Why Is My Frost Free Tap Not Working?

You are in a hurry to attend a hangout or for your office! But what can be the reason for suddenly frost-free tap not working? Water leak can be the most common reason ever. But what if some other issue in your case?

In this article, we are going to talk about the reasons for the failure of frost-free taps. The Plumbers usually call them frost-free hose bibs. We are also going to add solutions for each of these so that you can Fix this instantly without tearing it out from the wall.

Frost Free Tap Not Working?

Frost Free Tap

You turn it on, but there is no water. It gets jacked out. Tell us how annoying it is!

Let’s find out the solid reasons and resolve them.

Water leakRemove the faucet’s valve
The handle does not moveRemove the rubber washer
No water flowingCheck the shutoff valve
Air gap leakRemove the flapper valve
Tight closing of the packing nutLoosen it
Frost-free spigot not workingTroubleshoot

You’d get instant fix solutions for the common frost-free tap problems from the table above. Now, we will discuss the procedures and solutions in detail.

Frost-free faucet leaks when turned on

Now, this is one of the major issues that draw your attention. Especially when the temperature is below freezing level, these leaks might freeze at first and expand later.

Thereby you will be experiencing a small flood-type thingy right in front of your house. Then, turn off the water supply and remove the faucet’s valve.

The handle fails to move

If you cannot move or twist the handle of the frost-free tap, then there must be a problem with the rubber washer. The frost-free faucet usually comes with a long stem standard washer along with the seat arrangement. Now, this washer might get ruptured, melted, or worn out. In that case, you need to check and change it periodically.

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Changing a washer is an easy thing! All you need to do is unscrew/loosen the hex head and draw out the stem. That’s pretty basic! Once the hex head gets loose, water will start flowing back again.

Tips: Once the water starts running, hurry up and tighten it asap, or else you might get drenched over.

No water coming out of frost-free outdoor faucet

If your frost-free faucet brings out no water even though you keep twisting and turning the handle as much as you can, then make sure to inspect the shutoff valve. You will usually get it behind a panel, somewhere in the basement.

If the shutoff valve remains closed, water will stop flowing. You can even follow the water line to the faucet and get to the shutoff valve. Make sure to keep it open for the smooth flowing of water.

Tips: Once you open the shutoff valve, do not forget to turn the handle of the faucet in the counterclockwise direction. This will help restore the water back to the faucet.

Air gap leak

Some frost-free faucets include an air gap. This air gap does not let water enter your home. The flapper valve inside the faucet might open due to the lower pressure. In that case, the air gap will start leaking.

You need to remove the faulty flapper valve to tackle such a situation. Just like the washer, you need to replace this flapper valve occasionally.

Tight closing of the packing nut

While you think of repairing, make sure to do it in the correct way. This is really important.

The frost-free bibs usually have a tube that ends in the warm area of your house. This tube shuts off in the warm area and dries up. This is the reason we call it frost-free. So in case if your frost-free faucet won’t shut off, the process is quite the same.

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Now you might end up thinking this tube draining to be an actual leak and you tighten up the packing nut to stop the leakage. Tightening it makes the washer loaded and jammed. Ultimately, it will prevent the water from flowing at all.

So you gotta loosen or unscrew it a bit, making some space for the water to flow through the tap. However, if the leaking continues, you need to replace it.

Frost Free Spigot Not Working/ Frost Proof Spigot Not Working

Often the main problem of the frost-free faucet lies in its spigot. Unfortunately, the spigot often gets broken or jammed. As a result, it stops working. In such a situation, you need to replace it.

But before replacing it, we would recommend troubleshooting it.

You just need two tools:

  • Flat head screwdriver and
  • An adjustable wrench

To troubleshoot, follow the steps below:

  • Turn the water off. Remove the handle using flat head screwdriver. Then remove the packing nut using an adjustable wrench. Turn it counterclockwise until it gets completely out of the tap casing.
  • Now you might have a black EPDM material. In that case, you could just stick your screwdriver and get it out.
  • Use a springless frost-free spigot repair kit to replace the arrowhead frost-free hose bib. It saves your time, and it is cost-effective as well.
  • Time to replace the washer assembly. A washer is way too cheap, so you can replace it over time.
  • Pop up the vacuum breaker parts. Use your screwdriver to unscrew the retainer and pull out the vacuum parts. Check if there is any dirt jammed. If so, clean it. Install the parts one by one accordingly and check if it works.
  • If you are wondering how to replace a frost-free faucet, don’t stress over it because the steps are the same. Instead of cleaning the vacuum parts of the old faucet, replace them with the new ones, and you are good.

Overall, these are the most common problems that you would face.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

This section is important because we are going to discuss the most frequently asked questions concerning the frost-free faucet. Often people face this issue, get confused, and come up with these questions.

Can you repair a frost-free faucet?

Definitely! Purchase a repair kit that suits your frost-free faucet and repair it just by following the steps we explained above.

How do you repair a frost-free Sillcock outdoor faucet?

Repairing a frost-free Sillcock outdoor faucet is really easy. You just need to follow the steps below:

  • First of all, remove the Silicock handle.
  • Use some pliers to loosen the retaining nut.
  • Once you remove the stem, place the O-ring in the stem.
  • Then you gotta remove the brass stem screw.
  • Replace the washer.
  • Now the last thing you gotta do is reassemble the Sillcock accordingly.


Hopefully, this article will help you with the problems concerning the frost free tap not working. The steps are pretty basic, so anyone can try this at home. But you should be careful since there are chances of getting drenched with the faucet bursting out. And if following the steps yet brings no result, consider seeking the help of plunder right away.

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