An outdoor faucet is a piece of equipment that isn’t often given much thought. However, once you consider the role that it will have to play in order to keep your garden looking fresh and healthy, it may lead to you needing to undertake a certain amount of research to ensure that the equipment you’re buying is perfect for your needs.
Regardless of your needs, an outdoor faucet should be durable, and provide a constant water flow without interruption. Your outdoor faucet should also be able to withstand less-than-pleasant weather conditions to ensure that it works properly all times of the year.
There are, of course, additional factors that need to be considered such as the intended use time, and whether or not it will need to connect to a sprinkler system.
Being able to compare and contrast the different types of outdoor faucets on the market will help you make an informed decision about which one will work best for your garden.
What is an Outdoor Faucet?
An outdoor faucet is used to supply water on the outside of a house. Most houses come equipped with an outdoor faucet. Outdoor faucets can go by several different names, including hose bibs, spigots and water outlets. Their role remains the same, however, as they are used for watering the garden, washing automobiles or other general cleaning purposes outside. Outdoor faucets can also be hooked up to a sprinkler system and control box in order to efficiently water the garden.
Why are Outdoor Faucets Important?
Outdoor faucets fill a lot of different roles and have many uses. They create a lot of convenience when it comes to outdoor chores, such as watering and washing. This is because it is easier to obtain water from a closer source than it would be to use water obtained from inside the house. As a result, an outdoor faucet can save both time and money. Some of the benefits of having an outdoor faucet include:
Watering your garden is a much easier task with an outdoor faucet. An outdoor faucet can be hooked up to a sprinkler system, or it could be used to fill up a watering can with ease. In addition to this, a hose could also be bought and used as an attachment in order to evenly and efficiently water the garden.
An outdoor faucet also provides a convenient way of washing your hands and feet if you’ve gotten dirty whilst gardening and don’t want to touch anything inside the house with dirty hands or shoes.
Cars, bikes, even equipment such as lawnmowers and other gardening tools can be easily and more efficiently washed using an outdoor faucet. Using an attachment such as a hose will also give your faucet more length, allowing you to wash your car or vehicle regardless of where it is on your property. It is also easier to fill buckets of water up using an outdoor faucet and transport them over to the item which needs cleaning, which can save both time and energy.
Types of Outdoor Faucet
There are different types of outdoor faucet that may better suit your needs. Having a variety to choose from may be daunting, but considering their uses, advantages and disadvantages are sure to help narrow down your choices and help you make your decision.
A spigot faucet may be the first mental image you make when you think of a faucet. A spigot faucet typically encapsulates the traditional shape and look of an outdoor faucet, and is usually made of either brass or steel to increase their durability. Spigot faucets are more commonly found in warm climates, and are sometimes referred to as compression valves. Spigot faucets are reliable and also easy to fix if a leakage occurs. They work by using a turnable handle which can be used to turn the water on and off.
Ball valve faucets are named the way they are due to the way in which they regulate water flow. Inside a ball valve exists a tiny shocker that sits inside the valve chamber. A shocker is a tiny ball with a hole inside which allows water to pass through. Due to this, a ball valve faucet may not provide as much control over water flow that some other faucet types do. It does, however, ensure that water can be turned on and off very quickly without any water dripping.
Frost free faucets are often used in colder climates and, as the name suggests, protect the faucet from freezing. This is often done by having a metal rod covering the chamber which allows water flow, preventing unnecessary damage in case the water inside does freeze. It also acts as a form of insulation, which can prevent the water from freezing in the first place.
Yard hydrants are rarely used in regular gardens or homes. In fact, they are usually reserved for much larger spaces. Yard hydrants are similar to fire hydrants in the way that they function, but on a smaller scale. Yard hydrants are typically a faucet assembled on top of a large pipe that sits protruding above ground, that allow the water to flow from the source once the handle is pulled.
All faucets exist to do the same, or at least very similar, jobs. When buying a faucet, consider what features you’re looking for and what type may work best in your setting.
Things to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Faucet
There are a couple things to consider when buying an outdoor faucet, to ensure that you’ll be getting the most out of it.
The price of faucets may not differ too much between them, but if you’re on a particularly tight budget it could be a swaying factor. A cheaper faucet may lead to problems in the future due to failure or deterioration. Faucets can be very long lasting providing an appropriate one is purchased in the first instance.
Your climate can determine which type of faucet is more apt for your garden. Warmer areas typically utilize spigot faucets, whilst colder places will be more likely to use frost free ones. Considering the type of environment that your faucet will be likely to spend its time in will hopefully help you narrow down possible options.
What will you be using your faucet for the most? The ideal function of your faucet can influence its size and type. For instance, if you intend on using your faucet for a sprinkler system or a hose, you may want to consider the size and dimensions of the faucet, as certain sprinklers and hoses best work when the faucet is an optimal size.
Your garden size may help determine the functionality of your faucet. A large garden will, of course, require more water than a small one. Some faucet types will supply more water quicker, and others such as yard hydrants will be able to give you access to water if you’re nowhere near your house.
Best Outdoor Faucets
Taking into consideration your needs will help you narrow down your options when it comes to buying an outdoor faucet. We have also helped by picking out some of the best and most reliable faucets available.
#1 Prier P-164D12 Quarter-Turn Frost -Free Outdoor Hydrant
- Product is manufactured in United States
- Brand name: Prier
- Model number: P-164D12
- Country of Origin: United States
The Prier P- 164D12 is an ideal example of a frost-free outdoor faucet. Its design is simple, appealing and can blend in nicely with whatever foliage you may have in the garden. Beyond looks, the Prier P- 164D12 is also extremely durable, made apparent by its frost-free guarantee. Whilst it may be more on the expensive side, the Prier P- 164D12 makes up for it in its robust material and ease of access and assembly.
#2 Mueller Industries 103-003
- Meets NSF approved law lead standards
- 3/4-Inch hose thread outlet
- Neoprene seal
- Rough Brass
- Pipe threads comply with ANSI B1.20.1
When it comes to adaptability, the Mueller Industries 103-003 is the way to go. This faucet is ideal for both indoor and outdoor use, and is suitable for drinking due to the omission of lead in its structure. The Mueller Industries 103-003 is made with rough brass, and is very durable as a result.
#3 Homewerks VFF-ASP-C19PA
- 3/4-Inch hose thread outlet
- Brass body construction
- With integral vacuum breaker
- Meets ASSE 1019-A
- Meets ASME A112. 18. 1/CSA B125 Standards
The Homewerks VFF-ASP-C19PA is a more affordable version of the Prier P- 164D12. It has a similar aesthetic, is frost free and behaves in a similar way. However, the decreased cost of the Homewerks VFF-ASP-C19PA is noticeable in that it may suffer some issues regarding dripping and may need the inner valve replaced after initial installation.
#4 WoodFord Wall Faucet
- 3/4" male hose thread nozzle - Stainless steel seat - eliminates wire draw
- EPDM packing to prevent leaking - Full circle operating threads on valve body and retainer
- No-lead solder - Standard "O" size seat washer
- Powder-coated, die cast aluminum handle - Optional Tee Key available (extra charge)
- Adjustable polycarbonate wall flange-MAX PRESSURE-125 p.s.i.-MAX TEMPERATURE-120 Degree F
The WoodFord Wall Faucet is a solid, reliable piece of equipment. It’s durable and will last for a long time without needing maintenance or replacements. The WoodFord Wall Faucet works best when attached to a structure such as a wall, but can be used in different ways to less effectiveness.
#5 Liberty Garden 693-2
- Perfect for residential or industrial use
- Holds up to 150-feet of 5/8-inch hose (hose not included), 5" rack radius
- Features steel construction, durable powder coat finish for weather resistant use, Brass and PVC connector
- Mounts in compact soil or concrete
- Keeps hose neat-ready to use
The Liberty Garden 693-2 acts as a multifunctional tool, incorporating both a hose stand and a faucet in one. The Liberty Garden 693-2 is small and aesthetically pleasing, and is perfect for an avid gardener. The multifunctional aspect of the Liberty Garden 693-2 may appeal to some but put others off.
How to Prevent a Faucet from Dripping
A dripping faucet can mean bad news for your setup. Not only could it lead to unnecessary water waste, but it can also lead to further damage to your faucet in the way of rust or other water damage. If there are plants underneath your faucet, it could also lead to overwatering.
A leaky and dripping faucet can sometimes be remedied by following a couple of reliable steps.
To help fix a dripping faucet, the following equipment is needed.
- Multihead screwdriver
- Flathead screwdriver
- Assembly washer
- Adjustable wrench
The following steps can be taken to help fix a dripping faucet:
- The first thing you should do if your faucet is dripping is to shut off the water supply to it. By doing so, you’re reducing the potential water waste that may be being caused by the leak.
- Once the water supply to the faucet has been shut off, you can begin to attempt to tighten the nut that is attached to the faucet. Leaks are often caused by the nut becoming loose. Tightening it is an easy first solution to try out. Try not to tighten the nut too tightly as it can become damaged as a result.
- If the faucet continues to drip once the water supply resumes, then there are other options that you can try to fix the issue.
- Make sure that for every different fix you try, you shut the water off during the process.
- If dripping persists, you can try unscrewing the nut that is often underneath the faucet handle. This nut may be slightly harder to remove and might require the lubricant and pliers.
- Once the nut is removed, take the valve out of the outdoor faucet using the wrench. Then, remove the assembly washer. To do this, you may need to use your flathead screwdriver.
- Separate the valve from the faucet using the screwdriver and remove the nuts. Replace the assembly washer from the faucet with a new one. Then, replace the packing string faucet with a graphite string.
- Place this back into the faucet and tighten the nuts using the wrench. You can then turn the water supply back on in the hopes that the faucet stops dripping.
Choosing the Best Faucet for You
The best faucet for you would be one that suits your needs in an effective way. Knowing your needs, as discussed earlier, will help you decide which faucet is right for you.
Installation: It’s also important to consider the installation of the faucet as well, as some faucets are easier to assemble and install than others. If you’re planning on doing this yourself it could make a difference to what faucet you buy, as it could lead to further costs if it needs to be installed by a contractor or other specialist.
Aesthetics: It may be somewhat fickle, but sometimes the aesthetics of a faucet come into play when choosing one. The design and shape of a faucet may be worth considering, especially if you’re keen on keeping your garden themed a certain way.
Water Waste: The amount of water consumption that is needed by your faucet is also worth thinking about. Faucets should ideally have water saving functions which prevent unnecessary water waste.
Safety: A brand made to last will also be a brand that will reduce freezing fears or fears that your faucet may not be built with the safest materials.
Protecting your Outdoor Faucet
Your outdoor faucet will be exposed to all sorts of less-than-ideal weather conditions. There are steps you can take to protect it from particularly nasty weather. An outdoor faucet is particularly at risk during winter months due to the threat of water freezing over, expanding and damaging the faucet or any pipes it may be attached to.
To prepare for winter, it’s a good idea to insulate your outdoors faucet (regardless of whether it is a frost-free one), using a small piece of tarp or insulation foam. Before doing so, make sure there is no water inside the faucet by draining it.
A faucet is at risk of freezing once the temperature dips below 32 degrees fahrenheit. If you’re expecting a cold snap, be sure to take precaution.
Water freezing inside your faucet can lead to damage as water expands once it’s frozen. In addition to this, frost can create rust on the outside of your faucet, leaving it harder to screw and unscrew.
You can read more about winterizing a sprinkler system here.
Even though it’s quite an unassuming piece of equipment, an outdoor faucet can impact the efficiency of your gardening routine. Whether it is being used to wash the car, water the plants or attached to a hose or sprinkler system, an outdoor faucet has plenty of different models that can be utilized for these purposes – it’s just a matter of choosing which one works best for your intended purpose.