5 Types of Outdoor Faucets (and the Best Brand for Each)

water flowing from hose bibb

Outdoor faucets are essential for a wide range of outdoor activities, including gardening, cleaning, and even more demanding tasks like supplying water in agricultural settings or at construction sites. Each type of outdoor water faucet is tailored to specific needs, and designed to offer optimal performance under varying conditions—be it handling heavy water flow, resisting weather extremes, or ensuring safe drinking water through anti-contamination features.

Let’s explore the five common types of faucets and identify the best brand for each to ensure you get both functionality and reliability.

5 Types of Outdoor Faucets

1. Spigot and Hose Bibb Faucet

Spigot and hose bibb faucets operate on a similar principle using a compression valve, which opens to allow water flow when turned to the right and closes when turned to the left. These faucets are easy to use and are typically mounted on a home's exterior, with spigots often used for tasks like filling buckets or watering gardens. At the same time, hose bibbs are specifically designed for hose connections—ideal for more extensive watering tasks, vehicle washing, or operating sprinklers.

The key advantages of hose bibbs include their ease of use and versatility; however, they need to be winterized in regions with cold winters to prevent freezing and bursting.

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2. Freeze-Proof Faucet

Freeze-proof faucets are engineered to prevent water from freezing in the pipe, making them essential for cold weather. The key feature of these faucets is a design that places the valve inside the home, with the faucet extending outward—this setup keeps the water in a non-freezing zone. Freezeless faucets are perfect for regions with harsh winters as they reduce the risk of pipe damage due to freezing. The primary con is their higher cost compared to standard faucets, and they require installation that may involve modifying existing plumbing.

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3. Ball Valve Faucet

Ball valve faucets, also called shut-off valves, use a lever to control the flow of water through a spherical valve. This design allows for excellent control and durability, making it suitable for applications requiring frequent on/off operation. They are particularly favored in commercial settings for their robustness and longevity. A ball valve faucet is less likely to develop leaks over time compared to traditional faucets. However, they tend to be more expensive and might require more space for installation due to their configuration.

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4. Anti Siphon Valve

Anti siphon valves are designed to prevent backflow, keeping potentially contaminated water from flowing back into the clean water supply. This feature is crucial for faucets connected to garden hoses used in gardening or chemical mixing, ensuring that the water supply line remains uncontaminated. These faucets are mandated by law in many areas for safety reasons. While they provide significant safety benefits, the complexity of their design can lead to higher costs and more complicated repairs.

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5. Yard Hydrant

Yard hydrants are designed for agricultural or large-scale gardening applications, providing a reliable water source that can be accessed throughout large areas. These hydrants feature an underground valve mechanism that can withstand freezing temperatures and allow the water to be shut off deep below the frost line. A yard hydrant is incredibly durable and designed for heavy-duty use. Their installation can be complex and costly, typically involving significant plumbing work and precise placement to ensure functionality.

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Choosing the Right Outdoor Faucet Material

The choice of material should be based on your local climate, the specific use of the outdoor water faucet, and your budget. Here’s a closer look at the three most common materials used in outdoor faucets:

 Material Advantages Disadvantages
Brass Highly durable, resistant to corrosion, can handle high water pressures, long lifespan More expensive, lower-quality may contain lead
Stainless Steel Rust-resistant, does not tarnish, hygienic, sleek appearance Higher cost, prone to scratching and dents
Plastic Cost-effective, lightweight, easy to handle, resistant to corrosion Less durable, vulnerable to UV damage and extreme temperatures, shorter lifespan

 

What is the Best Outdoor Water Spigot?

There's no single "best" outdoor water spigot. The ideal choice depends on several factors:

  • Climate: In freezing temperatures, a frost-proof outdoor water faucet is essential.
  • Functionality: Consider your primary use case. Ball valves are great for pressure washing, while anti-siphon faucets are necessary for some applications.
  • Water Pressure: High-pressure tasks like pressure washing require an outdoor water faucet that can handle the extra force.
  • Material: Brass and stainless steel offer superior durability, while plastic might be suitable for temporary or low-use applications.
  • Brand Reputation: While not the most important factor for outdoor spigots and hose bibs, some brands are known for reliability in frost-proof faucets and specialty options like anti-siphon and ball valves.

 

Hiring a Professional Plumbing Service

professional plumber fixing burst pipes

Hiring a professional plumbing service to install or repair outdoor faucets can significantly reduce the likelihood of encountering issues down the line, offering homeowners peace of mind. Licensed plumbers bring a wealth of expertise and experience, ensuring that installations comply with local building codes and are completed to the highest standards. They possess the necessary tools and skills to properly execute the job, preventing common pitfalls such as leaks, which can lead to water damage and costly repairs.

 

Is it Necessary to Use Water Spigot Locks?

Water spigot locks are essential for securing most outdoor spigots against unauthorized use and potential water wastage, particularly in drought-prone or public areas. TRADESAFE offers premium quality water spigot lockout devices, designed for durability and security. Constructed from high-grade materials, these locks are weather-resistant and tamper-proof, making them ideal for both residential and commercial settings.

 

FAQs about Outdoor Faucets

What is the most common outdoor faucet?

The most common type of outdoor faucet is the hose bib. It's specifically designed for easy garden hose attachment, making it ideal for garden and general outdoor water tasks.

What is the difference between a spigot and a faucet?

The terms "spigot" and "faucet" are often used interchangeably, especially in the United States. Generally, both refer to a device that controls the flow of water from a plumbing system. However, "spigot" is more commonly used to describe outdoor water fixtures.

What is the difference between a spigot and a sillcock?

A spigot is a basic water dispenser that typically has a threaded connection for hoses and is designed for simpler on/off functionality. A sillcock, often referred to as a hose bibb or outdoor faucet, includes a valve for controlling water flow and may include anti-siphon technology to prevent backflow, offering more specialized features for outdoor usage.

How do I know what size outdoor faucet I need?

The size of the outdoor faucet you need generally depends on the water flow rate and pressure you require. Most residential outdoor faucets are 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch in size, matching standard garden hose sizes. Consider consulting with a plumber to determine the best size based on your specific needs and existing plumbing setup.

What faucets do plumbers prefer?

Plumbers often prefer faucets that are durable, easy to maintain, and repairable. Brands like Delta, Moen, and Kohler are frequently recommended due to their quality construction, availability of parts, and excellent manufacturer support.

How high should a spigot be off the ground?

The height of a spigot off the ground typically ranges between 2 to 3 feet. This height makes it accessible for most users and practical for connecting hoses and filling containers. Ensure the placement also considers preventing backflow and ease of use during all seasons.

The material provided in this article is for general information purposes only. It is not intended to replace professional/legal advice or substitute government regulations, industry standards, or other requirements specific to any business/activity. While we made sure to provide accurate and reliable information, we make no representation that the details or sources are up-to-date, complete or remain available. Readers should consult with an industrial safety expert, qualified professional, or attorney for any specific concerns and questions.

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Author: Herbert Post

Born in the Philadelphia area and raised in Houston by a family who was predominately employed in heavy manufacturing. Herb took a liking to factory processes and later safety compliance where he has spent the last 13 years facilitating best practices and teaching updated regulations. He is married with two children and a St Bernard named Jose. Herb is a self-described compliance geek. When he isn’t studying safety reports and regulatory interpretations he enjoys racquetball and watching his favorite football team, the Dallas Cowboys.