I’m winterizing my home and tried shutting the inside valves to the outside hose bibs. The inside valves wouldn’t shut completely so I was like, crap, I’ll need a plumber to replace these, but someone mentioned I should first check if the bibs are “freeze-proof” and don’t need shutting off inside (but do need hoses detached).

After some googling, it seems like they are based on the handle protruding straight from supply pipe, the longer supply pipe extending inside, and the anti-siphon feature.


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1 Answer 1


The telltale sign of a frost free hose bib is how that handle is perpendicular to the pipe behind it. Awkward to operate, right? It's positioned like that to operate a valve that's sitting on the inside of your home's thermal envelope. To double check, turn on the water and then turn it off. When you turn it on there's a little lag between hearing the water and actually seeing it. When you turn it off, it still dribbles for a moment as the excess water between you and the valve drains.

  • 1
    I agree with popham, but believe that the ball valve inside should turn the water off completely. (They are usually very reliable.) Perhaps you did not allow the water to just drain from the hose bib long enough.
    – RMDman
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 12:41
  • @RMDman I allowed the water to drain for several minutes but it continued to pour out at a steady steam. Also, the inside valve would not complete its full quarter-turn rotation to closed position.
    – user216096
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 18:25
  • @RMDman Can faulty valves be fixed or do they typically require replacement?
    – user216096
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 18:28
  • you may need to use mechanical assistance, ( pliers or similar) to help turn the valve completely off. They are non serviceable and have to be replaced.
    – RMDman
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 19:15
  • 1
    @user216096, I wouldn't be surprised if that valve failed before the frost free bib was installed. The bib was probably installed instead of fixing the valve (I would have removed it, but maybe that was going to cost an extra 10 bucks). If the valve isn't leaking, then leave it alone. As you mess with it the probability of a leak developing increases.
    – popham
    Commented Oct 29, 2023 at 19:19

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