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Frost-free faucets are common in homes with cold winters, but they can be found in some other areas as well. If you live in an area where the water freezes easily, a frost-free faucet is helpful.
A frost-free faucet can be identified by looking inside the spout. You will only notice a metallic stem-like component inside the faucet. On the other hand, the parts of the valve are also visible in non-frost-free faucets, which open or close upon turning the valve, once you take a look at it.
In this article, I will show you everything learned about these amazing spigots that will keep your water running fine during the winter.
A frost-free faucet is a spigot designed by stopping the flow of hot water from the water supply in your house to prevent freezing.
Take note that frozen water building up in your pipe is equivalent to clogging, but worse because ice is harder than the regular grime that clogs up your kitchen sink. This could cause leaking as the pipes get damaged from the ice blocking the high pressure of water flowing out.
The frost-free faucet has the very seal of the valve covering the hot water located far from the faucet’s valve and spot. That way, all water will be released out of the spout as the valve pushes the water out upon closing it.
This results in tiny amounts of water remaining inside the pipes. This is not a problem when it gets frozen since it can be remedied by the hot water that will just melt if off once you open the faucet again. At a later part of the article, I will give a detailed explanation of its mechanism.
To understand what a frost-free faucet looks like, you have to know its anatomy first. That way, you will learn the mechanism behind the faucet once you turn the value.
There is also a noticeable difference in how the frost-free faucets work from the inside. Gladly, you can identify it from outside the faucet simply by taking a look from the spout of the frost-free faucet.
These faucets are often found outside your home. You can spot it in your garden, garage, or maybe near the backdoor of your kitchen at the back. Frost-free faucets are commonly installed in outdoor areas because there are times where indoor faucets do not need one, especially in houses with heaters.
However, some still prefer to keep frost-free faucets in cold climate areas even if they have heaters for them to have a running supply of water during emergencies.
The frost-free faucet’s outside appearance is easy to spot, and its physical structure simply hints out how it prevents the water inside it from freezing. Frost-free faucets have the water facing diagonally downwards away from its main body. Its main body is long, with the valve as the head facing towards its users.
Based on its long body, and the way the spout is positioned, the frost-free faucet is designed to prevent water from freezing inside it. Later on, this will be explained.
Identifying the faucet thoroughly is not just about checking if there is a faucet outside your house. You also need to disassemble it, or buy one at hardware, for you to take a close look at it. If you take a peek inside the frost-free faucet from the spout, what you will notice is a stem-like component inside it.
Unlike the non-frost-free faucets, whereas its valve components can be seen moving when you turn to open or close it.
For sure you all know how the frost-free faucet is being used since it’s generally an outdoor faucet. This is often used for gardens to water plants easier by attaching a hose into it. It can also be used at the garage in the same way for you to clean your vehicle.
Though you can have it in an indoor area at home for emergencies, most people do not consider this option as it’s too irrelevant. The way it is designed looks better when installed in outdoor areas, as it stands out too much for indoor designs due to its appearance.
Now you know how to identify a frost-free faucet, it’s time for you to understand the reason why it is designed that way. In this part of the article, you will gain full knowledge about the frost-free faucet by understanding its complete anatomy.
Though, expect that there will be no terms that are too technical for the beginners to understand, or perhaps for those who are just too curious to understand how the faucet works. So, let’s start.
As said earlier, the frost-free faucet has a valve serving as its “head”, facing you once you go ahead and use it. The reason why it is designed this way is because of the stem that I mentioned at the very beginning of the article.
The stem-like component of the valve is a long component that’s connected from the valve, all the way to the other side of the pipe area of the faucet.
At the other end of the stem, you will see the part that holds the hot water from inside your home. This is the seal that was mentioned earlier, too. This means that the whole faucet itself will never have any remaining water.
The reason why it works wondrously outdoors during the freezing weather is that when the valve is opened, it pulls out the stem and the end of it, allowing hot water to pass through.
As the hot water passes through, it goes out of the spout located just hear the head, facing diagonally outwards a few inches from the valve. Upon closing the valve, the water still gets pushed out as the seal closes the hot water supplier inside the house once again.
This potentially leaves minimal amounts of water, especially if the faucet is installed in a way that it’s not too straight, but a bit slanted down to slide more water away.
The remaining water inside can then be melted off by the hot water once the valve gets opened again.
Now you fully know what the frost-free can do, here are some tips when using one at your household:
- Do not leave the hose attached to the spigot as the remaining water at the connected ends of the two could freeze and make the hose hard to remove.
- A neglected hose might not be drained, causing it to have ice buildup inside. If you are going to leave the house, be sure the water is drained well.
- When removing the faucet, it’s best to get a firm hold of both ends, and make sure they are unscrewed at the same time.
- If you are having a hard time uninstalling a faucet that needs repair, it’s best to contact a plumber. Frost-free faucets are prone to easily twisting apart when forcefully removed, which might leave shards of the faucet in your wall.
- Frost-free faucets come in 1” to 24” sizes. Any replacements done to the faucet should be of the same size only.
- If preparing for the winter season, it’s best to install a new faucet during the later stages of the fall season.
The frost-free faucets are very important to study as it helps you know how to properly use it during the winter, and how amazing it is when used during freezing temperatures as well. In that way, hundreds of bucks can be saved as you use it the right way!