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How Does A Frost Free Spigot Work

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how does a frost free spigot work

A frost free spigot, also known as a frost-proof or freeze-proof faucet, is a practical and innovative solution to a common problem faced by homeowners in cold climates: frozen outdoor water pipes. These spigots are designed to prevent freezing during the winter months, ensuring you have access to water even in the coldest of temperatures. So how does a frost free spigot work? In this post, we will explore the design of frost free spigots and why they are essential for maintaining your outdoor water supply.

Understanding the Problem

how to tell if you have a frost free faucet 2

When water freezes, it expands, which can lead to pipes bursting. This is a significant concern for outdoor faucets or spigots, as they are exposed to the elements and vulnerable to freezing temperatures. A burst pipe can result in costly repairs and water damage to your home. This is where frost-free spigots come into play.

How Does A Frost Free Spigot Work – The Design of Frost-Free Spigots

Frost-free spigots are designed with a unique configuration that allows them to operate without the risk of freezing. Let’s take a closer look at the key components and how they work:

  1. Length and Angle: Frost-free spigots are longer than standard outdoor faucets, with the valve and water source placed farther inside your home. This extended length allows the spigot to be installed deeper within the wall, away from the exterior cold.
  2. Valve Location: The critical component of a frost-free spigot is the valve, which is positioned inside the home where it is insulated from the cold. The valve is designed to shut off the water supply when the spigot is turned off, preventing water from flowing into the exposed portion of the spigot.
  3. Drainage: The spigot is designed to drain water from the exposed section when it is turned off. This is achieved by angling the spigot downward so that any water remaining in the pipe flows out. As a result, there is no water left to freeze inside the exposed portion of the spigot.

How Frost Free Spigots Prevent Freezing

The frost-free spigot’s design addresses the primary causes of freezing, which include exposure to cold air, the presence of water in the pipe, and inadequate insulation. Here’s how each design element prevents freezing:

  1. Valve Location: By placing the valve deep within your home, it remains in a temperature-controlled environment. When you turn off the spigot, the valve stops the water flow, preventing any water from reaching the exposed portion. This means that there is no water in the outdoor section of the spigot to freeze.
  2. Drainage: As mentioned, the downward angle of the spigot ensures that any remaining water flows out when you shut it off. This self-draining feature is crucial in preventing water from lingering in the pipe, which can freeze and cause damage.
  3. Insulation: The spigot’s design allows for insulation between the valve and the outdoor section. This insulation helps to keep the valve protected from freezing temperatures, further enhancing the frost-free spigot’s effectiveness.

Advantages of Frost Free Spigots

Frost-free spigots offer several benefits to homeowners:

  1. Year-Round Water Access: Frost free spigots ensure you have access to water even during winter, making them ideal for outdoor tasks such as watering plants or washing your car.
  2. Prevents Burst Pipes: The design minimizes the risk of frozen pipes and costly repairs associated with burst pipes.
  3. Longevity: Frost-free spigots tend to have a longer lifespan than traditional outdoor faucets, as they are less prone to damage caused by freezing.
  4. Convenient and Low Maintenance: These spigots require minimal maintenance and are easy to use, making them a convenient choice for homeowners.


Frost free spigots are a valuable addition to any home in regions where freezing temperatures are common. Their unique design, with the valve located indoors and self-draining capabilities, prevents freezing and the associated risks of burst pipes and costly repairs. By providing year-round access to water and extending the lifespan of your outdoor faucets, frost-free spigots are a smart investment for homeowners in cold climates. So, when winter arrives, you can rest assured that your outdoor water supply remains reliable and intact.

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