outdoor gardening hose faucet

Hose Bibs (Everything You Need to Know)

People can refer to hose bibs by using many terms. Among the most frequently used ones are outdoor spigot, outdoor faucet, hydrant, Silcock, outdoor tap, and probably other names for the same hose bib may still be used in specific regions. 
Do you want to know more about what hose bibs are, what bib accessories are available and how to use them? Continue reading as we got you covered!

What Is a Garden Hose Bib?

No matter which term you might be using, a hose bib is an outdoor valve that controls the water flow coming out from a water pipe. It can either control the amount of water flowing out of the pipe or it can shut off or stop the water from flowing. 

Hose pipe bibs can come in a variety of sizes and models, the most common sizes are the ½ inch and the ¾ inch with either female or male threaded ends, depending on the model. 

In terms of models, the most used are the single head hose bibs. However, there are also dual-headed hose bibs, or even hose bibs with three or four separate heads. 

You can find these different models on the market under different names such as garden hose splitter with “x” individual valves, faucet splitter, two-way or three-way or four-way hose splitter, bib adapter, etc.

The multi-head hose bibs are used to connect more garden hoses to the same water pipe at the same time. In other cases, people want to use one hose bib head to have a garden hose permanently attached and keep the other head or heads available for specific actions like filling a bucket of water or a watering can, for example. 

These additional hose bib heads can be turned on or off individually, depending on the situation and on how or when you need to use each of them. 

Homeowners usually install more than one outdoor hose bib. Moreover if the garden or yard area is large, with a non-standard shape or turning corners around the house, for example. Installing more hose bibs can significantly simplify the garden watering process. Additionally, using different garden hoses for different jobs is much easier when you have multiple hose bibs installed. 

What Is An Outdoor Faucet Extender?

In case you have a hose bib that is not installed where you need it, or it is out of reach and not comfortable for daily use, there is a solution to fixing this problem. And the solution is to install a hose bib extender. 

A hose bib extender is a simple system made of a solid stand, a hose bib, and a leader hose or a standard garden hose. It allows you to move the water source from your current hose bib to a fixed spot in a different area of your garden. This is how you set up a hose bib where you best see fit

You can find such hose bib extenders on the market under different names, most common are hose bib extender or hose stand with brass faucet. 

The installation is quite simple, most brands mention there is no plumber or equipment needed.
These are the main steps you need to do in order to install a bib extender:

  1. Simply mount the hose extender stand into compact soil, in the desired garden location.


  2. Measure the feet distance between your current hose bib and the place in the garden where you want to install the new hose bib.


  3. Choose a garden hose that has the same length as the distance you measured on the previous step. Keep in mind to consider a few additional feet of length, so that the garden hose does not stretch when installed.


  4. Attach the garden hose to the current hose bib on one side and connect it to the new hose bib of the extender, on the other side.


  5. Turn the water on for a few minutes, from both hose bibs, to clean any debris from the system.


  6. Shut off the extender hose bib.


  7. Attach a second garden hose to the new hose bib whenever needed.

Optionally, you can bury or cover with mulch the garden hose that you used in step 4. Do this action only if you don’t want it to be visible.
And in case you are a DYI fan, you can easily find step-by-step video tutorials on the web, on how to build your own hose bib extender.

What Is a Hose Bib Cover or a Faucet Jacket?

As outdoor spigots can freeze, a bib cover is a must-have accessory especially if you are living in an area with long cold seasons and with freezing temperatures during winter. 
There are several names for this type of bib accessory. Many times it is called a hose bib cover, other times you can see it marketed as a hose bib jacket.

hose bib cover with insulating foam wall-mounted
Wall-mounted faucet winter cap with insulation

A hose bib cover is anti-frost bib protection used during the cold season when the temperatures drop below the freezing point. Its purpose is to protect the hose bib from freezing and from suffering any related damages. 

There are different available models on the market, but we have seen these two types more often:

  1. Hose faucet jacket made of waterproof fabrics with insulating layers. You can easily slip this type of cover over the faucet and tie it down with the included Velcro strap. This type of cover is usually necessary for stand-alone hose bibs, but can be used for wall-mounted hose bibs as well.


  2. Hose bib cover made of hard plastic with an insulating layer of foam inside. You can loop it over the hose bib and tighten it using the inbuilt lock system. This type of cover can be used only for the wall-mounted hose bibs, as it is attached against the wall when tighten. 

The insulating layer of the hose bib cover assures the necessary protection against frost and keeps the hose bib dry while it is covered. 

What Is a Hose Bib Shut-off Valve?

The hose bib shut-off valve is the mechanism or the valve that you either need to switch to one side or another or that you need to spin, and which allows you to control the water flow from a hose bib or to turn on and off the water source. It is either inbuilt in the hose bib or sold as a separate connector, especially in the cases where you need the split one water source between several garden attachments. 

For such cases, you can find models with two and up to five different shut-off valves inbuilt in a single hose bib connector. 

Most sturdy shut-off valves are brass made for increased strength and durability. 

What Is a Hose Bib Lock?

If you have any suspicion that someone is using your outdoor hose bib and you want to make sure no one will still water from your property, then you can choose to install a hose bib lock. 

The hose bib lock is a very simple but effective bib connector, used to prevent water theft or unauthorized water use. It attaches to the hose bib and usually locks in with a padlock whenever you are not using that specific water source. 

outdoor hose spigot with lock mounted
Outdoor hose spigot with anti-leakage lock installed

Using a hose bib lock is a very effective solution to avoid unauthorized water use, especially you leave your house, either for shorter or longer periods of time, or when going on vacation. 

There are several available options to choose from, in most cases made of brass or other durable and sturdy materials. These types of lock systems also include a bib cap which prevents water from leaking or flowing while the lock is installed and the hose bib is turned on. 

How Do You Lock a Faucet?

The installation of most models that we have seen is very easy and can be completed in a matter of seconds.
Usually, the lock system includes:

  • a hose bib cap
  • a cover that slides on top of the cap preventing any access to the bib cap. This secures the bib cap so that it cannot be removed.
  • a padlock that secures the lock system. 

Instructions on how to use and install such a lock system are always provided by the manufacturer, no matter which model you choose to purchase.


This post is all about hose bibs. If you are looking for more information on how to use and protect your outdoor faucet or how to prevent water theft from your water pipes, this post covers it all and will answer all your questions.

Continue reading more about garden watering tools in our similar posts section below, or in the other categories from our blog!