I am in a new construction home I bought last summer. Last year, if I turned on the garden hose in the front or back of my house the water would start coming out relatively quickly.

This year, when I turn on the hose it takes over a minute each time before any water flows out. I didn't changed anything with any of the internal switches for the winter. I understand with frost free bib the actual vale opening is a big inside the house, but this still seems like too long. It never starts with a trickle, when it finally comes, it comes full blast.

My initial thought was that water pressure should always be pushing and the pipe should be full of water and ready to go. I am not seeing any obvious leaks anywhere. Even with finished basement, I assume i'd see some damage in the ceilings under where the pipes run. The water comes in from the city and then splits to interior and two separate lines for each exterior (front and back). Water to the rest of the house is flowing normally.

Is this normal, is there anyway to troubleshoot? Even if I get it going one day, if i turn it off and come back the next day its the same issue.

  • 1
    I'm going to suspect something sticking with the valve seal - so you open it, but it doesn't really open until water pressure finally pops the sticky seal open. Only thing I can see matching the symptoms.
    – Ecnerwal
    Jun 10, 2020 at 16:18
  • @Ecnerwal how would I go about testing that? if its something natural I would imagine eventually the water would push it away (?)
    – HelpEric
    Jun 10, 2020 at 17:29
  • Could you be more exact in describing last year's "relatively quickly"?
    – DJohnM
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:00
  • @DJohnM - I would turn on the faucet slowly and it had no noticeable delay - it would come out faster as I opened/turned more.
    – HelpEric
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:02
  • Just to be clear, does this happen at the tap outlets or is a length of garden hose involved as well?
    – DJohnM
    Jun 10, 2020 at 18:02

1 Answer 1


Some of those FF hose bibs have a spring-loaded washer at the valve seat, as an anti-siphon feature, and they can become corroded or gummed up, even to the point of being frozen in place. You can usually remove the entire faucet seat and stem by unscrewing a packing nut and twisting the stem out. Of course, the bib must have its water supply shut off beforehand. If replacement parts are required, they would likely be manufacturer-specific and not commonly available, so it would be advisable to find a source or to have the parts at hand prior to taking on this job. Possibly just cleaning up and lubricating the works with silicone grease will fix the problem.

  • Since this was originally posted, they came and tried to do something like this but eventually they ended up just switching out the units for new ones and we haven't had problems since. The cleaning/lubing did not seem to help in my case.
    – HelpEric
    Sep 15, 2023 at 19:05

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