A Better Spigot

Prevent outdoor spigots from dripping by building your own.

This is the outdoor spigot on my house. It’s butt-ugly, it’s not frost-proof and I had to assemble it myself. But it has advantages that more than make up for those faults:

1. No drips. Built around a ball valve—the most reliable type of valve you can get—my spigot is dripless after 18 years of service. Standard versions often leak after just five years.

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2. Fantastic flow. The “full port” valve is 3/4 in. in diameter all the way through, so I can fill a bucket (or a kiddie pool) fast. Frost-proof hose bibs have a choke point at the valve seat that’s about 1/4 in. in diameter.

3. Quick, easy operation. The lever controls the flow instantly and is never hard to turn.

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If you want your own ugly spigot, you’ll need to spend about $20 on parts. There are lots of ways to cobble one together, depending on the parts available at your home center. Just remember: You’ll need a valve inside the house so you can shut off the water and drain the outdoor faucet before freezing temperatures arrive.

— Gary Wentz, Senior Editor


Check out these related plumbing articles from The Family Handyman:
How to Stop a Freeze-Proof Faucet From Leaking
How to Repair a Noisy Outdoor Faucet
How to Install a Frost-Proof Outdoor Faucet