Hose Bibs & Backflow Inspections

Installing a washer into your home or using a hose in the backyard will require a hose bib. A hose bib is a piece of equipment that attaches to the incoming water lines. It includes a spigot, which allows you to turn the water flow on or off as needed.

The hose bib also has a threaded spout, to which a hose is attached. Because of its design, the hose bib helps to prevent backflows. A backflow occurs when water moves in the wrong direction within a water line and can cause dangerous contaminants to enter your drinking water.

However, hose bibs are not 100% effective at stopping backflows. Frozen water pressure, decreased water pressure, or damage to the hose bib could result in an increased chance of water back flowing from the hose into the incoming water lines. 

For this reason, it is a wise idea to also install backflow preventers within your plumbing system. These are specifically designed to reduce the chance of backflows that might occur when a hose bb malfunctions.

Additionally, Preventing backflows also requires regular backflow inspections by an experienced plumber.

Exterior & Interior Hose Bibs

Hose bibbs can be used inside or outside the home. Though interior and exterior hose bibbs function similarly, they are designed for distinct purposes. 

Interior Hose Bibbs

Hose bibbs installed in the home are connected to hoses which in turn connect to an appliance like a washer, water heater, or dishwasher. If the hose bibb is installed on or above the first floor, a standard bibb can be used.

A standard bibb is also called a non-frost free bib because water inside the bibb is more likely to freeze in freezing temperatures than a frost free bib. For this reason, frost-free bibbs should be installed in basements below the frost line, especially if the basement is unheated. 

If water inside the hose bibb freezes, then the bib is very likely to split internally. This damage is typically unrepairable and will require you to replace the hose bibb. Additionally, a split hose bibb combined with frozen water can increase the chance of backflow into your home. 

Exterior Hose Bibbs

Many plumbing systems are designed to include an incoming water line that can be used for gardening and other outdoor tasks. These water lines include a spigot within the home that can shut off water in the event that a hose bibb is not installed.

An exterior hose bibb can be attached to these water lines in order to allow water flow to be turned on and off more easily. You can allow the interior spigot to remain open and turn on and off using the hose bibb if installed.

Frost free hose bibbs are most often used outside because they are designed to prevent water from freezing within the bib during freezing temperatures.

Hose Bibbs – Repair & Replacement

Nonetheless, if temperatures drop low enough, even a frost free bib may not be enough to stop the water inside from freezing. Thus, while frost free hose bibbs are a good preventative measure against frozen water, other methods should be taken. 

If freezing temperatures are predicted, turn off the hose bibb before they arrive. Then turn the hose bibb inside the home off. Now turn the hose bibb spigot back on and allow the water between the hose bibb and the interior spigot to drain from the bibb.

For added safety, you can remove the hose bibb until the weather warms and thread a pipe cover over the pipe to prevent debris from entering and causing backflow.

You can also leave the hose bibb attached, and attach the pipe cover around the threaded spout. However, this isn’t recommended because frozen water may still cause rust on the knob or exterior of the hose bibb. 

Rust can usually be removed with rust removed while any tightening or loosening of the knob can be fixed with a few twists of the wrench. Nonetheless, persistent damage over time could cause the bib to split or otherwise malfunction. 

Fortunately if the bibb needs to be replaced, a frost free bib can be purchased for under $50, though higher quality bibs may approach the $100 mark.

Click or Call 317-870-7773 to Schedule A Hose Bib Replacement

Backflow Preventer Installation, Service, and Certifications

While hose bibs help prevent backflow into the home, they are not a fully effective measure. To better prevent backflow, it is wise to install a backflow preventer between your hose bib and the incoming water line.

One option to use is the household hose bib vacuum breakers, which is installed between the hose bib and the incoming water line. To prevent backflows, the vacuum breaker uses air pressure to ensure that water flows in the proper direction and that debris is kept out of the incoming water lines.

More complex backflow preventer assemblies are available but are more expensive and will need to be serviced more often to ensure proper functioning. 

When selecting a backflow preventer assembly, you should talk to an experienced plumber to ensure that it is certified and installed properly.

Click or Call 317-870-7773 to Talk to a Plumber