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Leaky indoor faucets can be quite irritating, what with the constant pattering sounds and water wastage. As a result, these faucets get our immediate attention. But what about that solitary plumbing star we use to help us wash our cars and water our lawns?
That faucet outside our home, called a hose bib, is no less important than the ones inside. In this short read, we’re going to bring you up to speed about all things hose bib-related, including the cost of replacing a leaky one.
What is a hose bib?
A hose bib goes by a variety of names: outdoor spigot, hose faucet, and garden tap. What it is is a small outdoor faucet designed to accept a garden hose attachment.
As with all the faucets in your home and indeed, the main plumbing system in your home, the hose bib on the outside wall of your home is connected to the home’s main water supply. In most cases, it is likely to have a shutoff valve as well.
The valve that operates your hose bib is often located in the basement of your home. It is important to know the location of this valve, especially if you live in an area that experiences very cold winter months. This is because if the valve is kept open and water freezing happens due to the cold weather, it could cause the pipes to burst, leading to extensive water damage.
However, if your home does not have a shut-off valve for this faucet, do not despair. You could simply upgrade to a frost-free hose bib, designed to prevent the water from entering the pipes and freezing up.
Read more: Why do hot water pipes freeze first
Types of hose bibs
There are a few choices for homeowners when it comes to buying a new hose bib. Let’s take a quick look at what those choices are, and how much they cost.
Standard hose bibs
These are the regular hose bibs that will need special treatment to winterize them if you live in cold regions. Otherwise, you can expect water damage when your bib freezes, come winter. They cost around $5 apiece.
Frost-free hose bibs
Spend around $25 apiece and save yourself the work as well as the cost of winterizing a regular hose bib with these frost-free versions.
Round plastic hose bibs
Costing the same as standard hose bibs, these spigots are designed to be used indoors.
Loose key hose bibbs
Worried about who’s using your outdoor water? This variant allows you to remove the “key” that operates the faucet, giving you control over who accesses the water.
Depending on the material your hose bibs are made of, you could get decades of service out of yours. Stainless steel and brass bibs are among the most durable options available.
Signs you need a new hose bib
Look out for these telltale signs to know when to replace your external spigot.
- Your faucet is constantly dripping, forming a puddle underneath it.
- Rust on the bibb.
- Your spigot is leaking.
- Damaged components
- Squealing or clunking noises when you let the water run.
Costs and affecting factors
As with all home improvements, replacing a bib yourself will obviously cost you less than hiring professionals for the job.
The hose bib in itself could cost between as little as $5 to around a high of $50. However, if you want a specialized spigot like a hydrant or one with a backflow prevention function, for example, expect the costs to go up to around $300.
Plumber’s putty and tape could cost as much as $10, and hose bib attachments, another $5.
On average, you could replace a basic hose bib yourself for between $20 and $50.
If you’d much rather hire professionals, add labor costs to those expenses and you will end up spending between $150 and $300.