Water spigots are also known by hose bibbs, faucets, nozzles valves, hydrants, spouts stopcocks, taps, and bibcocks. Their obvious purpose is to run water outside the building. In the last few days, the inspections that we have been doing we found frozen spigots. Frost free spigots have the handle outside of the house that is connected a valve about 10″ inside the walls. This way the water will be stopped in the heated part of the house and not close to the exterior where it can freeze. When the faucet is turned off, the water drains out and prevents it from freezing in the pipe. The hose attached to the spigot is our problem. The hose prevents the water from draining from the spigot. When the water is trapped in the spigot during our winters, it will freeze. When water freezes, it expands. If it expands enough, it will burst the pipe just inside the wall. This is more common than people think. After the thaw of the frozen water, the water will spray (inside the house) every time the spigot is turned on and it will not be visible from the outside.
This last one was a home inspection in Chicago. It was a frost free spigot that the hose wasn’t removed for the winter. This motivated me to write this blogpost. The garden hose needs to be disconnected every winter to allow water to drain properly from the spigot and prevent this freezing of the pipes.
Charles Bellefontaine CMI, CPI, ACI
January 23, 2019