When winter is coming and while it can be beautiful, it can also be incredibly taxing. Not just on heating bills, but on things like general household repairs or maintenance needs. One of the most common seasonal preparations that are needed is to make sure all outdoor faucets are ready to face the sub-zero temperatures.
This can include upgrading to a freeze-proof outdoor faucet for the first time or replacing one that may have reached the end of its useful life. We’re going to talk about why you may do that, what to look for in a new one, and what some of the best freeze-proof outdoor faucets on the market today are.
What to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Faucet?
There are a few things to consider when you plan to buy an outdoor faucet to ensure you are upgrading to something that will function the same. You should pay attention to not only the faucet type but also the overall build or construction quality, as well as the installation process. Here are some details about how each factor will affect your faucet.
The Faucet Type
The faucet type will be one of the most important things for you to ensure you get right since it will affect the function, the cost, and the ability to withstand severe cold.
- Spigots & Hose Bibs: Hose bibs are probably one of the most common types of outdoor faucets overall. They will usually have threading on the outside to accommodate a standard-sized garden hose attachment. These types of faucets are usually installed in either the back or front of the home and are used for general purpose cleaning and hose usage.
- Wall Hydrants: Wall hydrants are often fixed in place and are more complex and expensive to install and replace. They are connected directly to the home’s water supply and can only be used with a special key that the homeowner has. Freeze-proof wall hydrants are often relatively expensive compared to standard hose bibs.
- Ball Valve & “Quarter-Turn” Faucets: These faucets can be found both indoors and outdoors, and are named due to how the inner workings are shaped. The handle is attached to a ball inside the valve that has a hole in it, and when the hole is perpendicular to the supply the water is off. However, when the ball rotates 90-degrees the hole in the middle allows for unimpeded water flow.
- Freeze-Proof Faucets: Freeze-proof faucets work just like standard hose bibs & spigots, with the exception that they include an inner mechanism that acts as a buffer zone, keeping the water well inside the house when it is turned off. While they are more costly than a regular spigot, the price increase is negligible and nearly inconsequential when compared to the potential benefits that the design offers.
Overall Quality – Can it Handle the Weather?
This is another main factor in choosing the right freeze-proof faucet for your needs. Even though it may have the features, design, and easy install that you want, if it’s going to freeze up and cause a burst pipe, it’s not right for your climate. This is why it’s incredibly important to be sure that the potential faucets you choose between are freeze-proof if you live in an area where you’ll see freezing temps for a week at a time at any point during the year.
Installing it Correctly
When you are shopping for a new faucet, one of the things that people often forget to investigate before pulling the trigger is how easy or complicated the faucet will be to install. In a large portion of cases, the installation will go simply and will only require some basic tools. In the case of some other types of faucets like wall hydrants, for example, the process for installation will be much more complex. It may even require special tools or equipment to make the pipefitting connections.
If interested, you can check out our article on how to protect your outside faucets from freezing up here.
10 Best Freeze Proof Outdoor Faucets
The Woodford Model 19 Wall Faucet is a solidly built wall faucet with stainless steel construction and a powder-coated die-cast aluminum knob. The adjustable flange is polycarbonate to reduce the chance of cracking, and the Woodford Model 19 Wall Faucet will take up to 125PSI at 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
It is designed for all-weather use, and even includes a built-in backflow protection device, which will function even if a hose is left connected. The brass stem body is almost a full 13 inches long, giving you more than enough room to keep it well insulated.
The Prier P-164D12 Quarter-Turn Frost Free Anti-Siphon Outdoor Hydrant is a smoothly operating quarter-turn wall hydrant. It is built relatively well and is designed to be an all-weather, year-round faucet. It is made from heavy cast brass, copper supply tubing, and stainless features.
The stem is 12” long, to give plenty of freeze-proofing distance between the valve and the supply connection. The handle is even nicely textured for a no-slip grip even in wet weather. It is finished with a satin nickel plating for a classic appearance.
For a beautiful copper dual tap design, it’s hard to beat the Woodford Model 22 Series Horizontal Freezeless Wall Faucet. The Woodford Model 22 Series Horizontal Freezeless Wall Faucet features both hot and cold taps to fully adjust the desired water temperature output and the 6-inch long, 1/2MPT inlets make it a breeze to install.
It features the signature gorgeous Woodford powder-coated cast aluminum handles, as well as integrated anti-siphon protection, and pressure relief valve. Fits 4” rough-ins, or 5 ¼” mounting depth.
The Midline Valve Anti-Siphon Frost Free Sillcock with Integral Vacuum Breaker is available in four different sizes of 4, 8, 10, and 12 inches which makes it a great option for installations that may not have a common size or area to install. It is made with a solid brass body, plated with chrome for a durable and gorgeous appearance.
The connections can be made with either ½ inch pipe thread or solder and the faucet is certified lead-free. The outlet is a standard ¾ inch garden hose thread. The Midline Valve Anti-Siphon Frost Free Sillcock with Integral Vacuum Breaker can handle pressures up to 150PSI.
The Sha0rkBite Frost Free Sillcock is the perfect option for someone that needs either an 8-inch, 10-inch, or 12-inch faucet to integrate directly with their existing SharkBite-compatible plumbing materials. This makes the Sha0rkBite Frost Free Sillcock one of the easiest faucets to install overall since you only need to push it onto the existing supply, and the SharkBite fittings do the rest for a leak-free seal. It can easily work with copper tubing, PEX, CPVC, and more in any type of combination that you need.
The Mueller Industries 12″ Wall Hydrant features a quarter-turn Quartermaster freeze-proof sillcock with a solid brass body and tube to minimize corrosion worries in the future. The putty-colored handle is neutral enough to blend in anywhere, and the 12” stem gives you a full foot of room to insulate against freezing.
The Mueller Industries 12″ Wall Hydrant is finished with chrome plating that both protects the hydrant from the elements, but also makes it look great. The notched mounting flange provides a stable install even on vinyl or aluminum siding.
For a really heavy-duty sillcock, you can’t go wrong with the Eastman 80226 Frost Free Sill Cock with Vacuum Breaker. It gives the installer 6 inches of length to keep the faucet freeze-proof through the entire winter season. The integrated vacuum breaker reduces the potential for backflow contamination, and the heavy brass construction will hold up for a long time.
Available in both an 8-inch and a 10-inch variety, the Homewerks Anti-Siphon Frost Free Sillcock gives a cost-effective solid brass option for a freeze-proof sillcock. It has a built-in vacuum breaker and a no-slip handle design that is far more comfortable than the thin, metal handles on some faucets. The solid brass tube and stem make this a particularly robust faucet.
The Minimprover Solid Chrome Frost Proof Wall Faucet is a 10” long freeze-proof wall faucet that is not only solid brass and chrome in construction but also able to withstand incredible pressures. The faucet is able to contain up to 150PSI, so high water pressure and other stressors are no problem. The Model 19 is able to take temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Minimprover Solid Chrome Frost Proof Wall Faucet also features a super-easy install and operation, with the 1/2 inch male NPT connection to 3/4″ garden hose thread, and is 10” long with the 1/2″ female NPT to 1/2″ PEX fitting attached. To help keep internal water supplies free of contamination it also has an anti-siphon feature.
For those that prefer to have the more utilitarian design of separate hot and cold taps, the PRIER PRODUCTS 4″ Anti Siphon Hot and Cold Wall Hydrant is functional and versatile. It can be installed either horizontally or vertically and has 4-inch inlet stems. The stems run the full 4 inches which places them well inside the wall cavity, making this a great option for a hot and cold freeze-proof tap.
The 1/2MPT connections can be easily adapted to PEX as well, so this wall hydrant can be used with nearly any existing or future plumbing system. While there are two taps, there is only one outlet, so the user can easily adjust the temperature that they need for the project at hand.
Now that you’ve seen the best freeze-proof outdoor faucets available, maybe even chosen one to install, you should consider some additional precautionary measures. Even though your new faucet has built-in protection, extra protection is always good to have, particularly when ruined floors and more can result from burst pipes. Here are some great options.
1. Freeze Miser
No matter which freeze-proof outdoor faucet you ultimately decide on, whether one from this list or found elsewhere, one of the things you should be sure to grab is one of the unique Freeze Miser outdoor faucet freeze protection devices.
They are incredibly effective and self-adjusting freeze protection that allows the passage of water in quantities just large enough to prevent freezing. These are the perfect addition to any winterized outdoor faucet as an extra anti-freezing measure.
For an easy way to cover your outdoor faucet over and over again with minimal hassle, high-quality insulated faucet covers can be a perfectly convenient solution. They feature durable and waterproof outer layers, with inner insulation made from naturally insulating cotton.
Not only are they simple to install and remove, but their construction makes it possible for them to be used constantly in the most brutal conditions. For situations when the hydrant or faucet will be used regularly, insulated covers can help prevent the cold from taking hold in the faucet and supply pipe.
For those that may not need to access the faucet, or access it only a few times during the winter season, then installing a foam outdoor faucet cover can be a great option. They help to keep the faucet head insulated from cold and moisture. A simple foam cover can be far better than leaving the faucet exposed to the elements all winter.
One of the downsides to this type, however, is they are not ideal for applications when they will need to be installed and removed daily. Even though they are a very robust and durable foam, they will show wear when used often.
No matter what your needs are for a freeze-proof outdoor faucet, there is one out there perfect for you. Make sure you consider the space you’re working with as well as the materials, along with what you require concerning durability and features, and you should be in a great position to make a well-informed decision.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.