Does My Edmonton Hose Bib Need Maintenance?

An old hose bib attached to the side of a home’s outer wall.

Have you ever wondered about your Edmonton hose bib, that fixture you tend to use a lot in the summer when doing gardening work? Perhaps you have plants that you need to water? Or perhaps you have kids and pets that need to cool down during a heatwave? You are probably thinking about your garden hose, but if you move closer to the water outlet—what would you call that fixture it’s attached to?

It’s connected to your supply line, allowing you to use water on the exterior of your home conveniently. Many homeowners refer to it as their outdoor faucet, but the more specific term for that plumbing fixture is hose bib. Edmonton, AB property owners use it for a variety of things, such as to wash their cars or water the garden, but many forget that hose bibs require the same attention as your indoor fixtures, if not more. When neglected, hose bibs can cause water damage behind walls and even contaminate your water supply.

Suppose you notice something unusual about your outdoor faucets like trickling water or leaks but can't pinpoint the affected area within your basement. In that case, trust your Edmonton plumber at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton to get down to the root problem. We have fixed many hose bibs in the past and want to enlighten you about the essentials of Edmonton hose bibs and how to maintain them best.

Is There A Difference Between A Hose Bib And An Outdoor Faucet?

Those are two names for the same thing, essentially a valve used to connect your garden hose. The term hose bib isn’t commonly used outside the plumbing industry because people prefer simpler terms. To avoid confusion, it’s important to ensure that you’re familiar with both new and old terminologies for this type of fixture, such as:

  • Hose bib
  • Outdoor faucet
  • Exterior faucet
  • Hose faucet
  • Spigot
  • Sill cock

The main difference between an indoor and an outdoor faucet is that the outdoor one has to have certain characteristics to serve Edmonton, homeowners. Unlike your standard faucets inside your home, your outdoor faucet must be more durable and weather-resistant to stay intact. Edmonton hose bibs are primarily made of metal materials, like heavy-duty, lead-free cast brass. The wheel-like handle is usually made of the same material with a non-slip coating in a noticeable color (black, blue, red). Its anatomy includes a body, stem, handle, and spout, and they come in standard sizes like 1/2 or 3/4 inch.

How Does A Hose Bib Work?

While still an exterior faucet, it’s connected to your indoor water supply line just like the other indoor plumbing fixtures in your kitchen and bathroom. It has the same parts, including a shut-off valve, which is either located outside or inside your home. If you don’t know where that valve is, it helps to look for it in advance to save yourself time if a problem arises.

Are There Different Types?

The two standard sizes are 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch in diameter, which are used according to the size of your water supply line. Smaller ones tend to have a stronger pressure, however, if you need water at a higher speed, it’s worth purchasing a garden hose with different settings. In terms of different types, many serve the same function, but some are more optimized or flexible than others. Some popular outdoor faucets include:

  • No-Kink: This has a 60-degree angle hose spout that prevents your garden hose from pinching.
  • Ball Valve: A standard ball valve helps maximize flow and offers a tight seal when not in use. It’s important to note that it only controls the flow, not pressure. (More typical in newer homes.)
  • Gate Valve: This offers similar functions as the ball valve, but it’s a bit outdated and more commonly found in older homes.
  • Loose Key: This comes with a detachable 1/4 square key that allows you to control who uses your water.
  • Frost-Free: These are designed with an opening and closing valve that specifically stops water from sitting in the pipe when not in use.

Signs You Need Edmonton Hose Bib Repair

Our expert plumbers handle many indoor plumbing issues, but they can also help with outdoor tasks like repairing or replacing your hose bib. Edmonton, AB property owners can always enjoy a convenient outdoor plumbing system as long as they are aware of the maintenance requirements during the year’s colder months.

Frozen Hose Bib.

To deal with frozen plumbing, some Edmonton homeowners use a hairdryer, heat lamp or space heater. Although installing a frost-free spigot could help protect it from severe cold waves, you should still take the necessary precaution of turning off your shut off valve to avoid freezing during winter.

Leaky Outdoor Faucet.

A loose packing nut is the most likely cause of this problem. You may be able to fix that problem yourself by using a wrench to tighten it and see if it stops the leak. If not, you might need to replace the packing washer. If it leaks when it’s turned on, that could indicate a faulty stem, which means that you might have to replace the gasket. If you see a leak, we recommend that you check your plumbing system and supply line to ensure you are not facing leaky faucets anywhere else in your home too.

Running Water Behind Siding.

This could indicate a pipe leak behind your siding or drywall. To confirm that you have a leak, we suggest that you check your meter, then shut off your supply valve for two hours and check again. Whether or not it’s still moving, it’s best to call your plumber for a full plumbing diagnosis and inspection. At. Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton, we use high-end technology to diagnose the root cause of pipe damage and fix it.

Drop in water pressure.

Changes in pressure can have many meanings—from faulty supply lines to clogged pipes to a broken hose bib. The safest and quickest way to diagnose the issue is to call your plumber.

Water Hammer

Ball valve spigots tend to trigger this problem when you shut off your water fast during high flow.

Edmonton Hose Bibs – Preventative Maintenance

There are many ways to maintain your hose bib. Edmonton, AB homeowners should be most worried about that maintenance mainly during the wintertime, because freezing and damage can affect your home’s overall water line. Frozen Edmonton hose bibs could lead to burst pipes, cracked pipes, and severe water damage that can compromise your entire supply line system. Taking the following precautions will help maintain a healthy supply line.

Detach Your Garden Hose Before Winter

When summer comes to an end, we tend to pack up everything in the garage or shed. The garden hose is an important piece that you should always drain and put away. Removing it will allow your spigot to drain out completely and reduce the risk of it freezing.

Turn Off Your Shut Off Valve

It’s safest to turn off your spigot’s supply line entirely during the winter. Locate the shut-off valve, which is usually nearby, located inside your home. It might be tricky to identify which shut-off valve is which, but you can confirm that you’ve turned the correct handle when nothing comes out of your outdoor spigot.

Just to be safe, you can also drain your spigot one more time while doing this, letting the last drop out. We are emphasizing this because when a liquid turns to ice, it will expand, compromising your pipes, and could lead to a potential break.

Install A Frost-Free Hose Bib

A frost-free hose bib contains a valve that opens and closes back inside your house, and therefore, will automatically cut off the water supply if your outdoor faucet is off. It helps protect you from leaks, frozen pipes, and other damage. This way, you won’t have to worry if you forget to turn off the shut-off valve in the winter. Still, for that extra peace of mind, we recommend you do it if you remember.

Replace Your Edmonton Hose Bib

If your current one is working fine but has seen better days, it won’t hurt to replace it with a new one because you can rest assured that it will last even longer from then on. Make sure that when you pick a new one, the material is compatible with your water supply line (i.e., PEX, copper or PVC).

Install A Vacuum Breaker (Backflow Preventer)

Backflow from an outdoor faucet is an issue because it’s likely to be contaminated. A vacuum breaker prevents your water from flowing backward, and thus, it protects your outdoor faucet from contamination. The vacuum breaker is a threaded brass device, which is screwed onto the spigot’s mouth. When you turn off the running water, the valve closes and pressure decreases—that’s when the air pressure stops the water from flowing backward into the faucet from the outside.

According to EPCOR, Alberta plumbing codes require backflow prevention for some properties, to ensure that contamination doesn't affect our drinking supply systems. If you’re unsure whether you have or need a backflow preventer, or want to check if it’s working correctly, your certified plumber is happy to help.

Turn It Off When Not In Use

When you’re not using your garden hose, remember to turn off the tap. Otherwise, you risk contaminating your home with legionella and other bacteria. If it’s left on for a long period of time, you risk rupturing your hose and increasing your utility bill.

Ask Your Plumber!

A licensed and certified plumber has the tools and expertise to quickly and effectively inspect your entire plumbing system, including your Edmonton hose bib. Plumbers always strive to create a safe and healthy environment for property owners. Pipes are our expertise, and when it comes to maintenance and repairs, Edmonton homeowners can rely on us to get the job done right the first time. Count on your local plumber for reliable plumbing repair services.

Frequently Asked Questions About Edmonton Hose Bibs

How Much Does It Cost To Replace A Spigot in Edmonton?

The exact costs will depend on the model you choose for your replacement hose bib. Edmonton, AB property owners will most likely need one of the two main sizes available, 1/2 and 3/4 inches. Ensure the one you purchase from the hardware store corresponds to the pipe’s size you are attaching it to.

To have it professionally installed by a plumber will not only save you time, but they will also make sure the new spigot is secure and provide you with any maintenance tips that you need to maintain it.

How Long Does A Spigot Last in Edmonton?

They are built to last for many years. Whether brass or stainless steel, they resist extreme weather conditions well, and if you maintain it over the winter months, it will last you for decades.

Does My Edmonton Hose Bib Have Potable Water?

Unless your home has an unusual plumbing system, the same water that goes to your kitchen sink also goes to your hose bib. Drinking from your hose bib is perfectly safe (we’ve all done it), but we don’t recommend drinking from your garden hose. Garden hoses usually sit full of stagnant water while not in use and could foster bacteria or could cause other diseases over time.

What Are Hose Bib Adaptors?

Garden hoses often come with a female threaded fitting which doesn’t always fit your outdoor faucet. If your garden hose doesn't fit your existing Edmonton hose bib, a connecting adapter will help you attach them properly

Call Our Team for Edmonton Hose Bib Inspections and Repairs!

We hope you managed to gain a deeper insight into the functions and sensitivities of your Edmonton hose bib. If you notice any inconsistencies or haven’t had drain cleaning services in a while, then it's time to call the pros at Mr. Rooter Plumbing of Edmonton for help.

Our team of experts will use the most cutting-edge technology to establish if you have a leak or a crack and how severe it may be. Each of our professional plumbers has years of experience, in-depth training, and access to the best tools to quickly and efficiently solve your plumbing problems. In fact, we've helped numerous homeowners across Edmonton and the surrounding area, from St. Albert to Pleasantview and beyond.

We invite you to give our friendly customer service staff a call.