose bibs. Drain any water from the hoses and store them indoors for the winter.
– Turn on your hose bibs and let any water in the pipes drain out. Leave the faucets open for the winter to release any pressure from the freezing of any remaining water.
– Cover your hose bibs with insulating covers or foam caps. These will protect your faucets from frost and wind, and prevent any water from entering the pipes.

By following these steps, you will ensure that your hose bibs are ready for the winter and prevent any damage or leaks from occurring. You will also save water and energy by avoiding unnecessary water loss and pipe bursts.

If you are looking for a reliable and professional home inspection service in Gibsons, Sechelt, Pender Harbour or any other location on the Sunshine Coast, British Columbia, look no further than Examina Inspections. We are licensed by Consumer Protection BC and follow the standards of practice set by the Canadian National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. We use state-of-the-art equipment and software to provide you with a comprehensive and easy-to-read report on the same day as your inspection. Contact us today to book your inspection!

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