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Old 05-12-2012, 03:25 PM   #1
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


So last year I decided to install a new hose bib on the other side of my house. Thinking I was doing something good I went and got one of those new "frost free" ones where the valve itself is actually at the end of the tube so it's essentially in the house.

Winter came and I unhooked the hose from it. Today I decided to use it for the first time so I can water the lawn. The pressure was low and immediately I had a very bad suspicion so I run in the house and sure enough I hear water spraying all over my basement. I'm still in shock and have not looked at it further yet, I have fans and dehumidifier running. I had good intentions installing that as far away as possible from the server rack....

This exact same thing happened to someone I know who got one of these. Are they a scam and should they be avoided? Seems they can't make it through one winter. I will probably get a plumber to install a new one and have him choose whatever is the best. When it comes to things that can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage it's sometimes best to leave it to a pro. I'm lucky my basement is not finished so I only lost a few power tools and if I'm lucky they might still work after I let them dry. This would have been a much bigger disaster if the basement was finished.

It just occurred to me my other hose bib is one of those too, and it's close to the electrical panel. I'm scared to even try it...








Last edited by Red Squirrel; 05-12-2012 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 05-12-2012, 03:50 PM   #2
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


Since the water only leaks with the valve on...the break is after the valve...between the valve and the hose threads. This usually happens when a hose is lrft connected and it freezes.

These hose bibs are not a scam but like most things they must be used properly.

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Old 05-12-2012, 04:02 PM   #3
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


Yeah I had no hose connected to it, and I even made sure to slant it so water can drip out when I installed it. Could it be it's just defective? Either way think I'll let a licensed plumber handle this.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:12 PM   #4
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Squirrel View Post
Yeah I had no hose connected to it, and I even made sure to slant it so water can drip out when I installed it. Could it be it's just defective?
Or it was installed poorly.
Noticing you have PEX... how well fixtures and valves get supported is even more critical then when copper pipe is used.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:20 PM   #5
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


I put one of the Watts frost free spigots in, I also have PEX. I had no problems, and it lasted through the winter without leaking. I shut the valve off to the hose bib from inside the house over the winter, perhaps you left yours open? I noticed in the directions they had all sorts of dire warnings about damage if you leave the hose connected, etc etc, not sure these things are any better than an ordinary hose bib, but whatever.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:33 PM   #6
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


This thing is not moving. In fact I don't know how I'll take it out now. I not only screwed it in, but I used "no more nails" which created a surprisingly incredible bond to the brick and rim joist.

I did have lot of trouble getting the threaded fitting to not leak though. took me several tries. But that's not where it's leaking so it would not be the issue.

I just went to check it further and it looks like it definitely froze up and blew at some point. Am I suppose to NOT have insulation? What I'm thinking is because the majority of the pipe is on the cold side, it just froze up any water droplets that may have been left over. Over time snow may have got in as well. We had a hot/cold/hot/cold type winter this year so said snow would melt, freeze, melt etc so there was always some water accumulating in there.


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Old 05-12-2012, 04:33 PM   #7
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


They're very common here and seem to work great. I've only seen them rupture in a couple of instances
1) Hose was left on the tap (not you)
2) Faucet was not slanted down to let it drain out when shut off (not you)
3) Didn't install a long enough assembly? The length can range from 4" to 14".
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:36 PM   #8
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


I'm burnt03 on this one. Looks like you need(ed) a longer ff one.
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Old 05-12-2012, 04:43 PM   #9
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


That was the longest I could find, I forget the size, think it's like 12 inches, The first one I bought was not long enough so I had ended up returning it for that one. But yeah that would make sense. The insulation was over the valve part. That part needs to be on the hot side right?

I might have to specialty order one online or something. But think I'll let the plumber deal with it. Will probably cost me like 100 bucks and be done in less than an hour. Less head aches that way.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:25 PM   #10
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


http://images.search.yahoo.com/image...mb=Xwi4JCiNfjZ

Install one of these and next year shut it off then leave the outside one open when it gets cold enough to freeze. NO water in it no freezing.
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Old 05-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #11
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


I actually have a shut off valve indoors already, I just never figured I needed to shut those valves off from inside so never turned it off. Now I know. I should also add an attachment to hookup an air compressor so I can blow out the line, do they make those? Basically a quick connect air socket 1/2 pex adapter.

Only thing is, it's hard to plan that. We get below zero nights in middle of summer sometimes, it can be really random. Though those are rare now.
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Old 05-12-2012, 09:39 PM   #12
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


You can buy valves with a bleeder valve on them, something like this:



Just make sure the bleeder nut is upstream of the valve, open the hose bib outside and drain out your line
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:07 PM   #13
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


Hmmm that could work too. Might do that.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:57 PM   #14
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


It's called a stop & drain. Original huh?
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:04 AM   #15
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are "Frost free" hose valves a scam?


The hydrant wasn't long enough. It looks like the pipe ruptured on top? Have a longer one installed and allow some air space around it rather than insulating it from your warm basement. They are not a scam, just wasn't installed properly.

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