What’s a Yard Faucet?

Does your home have a yard faucet that you use to water your lawn, irrigate your garden, or wash your car? Chances are you have some outdoor plumbing that comes from inside your home and connects to a spigot on the exterior of your house (i.e. where you connect your garden hose).

You might know this system by several names, though they all refer to the same element of outdoor plumbing:

  • sillcock
  • spigot
  • outdoor faucet
  • hydrant
  • yard faucet
  • hose bibb

Not all installations are identical; some systems come out of a concrete foundation or out of brick, but all of them should terminate in a heated area of the home to protect the valve from freezing.

Note: Many older homes have yard faucets that don’t terminate in a heated area. If we encounter this in your home, we cannot repair it as-is. We are required to replace and update the outdated yard faucet with a proper model.

While yard faucets like these are super-convenient and a must for most homeowners, there are a few things you should know about keeping yours in tip-top shape, especially here in the Denver area.

Freezing Temperatures Can Damage Your Yard Faucet

The technicians here at High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling have been especially busy this year with yard faucet repairs and replacements, thanks to some freezing temperatures in late spring. You know how fickle Colorado weather can be: 80 degrees one day, then snowing the next.

As is sometimes the case, the Denver area had a late, unexpected freeze in May. Quite a few people simply forgot to disconnect their hoses from their homes before the freeze set in. When subjected to freezing temperatures, a lot of outdoor faucets will burst when the hose is attached.

But it’s not the ice buildup between the hose and faucet that causes the burst. The culprit here is the buildup of water pressure behind the expanding ice block. The copper tubing is able to withstand about 1800 PSI of water pressure. When ice buildup comes into play, the copper tubing may be subjected to pressure in excess of 2000 PSI, resulting in a busted pipe.

Because of the surprise freeze in May, we’ve seen more leaky faucets in need of repair than we would in a typical year. See the burst faucets circled below? Those were all damaged in the freeze.

If you’re one of those homeowners who forgot to disconnect your hose, you probably know what a hassle a leaking yard faucet can be. Lucky for you, we’re experienced with yard faucet issues and can take care of your repairs quickly (click here to request an estimate today). You’ll be back to watering your flower beds and washing your car in no time!

Bonus: If you’d love to add hot water to your yard faucet (really!), we can do that, too! Say hello to warm hands after a crisp morning in the garden or washing the car.

Leave Installation and Repairs to a Professional

Installing a new yard faucet? Repairing a damaged one? Make sure to have a professional or someone who truly understands plumbing handles the installation or repair.

Even though yard faucets may seem simple to replace on your own, we have seen many homeowners cause more damage to their system when undertaking a DIY replacement. If installed incorrectly, yard faucets can still freeze, even when a hose isn’t connected.

For reference, here are the yard faucets we’ve had to replace in just the last month.

You Need an Anti-Siphon Yard Faucet

For your protection, your home should have an anti-siphon yard faucet. This type of faucet normalizes the pressure inside the pipes when you turn off the water to ensure the water doesn’t flow backward through your system. In short, an anti-siphon faucet prevents any non-potable yard water from backing up and contaminating the drinking water inside your home.

In fact, the Denver building code requires anti-siphon yard faucets:

“Water systems subjected to the hazards of backflow or back-siphonage, which might create pollution to the potable water supply; i.e. hose bibbs shall have anti-siphon devices.”

If your home doesn’t have an anti-siphon yard faucet, we cannot repair the old one. As licensed plumbers, we would need to replace it with an anti-siphon yard faucet.

You Can Test Your Water Pressure at Your Yard Faucet

It’s also handy to know that you can easily test your water pressure at the site of your yard faucet. Learn everything you need to know about your home’s water pressure here in this blog post, including how to test it at the site of your yard faucet.

Knowing whether your water pressure is too high or at an optimal level can save you a lot of headaches and repairs down the road!

Quick Recap

Remember, while it may seem like an easy do-it-yourself project, an incorrect yard faucet installation can mean problems down the road.

Whether you’re installing a new yard faucet, replacing a damaged one, or bringing your current system up to code for the health and safety of your family, the experienced technicians at High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling are here to help.

Request an Estimate Today!

At High 5 Plumbing, Heating & Cooling, our trustworthy, reliable experts can help you get your yard faucet in tip-top shape. Call us today or contact us online to get your expert estimate–fair and honest every time!

High 5 Plumbing

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