I am new to my house and scratching my head about this faucet. I grew up in a home built in 1960, and each outdoor faucet had a shut off valve inside. This faucet does not have one. The seller of the home also did not shut this off last winter.

I have another outdoor faucet at the house that is an obvious non-freeze one based on googling and the water dripping when it shuts off. I'm more puzzled by this one.

I lean towards this being a frost free faucet, but would rather err on the side of paranoia...

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Edit: At suggestion of commenters below. Here is the inside. It doesn't seem like copper all the way. It seems like this may not be the "best", but could be helping with the pipe not freezing. One thing that complicates this is that the faucet goes into a wall that is perpendicular to the home itself. I guess I'll have it professionally evaluated. Greatly appreciate everyone's helpful comments.

  • 1
    You can see the Teflon tape where that connects to an ordinary pipe Oct 15, 2023 at 18:30
  • 2
    It looks like a plain faucet threaded onto a steel water pipe. Most frost free units have the threads way inside the house.
    – crip659
    Oct 15, 2023 at 18:31
  • Water freezing and bursting pipes/faucets can be weird. Can have two side by side and one will burst and other won't. You always want to protect pipes from freezing before having a flood/no water.
    – crip659
    Oct 15, 2023 at 19:03
  • 1
    From the pic it appears to me that the outlet arm angles back toward the axis of the valve, i.e., it is not even perpendicular. If so, this is a valve that is designed to be vertically oriented not horizontally as it is here. Not the right valve for this application Oct 16, 2023 at 1:43
  • 1
    You could take it apart to see if the washer section is "right near the valve" or "further inside...the ones inset inside are "frost free"
    – rogerdpack
    Oct 16, 2023 at 16:24

3 Answers 3


If you are referring to frostless sillcocks, that is not one. It looks like a standard 1/2" female hose bib on a galvanized pipe.

  • Thank you for the helpful reply. Would this seem surprising that this faucet has never frozen/been a problem? Where I live it can get into the single digits. A bit puzzled given I can't find a shut off valve.
    – Adam
    Oct 15, 2023 at 18:42
  • I'd guess that just means you've gotten lucky so far, and/or the internal pipes are in a nice warm or hot spot due to to basement heating. Easy way to be certain is to shut off the main and undo the packing nut to remove the stem. Then you can undo the pipe and add a valve inside before turning the water back on.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 15, 2023 at 18:45
  • 2
    @Ecnerwal, an insulated box like amazon.com/Home-Intuition-Outdoor-Faucet-Cover/dp/B01MZF91HN for the hose bib is a less invasive alternative.
    – popham
    Oct 15, 2023 at 18:56
  • 2
    They are better than nothing, and depending where you are and how your piping is, they can be enough in many locations.
    – Ecnerwal
    Oct 15, 2023 at 19:08
  • 1
    @RMDman "What surprises me is that people choose to live where it gets that cold" certainly implying an opinion
    – Sam Dean
    Oct 17, 2023 at 13:09
  1. Definitely not frost-free.

With the updated photo -

  1. Mark were the galvanized pipe meets the outside wall.
  2. Turn off the water at some point that will affect this pipe
  3. Hold the copper with an adjustable wrench, unscrew the galvanized from it using a pipe wrench. Pull it out through the wall. You might need to remove the coupling as well to fit through the hole.
  4. Take the removed, marked faucet and pipe to a store, and select a frost free sillcock of suitable length to replace it. If you can't find an exact match, get a longer one and use a bit of trim on the outside wall. Odds are good that it's a standard length.
  • @Evnerwal - Thanks again for such a helpful comment. One thing that I realized is that this faucet, takes a 90 degree turn from how it exits my foundation. I've never seen that before. Specifically, there is a wall that is perpendicular to the foundation. In original photo, the brick is the house, the stone is a perpendicular wall. The faucet comes out from that wall. Makes me wonder if that is why this faucet was not an anti-freeze one to begin with, because it's so non-standard?
    – Adam
    Oct 15, 2023 at 23:02
  • 4
    @Adam - could be that there was originally a frost-free faucet directly exiting the house, and then someone built the perpendicular stone wall in that exact spot, so they replaced it with a standard faucet and some galvanized pipe. Every frost-free faucet that I've seen is straight, and can't be used where a right angle is needed.
    – Mark
    Oct 16, 2023 at 1:23
  • 3
    If you are going to disturb the plumbing anyway, I would fit a stop-cock on the inside, so that the stub could be drained down when necessary.
    – MikeB
    Oct 16, 2023 at 12:18
  • 1
    Similar to @MikeB's comment, I'd remove a chunk of that pipe. Get a frost free replacement of the appropriate length to be inside the heated space, and replace a section of copper to match the needed length along with an inside shutoff valve. No need for the trim piece unless you want it for looks.
    – BMitch
    Oct 16, 2023 at 14:26
  • Exactly! I was going to answer with "no its not frost free, but it'd be really easy to change out" but you beat me to it.
    – Criggie
    Oct 16, 2023 at 23:08

It's not a frost-free. Here's how you can tell. The parts of a frost-free are

  1. Handle is in-line with the pipe in the wall. A 45-degree sill cock is not frost-free
  2. The handle is in-line with the pipe because the cutoff is well inside your house (a warmer zone) and there's a straight shaft from the handle all the way to the end
  3. A drain cock on top. To properly winterize this, you have to let air in so the water flows out, leaving a dry pipe

Frost-free sillcock

Let's look at your sillcock

Poster's sillcock

  1. The handle is in-line with the pipe
  2. You have a threaded galvanized pipe attached the the sillcock. A frost-free is one contiguous unit and will have no threads
  3. There's no drain cock on top

As such, this is not frost-free


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