Pete & Co. - Freeze-proof Faucets (and how they can fail)

November 1st, 2023 | by Madison Stone

how to avoid frozen pipes

Pete & Co. – Freeze-proof Faucets (and how they can fail)


We recently took to Instagram and Facebook to warn homeowners about the dangers of leaving water hoses hooked up during a freeze. Even with standard freeze-proof faucets, pipes are susceptible to freezing if homeowners allow water to stay trapped near exterior walls, and water hoses are the number one way this happens. So, for this post, we’re taking a quick look at freeze-proof faucets, how they work, and how to prevent disaster when cold weather comes.


Q – What is a freeze-proof faucet?

A – Freeze-proof faucets are exterior faucets that work great at keeping water lines from freezing inside your home. They are designed to stop water deep inside the wall where the insulation and heating of the house keeps it from freezing.



Q – How do freeze-proof faucets work?

A – Freeze-proof faucets come equipped with a valve that stops water from reaching exterior walls, where it’s more likely to freeze. When the water is turned off, the valve closes. How far the valve is inside the house varies, but they are typically 6-12 inches from the exterior wall.

Q – How do I prevent my pipes from freezing?

A – Freeze-proof faucets are great, but they don’t guarantee your pipes won’t freeze. If water gets stuck outside the valve and can’t drain, it will still freeze and crack the pipes. The key is to make sure no water is trapped where it can freeze.


Q – Why do you have to unhook hoses from exterior faucets?

A – The biggest problem our clients have with freeze-proof faucets is that they forget to unhook their water hoses from them. If a water hose is on a faucet, it prevents the water near the exterior from draining, and it freezes. They often don’t know they have a problem until they use the faucet again in the spring and the busted pipes flood their house.

Q – What is an anti-siphon valve?

A – Anti-siphon valves on exterior faucets act as a backflow preventor, and they come standard on most freeze-proof faucets. The valve keeps any used water from flowing back into your plumbing and potentially contaminating the water source.


Still have questions? This video does well to further explain freeze-proof faucets, and this video gives a real-life example of how they can cause leaks if not utilized properly.