A hose bibb (also known as a spigot) is an important outdoor fixture that lets you attach a hose to get water. Every homeowner needs a hose bibb (also spelled "bib") on their exterior, and sometimes it needs to be replaced.
Fortunately, replacing a hose bibb is not an incredibly difficult process and can actually be relatively easy, depending on your specific bibb. We will talk about when you need to replace your bibb and the DIY steps for doing so.
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Different Types of Hose Bibbs Explained
Hose Bibb Common Problems
House bibbs carry water from your home’s water main and so usually have several distinct parts that need to work together. As such, a lot of problems with hose bibbs are from one piece or another failing to work properly. Here are some of the more common hose bibb issues.
Frozen hose bibb
If you have a non-frost-resistant hose bibb, then there is the risk that the bibb will freeze during the winter if you do not turn the water off. Leftover water in the pipes and bibb can freeze over, preventing you from attaching a hose properly.
Frozen water can also expand and cause cracking and fractures in the pipes and bibb rim.
Leaking hose bibb
One of the more common issues is a leaking bib. Typically, this is caused by the shutoff valve not closing entirely. If there is a small opening, water pressure can force a small bit through. Leaking hose bibbs can be an easy or a difficult fix, depending on the underlying cause.
Bibb handles make contact with water and so can rust and break over time. A broken handle means that the bibb can get stuck in the on or off position. Sometimes the bibb gets broken, and other times it is just not tight enough to completely close the shutoff valve.
Signs of a Damaged Hose Bibb
Here are a couple of common symptoms of a damaged hose bibb.
How to Inspect?
Most of the time, you can just visually inspect the spigot to find problems. Inspecting your bibb is as simple as making sure it is properly shutting off and allowing water through. Once you turn the water line back on, turn the spigots handle fully on to test the water flow.
Then turn it off and look for any leaks in the spigot or on the wall near the hose. If water is coming from the wall, it could mean the bibb is damaged.
You should also make sure that the hose bibb does not leak when turned off. Let the water drain for a few minutes. A damaged bibb will continue leaking water well after it should have emptied. Usually, this is just because a washer is loose.
How to Prevent?
One of the easiest ways to prevent damage to your hose bibb is to ensure that your system is completely drained of water during the cold months. Even frost-free bibbs can freeze if it gets cold enough and there is water still stuck in the line.
A damaged hose bibb can lead to more severe issues, so you need to deal with any issues that pop up quickly.
Alternatively, the problem might be the location of your bibb. If the pipe is not in an optimal location, you might need to change where the spigot is located on the exterior of your home.
Replacing Hose Bibbs: DIY Easy Steps
Here is a quick DIY guide on how to replace a hose bibb.
Required Tools: Wrench, replacement bibb, graphite, gloves
- 1Before touching the spigot, make sure you turn off the water flow from the house to the bibb.
- 2Next, unscrew the bibb handle and start loosening the packing nut with the wrench (or plies)
- 3Once you have the packing nut off, use the graphite and repack the area. The graphite will ensure that any gaps will be filled, and it will be an airtight seal.
- 4Next, put the packing nut back on and replace any handles if they are broken.
- 5Then, turn the water back on from the house and inspect the spigot to see if the leak persists.
Note, if the spigot is soldered onto the pipe instead of screwed on, then you will have to saw off the soldered connection before you can put the new bibb on.
People also Ask (FAQs)
How do you fix a leaky hose bibb?
It depends on what, exactly, is the problem, but you can often fix a leaky hose bibb by merely making sure the washer and seal valve are screwed on tightly.
What is the difference between the hose bibb and spigot
The terms “bibb” and “spigot” are terms for the same mechanism, also called a “faucet.”
How much is the average cost to replace a hose bib?
It usually costs around $100-$150 to completely replace a hose bibb with a new one.
At what temperature will outside faucets freeze?
Water spigots can freeze if exposed to under freezing temperatures (32F/0C) for an extended time.
How do I keep my outdoor faucet from freezing?
The best way to keep your faucet from freezing is to make sure that the pipes are drained of water and shutting off the water line from the house.
Hose bibbs might seem important, but a faulty hose bibb can lead to a lot of issues. So if your hose bibb is leaking or otherwise not working correctly, it’s in your best interest to get it sorted out fast.
Ian Haynes is an expert writer who has successfully deployed over 500 plumbing pages and other related content. He has an excellent understanding of home plumbing issues and translates his experiences via Plumbing Lab so readers can have a better understanding of common household problems. Outside of his work, Ian likes exploring Brooklyn with his Labrador.