Frost Proof Hose Bibs

 

I live in Colorado Springs and perform Home and Commercial inspections along the Front Range.  In one of my home inspections I walked into a basement bedroom and was struck by a particular odor. It was that musty moldy odor one dreads,  after further investigation I discovered a “frost proof” hose bib located in the ceiling along a back wall had not been so “frost proof”.  In the photo below the split that is visible is due to a failed valve.

Note the length of this valve which is 18” long, the actual shut off is at the back of the valve which leaves 18” of pipe without water in it which is sufficient for winter conditions.  This valve however had failed leaving water in the pipe and subject to freezing.

The owner had to remove the carpet, a section of drywall and insulation, mitigate the mold in the wall cavity and have these items replaced.

The question remains, is your “frost proof” hose bibs operating correctly?
One good check is to operate your hose bib, when shut off a small amount of water should drain out. This would be the water in the 18” of pipe, because remember the valve is in the back of the unit.  

Even in the middle of winter we can have 60 degree weather which is a good time to water trees or wash your vehicle, don’t forget to disconnect the hose from your hose bib or you will be inviting disaster.

I hope this helps to prevent a catastrophe around your home or business.

 

failed frost proof hose bib  close up of split from freezing