Steven L. Smith, Bellingham, WA Home Inspector (King of the House)

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Frost-free Yard Hydrants

Most "modern" faucets, that I see attached to the exterior of the home in Bellingham and Whatcom County, will be frost-free hose bibbs with backflow prevention devices -- to keep gray water out of the potable water system.

However, frequently even at new homes, out at the garden or at perimeter locations, I will see a simple faucet mounted on a piece of pipe (anything from PVC plastic pipe to copper or galvanized steel) sticking out of the ground. Most of the time these faucets are not frost-free and, even if they were, the associated pipe would not be. Unsupported plastic and copper tubing are prone to being bent, or even ruptured, by pulling on a hose that is attached to the faucet.

When I see such an arrangement, I always recommend that clients should have a plumber install modern yard hydrants. These devices are rugged, of frost-free design (so they do not freeze in winter) and they have backflow preventers. Below is a photo of a modern, and durable, yard hydrant.

As is the case with any outside faucet, if you live in a region where it gets cold, make sure you remove the garden hose from the yard hydrant or a hose bibb in the winter months. If not, you might end up with a frozen faucet or ruptured pipes even if you have a proper frost-free faucet installed.

Steven L. Smith

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Comment balloon 18 commentsSteven L. Smith • July 07 2013 10:02PM
Frost-free Yard Hydrants
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