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I have rental condos in Dallas areas. Although the weather in north Texas is relatively warm, but at least once yearly that the temperature drops to low 15's, therefore I have to winterize the outdoor hose bibs thoroughly. Here are my two questions:

(1) I would like to replace the outdoor hose bibs with frost-free models. Looking at the products sold in Amazon, it appears to me that there are basically two groups of hose bibs: One that costs around $15-$17, the another triple the first one at $45-$50. What are the catches? I also see that Home Depot and Lowes sell only the later, you can see the products by clicking the Amazon link here.(Keeping with the forum rules, I am not asking for recommendation of any specific brand name or manufacturers.)

(2) I plan also to supply the tenants with rolls of bubble wrap during the lowest of Winter times, and cap them off with foam cups if possible. Is bubble wrap more effective than rags in protecting the faucets?

Thank you for your time and pointers.

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    if you buy a no-name you should assume you will never find repair parts for it.
    – agentp
    Apr 1, 2018 at 23:19

2 Answers 2

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Much of the piping in the Dallas area is not able to receive these long-stem freeze resistant hose bibs. Maybe yours is, but maybe not. The threaded fitting must be way back in the wall on the inside of the insulation in the heated zone. And unless the valves go into a basement I wonder how one checks for leaks when installing a new one.

I also notice that the more expensive of these are described as "quarter turn" which almost certainly means they are ball valves. Ball valves are great as an on-off valve, but are not good for metering, i.e., adjusting flow through a range.

I installed quarter-turn ball valves at our house the last time I replaced the two outside hose valves at our house (in Dallas), but the ones I got are too hard to turn to use easily. These were good quality "garden valves" made in Italy, but were a mistake for this use. I am going to have to devise a longer handle for them. Everbilt 3/4" garden valve. Our hose piping comes out of the ground and not from the side of the house.

In cold weather I disconnect the hoses and cover the faucets with insulation and a plastic flower pot. Probably you could just supply your tenants with a foam cover that is secured to the faucet with a clip or a rubber band.
Garden valve

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  • This morning while walking my dog I examined and photographed the outdoor faucet on a house under construction. I will see if I can post the picture. The bib appeared to have a fairly long stem but the threaded connection was just outside the exterior Zip sheathing on what I expect will be a brick exterior on a garage wall. So the end of the stem would NOT be in the heated zone. I believe in very cold weather it would have to be covered to prevent freeze damage. Apr 3, 2018 at 15:55
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This is a hose bib of a new house in Dallas, Texas, on a garage wall. I believe this will be brick exterior with an air gap. The threaded connection of the hose bib is just outside the Zip sheathing and I believe this house will have insulation in the conventional location (on the inside of the sheathing). Unless this house would have exterior insulation the valve seat would not be in the heated zone and so would freeze unless covered.

Perhaps the copper tubing part will be insulated before bricklaying. This would greatly improve the freeze resistance, but it would still be prudent to cover the faucet in cold weather (mid 20s F and below).

Hose bin new house Dallas Texas

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