Kitchen Faucets

Best Outdoor Faucets – Frost-Free Leak-Proof Hose Bibs Tested & Reviewed

Till recently, we used to treat outdoor faucets like all other generic fixtures, lacking the style sense or the substance to carve out a niche in our collective conscience. But aesthetic yet functional outdoor faucets have successfully managed to change that old-fashioned view. The awe-inspiring curves, fine lines, and exceptionally simple handling are enough to.

However, since these types of faucets are prone to outdoor elements, anything could go wrong with the wrong purchase e.g. from rust and mildew buildup to chewed out parts by animals. This is where we come in. We carefully reviewed today’s finest hose bibbs so you can easily make your choice.

Top Outdoor Faucets : Comparison Chart

Pick NameThumbnailProduct NamePrice
Editor’s ChoiceAmerican Valve M71QT 3/4″ Hose Bibb, 3/4 InchCheck Price
For Heavy-Duty UseAmerican Valve M71HD 3/4″ Hose Bibb, 3/4 InchCheck Price
Premium QualitySharkBite 24628LF Frost Free Sillcock, 8″Check Price
Easiest to InstallSharkBite 24623LF Garden Valve, 3/4″ x 3/4″Check Price
Best for GardeningAmerican Valve M76QT 3/4″ Quarter Turn Hose Bibb FIP, 3/4-InchCheck Price

Our Top 5 Outdoor Faucets

1 Editor’s Choice: American Valve M71QT 3/4″ Hose Bibb, 3/4 Inch

Best Outdoor Faucets: American Valve M71QT

Why it Stands Out To Us

The American Valve M71QT swept in and ended the era of the traditional rotational valve handle. While traditional ones require multiple laborious rotations just to shut them on and off, this new valve could simply be turned to the side for our purposes. This makes it fast and easy to use.

We believe this feature will also come in handy for individuals who seek convenience and those with arthritic joints. Many people suffer while having to force themselves to do those tight turns every time they need to use their hose bibb but with this product, the problem is completely eradicated.

We also noticed that the handle requires only a quarter turn in order to thrust out water at full throttle. The ball valve within the faucet contributes to peak performance as the flow of water isn’t impeded. It can also prevent leakages after many years of use, which will no doubt lengthen the lifespan of your hose bibb. This feature further adds to its ease of use and cements the fact that we need to move on from traditional valves and get on the American Valve M71QT bandwagon.

Overall, the M71QT is a reliable choice and a great fit for your garden.

Our Experience with the American Valve M71QT

When we tested the product, we encountered a fairly smooth installation process with no leaks. It allowed us to run five impact type sprinklers without losing any distance, while other valves we tested only allowed a maximum of two before losing throw distance. The full port also provided maximum flow and facilitated a high-speed water stream.

We noted that operating the valve was a breeze because of the precise cuts on the thread, the elegant casting, and a nylon seal that does its job right. Overall, we felt that it provided great value for the $13.95 it retails for and would be a great upgrade for anyone looking to purchase hose bibbs for their garden or driveway.

What We Didn’t Like

While tightening the valve, we had to use a very thin wrench. Because of the short length on the nut flats and the threaded portion, we needed approximately a 1″-1/8″ wrench with a maximum width of 5/16″- 3/8″. Without a small wrench, you would struggle to tighten the valve just like we did initially.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • The material may not be sturdy enough to withstand temperatures below 32 degrees. Some users claimed that this made the valve more prone to splitting in the depths of winter, especially when the valve was closed.
  • While the brass parts were resistant to rust, the steel parts were not. It would have been better if the entire valve was made of the same material. Instead of galvanized steel, the manufacturer could’ve used stainless steel for rust prevention. It would take a few decades for the rust buildup to occur but it is still a factor to consider.
  • The clearance between the wrench fitting and the mating pipe could be increased slightly to avoid the use of a smaller wrench during installation.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.45 x 2.85 inches
  • 1/4 turn
  • Full port
  • Valve type: Ball
  • Size: 3/4″, 1/2″

Pros

  • Durable
  • Great value for money
  • Convenient and easy to use
  • Eliminates the need to rotate the handle
  • Can stream out water at high speeds
  • Precise cuts on the thread
  • Visibly on and off

Cons

  • The need to use a small wrench
  • Prone to splitting in extremely low temperatures

2 For Heavy-Duty Use: American Valve M71HD 3/4″ Hose Bibb, 3/4 Inch

Why it Stands Out To Us

One of the biggest reasons we feel that this valve is in a league of its own is due to its impressive sturdiness. While most hardware stores sell flimsy valves that are prone to breakage, the American Valve M71HD renders all of them useless. With its heavy-duty construction, it guarantees stability and resistance to breakage.

The material used is brass and it is quite a heavy product, weighing in at 7.2 ounces. This translates to a corrosion and split resistant valve that will serve you for many years with its durability and steadfastness.

Our Experience with the American Valve M71HD

We noted that there are some users who complained that the valve has a non-linear flow of water. However, our tests showed that the flow of water can be modulated like in any good valve. The water pressure ranges from low to high according to the user’s adjustments.

We tried those standard hose bibbs from Home Depot last year and had to ditch them very quickly due to their susceptibility to rust. With almost the same price at $9.98, the M71HD provided much better value for money compared to the lackluster and damage-prone products at hardware stores. We were pleasantly surprised by its durability and strength – this is why we feel that it will be a great fit for users who do not want to go through the hassle of replacing their valves every few years. We also found that it was quite easy to install and could be done in ten minutes or less.

What We Didn’t Like

The product warns that it was not manufactured to convey water for human consumption. This implies that the material of the valve has lead or some other substance that may be harmful to the human body if water from the valve is consumed. However, since this was meant for heavy-duty outdoor use, it was not a pressing issue.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • Unlike the American Valve M71QT Hose Bibb, the M71HD does not come equipped with a quarter turn mechanism. This means that we had to rotate the valve in order to control the water flow. It would be more convenient if the valve came with a 90° turn to shut it on or off.

Our Recommendations

  • This product is best for activities such as cleaning the driveway or washing your automobiles. In short, the water conveyed by the valve should not be used for food preparation or consumed in any other way.
  • Remember to turn off your main water supply during the installation process to avoid getting sprayed when you remove your old valve.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 3.86 x 1.18 x 3.15 inches
  • Size: 3/4 inch, 1/2 inch
  • Temperature: 180° F
  • Pressure: 125 CWP
  • Multi-turn handle
  • Material: Low lead brass

Pros

  • Extremely durable
  • High performance for many years
  • Great value for money
  • No leakages
  • Resistant to damage
  • Streams out water at high speeds
  • Modulates the flow of water
  • Withstands high pressures

Cons

  • Inconvenient rotational valve
  • Product may contain lead

3 Premium Quality: SharkBite 24628LF Frost Free Sillcock, 8″

Why it Stands Out To Us

If you are a DIY enthusiast like us, the SharkBite Frost Free Sillcock is your holy grail. The installation process is super easy and only requires some maneuvering with tools and pipes. The product comes with an instruction manual as well, which makes the entire process a breeze even for the novice.

Along with its easy installation process, this product is also famous for its diligence in winter. It is resistant to splitting in low temperatures and ensures you make it through the dreary months without needing another valve change mid-season.

Our Experience with the SharkBite 24628LF

We used the Sharkbite at temperatures below 32° and found that the product could withstand the cold. The multi-turn shut off valve is an even tradeoff in this case because it facilitates the prevention of backflow of contaminated water and allows the brass to remain intact in freezing temperatures.

While setting it up, we found that the fittings were especially effortless to work with. Sharkbite specializes in making plumbing as unchallenging as possible for both the amateur plumber and the seasoned expert. The process is undaunting even for beginners and we estimate that it will only take 30 minutes to an hour for the casual plumber to assemble the entire product.

The product retails at a high price point but the premium grade quality ensures that you will definitely get your money’s worth.

What We Didn’t Like

Just like the American Valve M71HD, this too does not come with a quarter-turn valve. We had to do three full turns to turn the water flow on and off. The knob is thin and also digs into your hand while turning it.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • While the full turn works as a preventative measure against the brass splitting, we found that it would be more convenient if it had been changed to a quarter turn. As noted in our “overall good” choice, a 1/4 turn is easier to use.
  • The directions provided could have more detailed illustrations so that it becomes easier for inexperienced users to comprehend the instructions.
  • The screws’ ears being longer would make the installation process more convenient.

Our Recommendations

  • The best way to make the most out of the Sharkbite 24628LF is by purchasing all the necessary tools before installing it.
  • Avoid tightening the handle more than necessary in order to avoid squishing the rubber washer inside the valve.
  • Avoid damaging the internal o-ring seal by meticulously removing the burrs from the pipe.
  • You may place a rag on the handle when you’re turning it if you feel that it is difficult to make the turns.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 13.65 x 2.28 x 3.17 inches
  • Size: 8 inch, 10 inch, 12 inch, 15 inch, 18 inch
  • Weight: 16 Ounces
  • Multi-turn handle
  • Material: Chrome-plated brass

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • Great value for money
  • Can modulate the flow of water
  • Can withstand high pressures
  • Resistant to splitting in freezing temperatures

Cons

  • Prone to freezing
  • Extra tools required

4 Easiest to Install: SharkBite 24623LF Garden Valve, 3/4″ x 3/4″

Best Outdoor Faucets: SharkBite 24623LF Garden Valve, 3/4

Why It Stands Out To Us

The SharkBite 24623LF Garden Valve is truly a game changer. If plumbing makes you run in the opposite direction, this product was tailor-made for you.

Even without complex tools, this product is easy to install. SharkBite is revolutionizing the plumbing world by making plumbing accessible to the masses. The Garden Valve is a demonstration of that accessibility with its highly convenient installation process. Those who want a high quality faucet without the added hassle of fitting pipes can opt for this product.

Our Experience with the SharkBite 24623LF

We could not fathom how easy it would be to install this valve. We simply removed our old spigot and replaced it with this one, and voila! It worked. Due to its ease, we figured there would be leaks in the faucet but surprisingly there were none at all.

This product also removed the need for copper soldering. We could pop on the valve without any welding and it worked just fine with no leakages.

What We Didn’t Like

It did not come with any screws. We had to use our own for the installation. It also takes quite a few turns for the valve to open completely.

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • The design on the handle is impractical. The four sharks on the valve serve no purpose other than aesthetic reasons and take away from the ease of use.
  • It would be more convenient if the shark fins were removed as it would allow a better grip for the user.

Our Recommendations

  • If you ensure the screws go all the way inside, you won’t have any leaks.
  • The valve doesn’t come with screws so make sure you have some handy.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 2.63 x 2.38 x 4.12 inches
  • Size: 3/4″ x 3/4″, 1/2″ x 3/4″
  • Weight: 10.9 Ounces
  • Multi-turn handle

Pros

  • Easy installation
  • No need for pipe adjustments
  • Perfect for novices
  • Thick enough to withstand pressure
  • Great value for money
  • Will eliminate the need for a plumber
  • Can save you costly plumbing fees

Cons

  • Inconvenient multi-turn handle
  • Screws need to be purchased separately

5 Best for Gardening: American Valve M76QT 3/4″ Quarter Turn Hose Bibb FIP, 3/4-Inch

Why it Stands Out To Us

American Valve really outdid itself with this one. If you’re looking for an all-in-one solution to all your gardening problems, then this is the faucet for you.

The ball valve in this product eliminates the need for the customary multiple turns in traditional hose bibbs, which means a quarter turn is enough to maximise the water flow. Also, most ball valves we have tried and tested do not make way for an absolutely restriction-less full flow. However, this one stands apart from all the others and makes for a wonderfully smooth experience. The hose also fits quite well on the faucet and leaves no room for leaks.

Our Experience with the SharkBite 24623LF

  • This faucet has absolutely no water restriction and maximizes water output. We found that it is highly useful for those who require a larger volume of water for their gardens.
  • The handle is also larger than usual and is made of metal instead of plastic. In our experience, the plastic ones become damaged much faster. The longer handle allows for easier maneuvering with both wet and dry hands.
  • With its convenient quarter turn and fairly easy installation process, the American Valve M76QT should be on its way to be a reliable staple in everyone’s dream garden.

What We Didn’t Like

  • It’s not frost-free. We found that even after the pipe was emptied, some water still remained in the ball valve and froze in cold temperatures.
  • The handle could seem slightly stiff in the beginning but might loosen up with use over time

What Could Be Improved and Why

  • The faucet is prone to splitting during winter due to the leftover water in the ball valve. If a hole is drilled into the exit side of the valve, it is likely the water would dry up before freezing.

Our Recommendations

  • Adding a shut-off valve inside the house will cut off the water supply in winter. This will prevent your faucet from splitting.
  • Use Teflon tape while you screw in the metal attachments as it makes it easier to unscrew them years later when they are corroded.

Specifications

  • Dimensions: 5.05 x 1.45 x 2.9 inches
  • Size: 3/4″
  • Weight: 9.6 Ounces
  • Multi-turn handle
  • 1/4 turn
  • Full port
  • Valve: Ball
  • Material: Brass

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Maximum water volume
  • 1/4 turn handle allows for easy maneuvering
  • Ball valve lessens restrictions on water flow
  • Easy to install
  • Durable

Cons

  • Not frost-free
  • Requires a shut-off valve within the house
  • Narrow flats can’t accommodate an adjustable wrench

Types of Outdoor Faucets

a) Spigot

A common device made of brass or stainless steel that proves to be durable.

b) Frost-Free

A hose bibb with an extended rear connection that drains off the water remaining in the pipe so none is left in the pipe to freeze. It reduces the likelihood of the faucet cracking in winter.

c) Ball Valve

A shut-off valve used to isolate water supply line branches that usually comes at a reasonable price. These valves are adjustable and do not impede water flow.

d) Yard Hydrants

Attaches to the buried water supply pipe outside of a well and can be turned on or off for water supply from a private supply system.

e) Anti-Siphon

This valve normalizes the pressure inside the pipes to prevent the backflow of water. It also allows the residual water to drain when installed in an outdoor faucet.

Best Outdoor Faucet – Buying Guide

Best Outdoor faucet; hose bibb, spigot, extender, Remote, Water, Garden, Hydrant, exterior

1. User friendly

Ensuring your faucet is easy to use is the best decision you will make for yourself. A faucet that is hard to maneuver will make your task much more difficult than it needs to be. It is important to consider the product’s convenience in terms of the handle, installation process, and frequency of maintenance before making a purchase.

2. Performance

The kind of performance you expect from your hose bibb will depend on what you will use it for. If you have a large garden, you may opt for a heavy-duty hose bibb that provides persistent pressure over long distances and releases high volumes of water at once.

If you’re more of a casual user and want a hose bibb for activities such as cleaning your car or driveway, you do not necessarily need to invest in a high-performance faucet. However, it is better to get an efficient hose bibb as they tend to be more durable in the long run.

3. Material

Brass is highly resistant to corrosion, which makes it the best choice for outdoor faucets. Faucets made of steel are more prone to rusting. They force you to go through the hassle of replacing the bibb every few months as the corrosion takes away from their durability and reduces their lifespan.

4. Freeze resistance

While there are many frost-free options available, many do not deliver what they claim to do. It is important to know which faucet will be most suitable to your environment. If the body of the faucet is too thin, it may be more prone to splitting in winter. Make sure to consider the thickness of a faucet before purchasing it.

5. Easy Installation

If you are daunted by the idea of plumbing, it is best to opt for an option that does not require expertise in this area. Pick a faucet that’s beginner-friendly and easy to set up. You’ll thank yourself for it later.

Preventive measures for Hose Bibb Damage During Winter

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  • Start by disconnecting your garden hose and storing it away after a thorough draining
  • Shut off the water valve connected to the hose bibb
  • Drain any of the water left inside the spout by switching on the valve
  • In order to stop pressure from building up inside the faucet, leave it open for the duration of winter
  • Insert a piece of Styrofoam pipe insulation to the exposed pipe that’s between your house and the faucet
  • Wrap it with insulation tape

How to Fix a Leaky Hose Bibb

  • Shut off the valve that supplies water to your hose bibb
  • Remove the screw from the handle with a screwdriver and pull it off
  • Unscrew the packing or bonnet nut that holds the valve stem and faucet body together.
  • Unscrew the valve stem from the faucet body
  • If the rubber washer is cracked or deformed, unscrew it from the faucet.
  • Replace the washer with an identical replacement
  • Remove the old Teflon tape and replace it with new tape. Make sure to wrap it around the threads in a clockwise motion
  • Put the faucet back together. Reassemble the valve stem and tighten the packing nut with a wrench
  • Inspect the faucet for leaks. If they still persist, you may tighten the packing nut a bit more but avoid over-tightening it

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Should I cover my outdoor faucets during winter?

Ans. To keep your faucet from splitting, you may want to install a shut-off valve inside your house. This will stop the water from flowing into the faucet completely, and there will be no residual water stuck inside the ball valve. Be sure to check whether or not the shut-off valve has any leaks before winter.

Also, using PEX tubing for the supply line to your faucet will be your safest bet as PEX is highly resistant to damage from freezing. It is also recommended to insulate the pipe exposed between your house and the outdoor faucet with Styrofoam piping insulation.

2. Could a hose bibb damage the garden hose if left outside?

Ans. Yes, this is definitely a possibility during winter. Leaving the hose attached to the faucet may result in trapped water between the valve and the end of the hose, which will then freeze when the temperature drops. You can increase the lifespan of your garden hose by disconnecting it from the faucet after use.

3. What happens if my outdoor faucets freeze?

Ans. The faucet is highly prone to splitting open or breaking apart if it freezes. It is best to take measures before this happens.

About the author

Callum Strempel

Licensed Plumber

Hi, I’m Callum, a full time plumber with a plumbing license issued by my state. So far, I’ve spent nearly a decade and a half installing and fixing a wide variety of plumbing components and units. My profession inspires me to talk about the kitchen and bathroom (and the plumbing system) so confidently and knowledgeably that I offer my free consultations to help neighbors and fellow homeowners every now and then. As I enjoy installing faucets, sinks, showers, and fixtures, I love to see people enjoying services from those components for years to come. So, I write every week to inform you and others. Will you mind going through some of my articles on this website?

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