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Types of Outdoor Water Spigots: Features, Pros, and Cons

By Kravelv
Types of Outdoor Water Spigots: Features, Pros, and Cons

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Kravelv

Outdoor water spigots, also known as hose bibs or faucets, are essential components for any garden, yard, or outdoor area. They provide easy access to water for various tasks such as watering plants, washing cars, and filling pools. Choosing the right type of outdoor water spigot is crucial for ensuring durability, ease of use, and proper water flow. This guide will cover the different types of outdoor water spigots, their features, and their ideal applications.

Key Takeaways:
  • Outdoor water spigots come in various types, including traditional hose bibs, frost-free spigots, anti-siphon spigots, and ball valve spigots.
  • Each type has unique features, pros, cons, and ideal applications tailored to different needs and environments.
  • Proper selection depends on climate, specific water access requirements, and tasks to be performed.
  • Understanding the differences helps in choosing the most suitable spigot for reliable and efficient outdoor water access.

Types of Outdoor Water Spigots Overview

1. Traditional Hose Bib

The traditional hose bib is the most common type of outdoor spigot. It typically features a threaded outlet for attaching a garden hose and a handle that you turn to control the water flow.


  • Easy to install and use.
  • Durable and long-lasting.
  • Widely available and affordable.
    Prone to freezing and bursting in cold climates if not properly insulated.

Ideal Applications

  • General garden and lawn watering.
  • Washing cars and outdoor furniture.
  • Filling pools and outdoor water features.

2. Frost-Free Spigot

The frost-free spigot prevents freezing and bursting during cold weather. Specifically, the valve that controls the water flow is located inside the house, where it is warmer, rather than at the spigot itself.


  • Prevents freezing and bursting in cold climates.
  • Provides reliable water access year-round.
  • More expensive than traditional hose bibs.
  • Installation can be more complex.

Ideal Applications

  • Homes in regions with cold winters.
  • Outdoor areas requiring reliable water access in winter.

3. Anti-Siphon Spigot

Anti-siphon spigots are designed to prevent backflow of water, which can contaminate the main water supply. They have a built-in vacuum breaker that stops water from flowing back into the spigot.


  • Prevents contamination of the main water supply.
  • Complies with many local plumbing codes.
  • Can be slightly more expensive than traditional spigots.
  • Vacuum breaker components may require occasional maintenance.

Ideal Applications

  • Areas where backflow prevention is required by code.
  • Outdoor spigots used for chemical applications (e.g., fertilizers).

4. Ball Valve Spigot

A ball valve spigot uses a ball mechanism to control water flow. Turning the handle rotates the ball, opening or closing the water flow.


  • Easy to operate with a quarter-turn handle.
  • Provides a tight seal, reducing leaks.
  • Durable and less prone to wear and tear.
  • Can be more expensive than traditional hose bibs.
  • Lever handle may be more prone to accidental operation.

Ideal Applications

  • High-use areas where ease of operation is important.
  • Areas where a tight seal is needed to prevent leaks.

5. Yard Hydrant

Yard hydrants are outdoor water spigots that provide water access away from the main building. They are typically installed with a buried supply line and have a long handle for controlling water flow.


  • Provides water access in remote areas of a property.
  • Designed for heavy-duty use.
  • Complex installation process.
  • More expensive than standard spigots.

Ideal Applications

  • Farms and large properties.
  • Gardens and orchards located away from the main building.

6. Wall Hydrant

Wall hydrants are mounted on the exterior walls of buildings and provide a secure and convenient water access point. They are often used in commercial or public buildings.


  • Provides secure water access.
  • Suitable for commercial applications.
  • More expensive than standard hose bibs.
  • Installation requires professional expertise.

Ideal Applications

  • Commercial buildings.
  • Public spaces where secure water access is needed.

7. Mixing Hose Bib

A mixing hose bib allows you to mix hot and cold water, providing tempered water for outdoor use. This type is useful for tasks that require warmer water.


  • Provides tempered water for outdoor tasks.
  • Useful for washing pets or outdoor cleaning that requires warm water.
  • More expensive and complex than standard hose bibs.
  • Requires access to both hot and cold water supply lines.

Ideal Applications

  • Washing pets.
  • Outdoor cleaning tasks that benefit from warm water.

FAQs About Outdoor Water Spigots

What are outside water spigots called?

Outside water spigots are commonly referred to as hose bibs, outdoor faucets, or garden faucets. These terms are often used interchangeably and refer to the same type of fixture that provides water access outdoors.

What kind of faucet for outdoors?

The type of faucet for outdoors depends on your specific needs and climate. Common types include traditional hose bibs, frost-free spigots for cold climates, anti-siphon spigots for preventing backflow, ball valve spigots for easy operation, and yard hydrants for providing water access in remote areas. Each type has its unique features and benefits, so it's important to choose one that fits your requirements.

What is the difference between a spigot and an outside faucet?

There is no significant difference between a spigot and an outside faucet. Both terms refer to the same fixture used to access water outdoors. The term "spigot" is more commonly used in the United States, while "faucet" is a more general term that can refer to both indoor and outdoor fixtures.

What are the types of frost-free spigots?

Types of frost-free spigots include:

  • Standard Frost-Free Spigots: These have a long stem that places the valve inside the warmer interior of the house to prevent freezing.
  • Frost-Free Spigots with Anti-Siphon Valve: These combine frost-free functionality with a vacuum breaker to prevent backflow and contamination of the water supply.
  • Frost-Free Yard Hydrants: These provide water access in remote outdoor areas and are designed to drain the water inside the pipe to prevent freezing.
  • Frost-Free Mixing Valves: These allow for the mixing of hot and cold water, providing tempered water for outdoor use, while also being designed to prevent freezing.

Final Words

Choosing the right outdoor water spigot depends on your specific needs, climate, and the tasks you plan to perform. Traditional hose bibs are suitable for general use, while frost-free spigots and yard hydrants are ideal for cold climates and large properties. Anti-siphon spigots ensure water safety, and ball valve spigots offer ease of use and durability.

Wall hydrants provide secure water access for commercial applications, and mixing hose bibs are perfect for tasks requiring warm water. By understanding the features and benefits of each type, you can select the best outdoor water spigot for your needs, ensuring reliable and efficient water access in your outdoor spaces.

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