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My Spigot Says It is “Frost-Free”. Do I Still Need To Turn It Off in the Winter?

The changing seasons can wreak havoc on your home! How can you make sure your house survives the changes? You might turn to weather-resistant products like frost-free spigots, but can you really trust what’s on the label? Theoretically, there shouldn’t be a need to turn off a frost-free spigot in winter. It has been designed to prevent water from freezing inside the pipe and valve, but product design can only go so far. Installation is actually the most important part of making sure a frost-free spigot works as advertised.

The long valve stem of the spigot reaches inside your home, which keeps the water inside warm. After installation is completed, the spigot must tilt slightly downwards. This allows for proper water drainage when the faucet is turned off. If installed incorrectly, water will sit in the sillcock’s stem even when it is turned off. Unfortunately, the damage won’t be noticeable until spring. If you have a problem, you will experience your very own indoor waterfall when you turn on your faucet for the first time after months of cold weather.

Assuming you install your frost-free spigot correctly, will it really be 100% effective? That depends. A frost-free spigot can still freeze in extremely cold weather, but a simple precaution can help prevent this. Make sure to disconnect your garden hose. The whole point of using a frost-free spigot is to keep water out of the exterior portion of your home, so it is not exposed to the cold. If you leave your hose connected, the pipe and the faucet could still fill with water, which will freeze and then burst.

If you are concerned about installing your spigot correctly, feel free to give our expert team at Veteran Plumbing a call. We would be happy to install your frost-free spigot and get your house ready for next winter!

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