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Are you looking to install a new outdoor faucet? Or maybe your current one is on its last legs, and you want to replace it?
Whatever your reason, we’ve got everything you need to know about the different types of outdoor faucets you can buy.
We’ll also help you find the best outdoor faucet brands and give you some tips to maintain them through harsh winter months.
We’ll explain the different types of outdoor faucets that are available and how to find the best one for you, and how to look after it.
What Is An Outdoor Faucet?
An outdoor faucet, or spigot, is a faucet attached to the outside of a house where a garden hose can be connected. Many homes are fitted with outdoor faucets connected to the outdoor water supply. Many outdoor faucets are generally used for watering lawns, washing cars, or cleaning garden tools.
They may be called various names, such as a spigot, hose bib, or a water outlet, but they’re all the same. Exterior water is produced by a hose attached to the faucet opening.
We’ve got a guide that may help: What’s the difference between a faucet, spigot, and tap?
The Different Types Of Outdoor Faucets
Once you decide what type of outdoor faucet you want, check out our buyer’s guide: The 10 Best Outdoor Faucets
1. Spigot Faucets
Spigot faucets are fixtures that are installed on the exterior of a house. This is a standard outdoor faucet option, and you may have one outside your home right now.
Spigots usually consist of an irregular circle-shaped valve and a metal pipe, with the valve needing to be turned anti-clockwise to open it and allow the water to come out. Unlike indoor faucets, spigots aren’t very elegant, and they can’t regulate the water temperature either.
Spigot is a term that can refer to different types of outdoor faucets, including yard hydrants and hose bib faucets.
2. Hose Bib Faucet
Hose bibs are valves that you can attach to a hose to control the water flow. They consist of a handle that turns so that a stem is screwed into the seat, sealing the outlet opening and cutting off the water flow.
A hose bib may be given various names, such as lawn service, hose faucet, or lawn hydrant. The terms outdoor faucet and hose bib are commonly used interchangeably. But, hose bibs are always outdoor faucets, but not all faucets are hose bibs.
3. Ball Valve Faucets
A ball valve faucet is a simple mechanism involving, you guessed it, a ball with a hole that can open and close. Ball valve faucets are ideal if adjusting the water flow isn’t very important.
For example, if you require a shutoff valve, your best option will be a ball valve faucet. If you don’t use a valve for a few years, a standard type with rubber washers will harden over time and may not work anymore. You may also hear it being called a “quarter-turn” valve.
4. Frost-Proof Outdoor Faucet
If you live in a cold climate, you’ll want to choose a frost-proof outdoor faucet, as freezing temperatures can cause the pipes to crack and burst. Frost-proof faucets are very similar to traditional types. However, unlike a hose bib, it has a tube attached that can measure up to 24 inches.
There is usually a compression valve at the tube’s supply end, which is attached to the outlet handle through a rod. This moves the water connection inside your house where the water won’t freeze due to cold weather.
5. Anti-Siphon Faucets
Anti-siphon faucets were invented to prevent contamination of a water supply. An anti-siphon faucet stops dirty water from entering the water supply system. This can happen if a hose gets dropped into a puddle, and if there is a sudden drop in water pressure, the dirty water can get sucked in.
You should install an anti-siphon faucet if the spout makes contact with any puddles or drain water. Some outdoor plumbing codes even have a rule that an anti-siphon valve is mandatory for sill-cocks or outdoor faucets.
6. Yard Hydrant
Yard hydrants are outdoor faucet types that connect underground water pipes. This means that, like frost-proof faucets, yard hydrants won’t be affected by freezing temperatures, providing access to water immediately all year round.
Even better, they can be installed away from your house, unlike a spigot that would have to be attached to the exterior of your home. For those with big backyards and piping that covers a good distance, yard hydrants are a great way to have backup water access.
These types of outdoor faucets have a very simple and intuitive function. When you pull the handle up, an opening is created, allowing the water to flow out. The further you pull the handle, the faster the water flow will be.
7. Outdoor Shower Faucet
Ever wanted to install an outdoor shower in your backyard? Now you can, thanks to outdoor shower faucets. They’re incredibly convenient, especially if you have a swimming pool or pets that like to get very dirty!
But, for this installation, using a yard hydrant isn’t the best choice. Using an old type of outdoor faucet isn’t suitable either. Luckily, you can get outdoor shower fixtures that are as functional as indoor showerheads. The main outdoor shower faucet types are:
- Freestanding showers: these are standalone fixtures that are directly connected to a shower tray or the ground
- Wall-mounted showers: these are attached to a wall, fence, or any other solid object
8. Outdoor Kitchen Faucet
You may want to extend your living space into your backyard, such as an outdoor lounge area or a kitchen. If you’d like to do a spot of alfresco cooking, you’ll need a water source. An outdoor kitchen faucet will have to be super tough as they’ll need to face all kinds of weather each year.
The most popular choice is stainless steel because it won’t corrode and will last for years. You can expect to pay anything from $100 to $1500 or possibly more for an outdoor kitchen faucet.
If you have a bigger budget, a commercial-quality faucet is the best choice as they are very functional and resilient.
Types of Outdoor Faucet Handles
1. Wheel Handle
Wheel handles are commonly used on outdoor faucets if the original handle is broken. It’s a popular choice because of its round shape, complete with scalloped edges that are super easy to grip.
Wheel handles are fairly big, so you won’t find it difficult to turn if you have larger hands. It works by being turned in opposite directions, left to let the water out and right to turn the flow off.
2. Tee Handle
Tee handles are often seen on traditional hose bibs and spigots. They have two rods attached to the center of the handle, making it easy to hold onto and turn.
Tee handles are constructed from metal, which is why they’re so tough and durable. They also come with handles covered with rubber or plastic, making them more ergonomic and comfortable to grip.
3. Turn Hose Handle
Turn hose handles are commonly found on ball valve faucets. It features one extended lever that you can push sideways at 90 degrees. This turning action moves the valve ball, so it releases the water. It’s very easy to operate and is ideal for unrestricted water flow.
This handle design means you won’t need to adjust the volume or pressure of the water that will pass through each second. Rather, making a quarter turn with the handle will turn the water on full blast, and turning it back a quarter will stop the water flow.
4. Oversized Handle
It’s recommended to choose an oversized handle if you need to switch the water on and off easily. The design of an oversized handle provides extra leverage and a better grip than other handles.
For example, an oversized handle is a great option if you need to turn an outdoor water faucet on while wearing work gloves. These handles are also suitable for people suffering from hand soreness, arthritis, or similar conditions, as a smaller handle may be very difficult to operate.
Oversized handles are usually constructed from tough ABS plastic, which can withstand different weather conditions.
How To Find The Best Outdoor Faucet
Although choosing an outside faucet shouldn’t be overly difficult, it does require a bit of thought. If you’re buying one for the first time, it can be a bit intimidating trying to choose the best one.
To choose the right one for you, consider factors such as what you’ll be using it for, where it will be located, and your budget.
Best Outdoor Faucet Manufacturers
With so many faucet manufacturers to choose from, it can be hard deciding which one to buy from. Some top manufacturers to look out for include:
How Can I Prepare My Outdoor Faucets For The Winter Seasons?
Looking after your outdoor faucet and the connecting pipes can prevent any problems associated with the winter months. You can prepare your faucet for the winter by turning off the water – simply use the shutoff valve in your house that connects the faucet to the water supply.
This will make sure that both the faucet and the pipes are dry so no water can freeze inside them, potentially causing cracks. You can provide additional protection for your faucet by covering it with an insulation cover during the cold months, protecting it from freezing weather.
What is the difference between a faucet and a spigot?
You’ll probably hear many names being thrown around when referring to outdoor faucets, but they all mean the same thing, which is a tap attached to the outside of a house. A spigot is simply a type of outdoor faucet, and it’s one of the most commonly used.
Can the faucet damage the garden hose if left outside?
It’s very common to forget to switch the water off after using a hose; as humans, it’s easy to get distracted by various things. Unfortunately, if you do leave the hose on for a long time, the water flow will put stress on the hose, causing it to rupture. This means a lot of water waste and a potentially high water bill!
How much does it cost to replace an outdoor faucet?
For a replacement faucet, you can expect to pay from $100 to $300, as it’s quite a simple procedure. The cost of your replacement will also depend on which type of faucet you have and whether it has any extra features such as anti-freeze protection.
What size is standard for outdoor faucets?
Outside faucets come in sizes 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch. These sizes are the most common water pipe widths, referring to the diameter of the pipe. A 1/2 inch faucet will have better water pressure than a 3/4 inch, so keep this in mind when choosing one.
You may think that all outdoor faucets do the same job and that you can just pick any, install it, and it’ll work perfectly, but unfortunately, there is more to it than that. Multiple factors will affect which faucet you can use, including:
- Water needs
- Whether the hose comes into contact with puddles
- Location of the water
- How often it’ll be used
Because of this, there’s no longer just one type of faucet. Instead, many different types of outdoor faucets have been created, including those featuring anti-freeze and anti-siphon mechanisms.
Hopefully, this guide has provided all the necessary information you need so you can now go out and confidently purchase the perfect outdoor faucet for your backyard!