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Plumbing – Outdoor Spigots: How to Keep Them Working Properly

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When it comes to plumbing, most homeowners tend to think about the indoor plumbing fixtures like sinks, toilets, and showers. However, outdoor spigots are also an important part of your home’s plumbing system. These spigots provide water for your outdoor activities like watering your garden, washing your car, or filling up a kiddie pool. In this article, we will explore outdoor spigots in detail, including how they work, how to maintain them, and how to prevent common problems.

What Are Outdoor Spigots?

Outdoor spigots, also known as hose bibs or sillcocks, are plumbing fixtures that provide water outside your home. They are usually located on the exterior walls of your house and have a threaded outlet to which you can attach a hose or other watering tool. Outdoor spigots are connected to your home’s plumbing system and are typically made of brass or copper.

How Do Outdoor Spigots Work?

Outdoor spigots work by allowing water to flow from your home’s plumbing system to the outside. When you turn on the outdoor spigot, a valve inside the spigot opens, allowing water to flow through the spout and out to your hose. When you turn off the spigot, the valve closes, stopping the flow of water.

Installing Outdoor Spigots

If you’re building a new home or adding an outdoor area that requires water access, you may need to install new outdoor spigots. It’s important to hire a professional plumber for this job to ensure it’s done correctly. The plumber will need to install a water supply line to the outdoor area and connect it to the new spigot. They will also need to ensure that the spigot is properly secured to the exterior wall of your home and that there are no leaks in the system.

Using Outdoor Spigots Safely

When using outdoor spigots, it’s important to use them safely to prevent accidents and injuries. Always turn off the spigot and disconnect the hose when you’re finished using it. Keep children and pets away from the spigot when it’s in use, as the water can be hot and cause burns. If you’re using a pressure washer or other power tool that requires water, follow the manufacturer’s instructions and wear protective gear.

Upgrading Your Outdoor Spigots

If you have an older home, your outdoor spigots may be outdated and not functioning as efficiently as newer models. Upgrading to newer, more efficient outdoor spigots can save you money on your water bill and prevent common problems like leaks and low water pressure. Consider upgrading to frost-proof spigots or spigots with anti-siphon valves, which prevent backflow and protect your home’s drinking water supply. A professional plumber can help you choose the right spigots for your home and install them correctly.

Maintaining Your Outdoor Spigots

Maintaining your outdoor spigots is essential to ensure they work properly and prevent common problems. Here are some tips on how to maintain your outdoor spigots:

  1. Insulate Your Pipes: In colder climates, it’s important to insulate your pipes to prevent them from freezing and bursting during the winter. You can purchase foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store and wrap it around your pipes.

  2. Check for Leaks: Regularly check your outdoor spigots for leaks. If you notice any leaks, tighten the connections or replace the gasket or washer.

  3. Clean the Screen: The screen on your outdoor spigot can become clogged with debris over time. Remove the screen and clean it with a small brush and some water.

  4. Shut Off the Water: When winterizing your home, it’s important to shut off the water supply to your outdoor spigots. This will prevent water from freezing in the pipes and causing damage.

Common Problems with Outdoor Spigots

Despite proper maintenance, outdoor spigots can experience common problems. Here are some of the most common problems with outdoor spigots and how to fix them:

  1. Low Water Pressure: If you notice low water pressure coming from your outdoor spigot, it could be due to a clog in the pipes. Remove the hose and check the spigot for any debris or obstructions. If there is a clog, you can use a wire brush to remove it.

  2. Leaking: Leaks are one of the most common problems with outdoor spigots. If you notice a leak, first tighten the connections or replace the washer or gasket. If the leak persists, you may need to replace the entire spigot.

  3. Freezing: In colder climates, outdoor spigots can freeze during the winter, which can cause the pipes to burst. To prevent this, make sure to insulate your pipes and shut off the water supply to your outdoor spigots during the winter.

  4. Bursting: If your outdoor spigot bursts, turn off the water supply to your home immediately and call a plumber. Bursting can cause extensive water damage to your home and should be addressed immediately.

Preventing Common Problems

Preventing common problems with outdoor spigots is easier than fixing them. Here are some preventative measures you can take to keep your outdoor spigots working properly:

Disconnect Hoses: During the winter, disconnect your hoses from your outdoor spigots and store them indoors. This will prevent water from freezing in the hoses and causing damage to your spigots.

Install Frost-Proof Spigots: Consider installing frost-proof spigots that are designed to prevent freezing. These spigots have a long stem that extends inside your home, where it’s warmer, to prevent the water from freezing in the pipes.

Don’t Over-Tighten: When tightening connections on your outdoor spigots, be careful not to over-tighten them. Over-tightening can cause damage to the spigot and make it more difficult to remove later on.

Regularly Test: Test your outdoor spigots regularly to ensure they’re working properly. Turn them on and off, and check for leaks or any other issues.


Outdoor spigots are an important part of your home’s plumbing system and require proper maintenance to prevent common problems. By regularly checking for leaks, cleaning the screens, and insulating your pipes, you can ensure that your outdoor spigots are working properly. If you do experience any issues, such as low water pressure, leaks, or freezing, be sure to address them promptly to prevent further damage. With proper maintenance and preventative measures, your outdoor spigots can provide you with years of trouble-free use. To learn more about Jordan Air and outdoor spigots click here. Contact them today to keep your home’s plumbing system operating effectively.

Jordan Air and Plumbing
1165 Athens Rd
Crawford, GA 30630
(706) 769-0661

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