Making the most of your outdoor living spaces has been trending for quite a few years now, with elaborate backyard kitchens becoming more and more popular. With built-in cabinets, countertops, and grills, you don’t have to run back and forth from the indoor kitchen to prepare a meal. And what’s a kitchen without installing outdoor hot and cold faucets?
Advantages of Installing Outdoor Hot and Cold Faucets
But there are other advantages of having access to outdoor hot and cold faucets. Here are a few ideas:
- Use them to wash your car or motorcycle
- Fill up a kiddie pool
- Rinse off gardening tools
- Fill up buckets for watering plants
- Give your dog a bath
- Wash the outdoor furniture
- And so much more!
Most homes already have cold water running to outdoor hose bibs–faucets found along the foundation of your home for hooking up garden hoses, sprinklers, and other equipment. But these are usually only designed for cold water. There are a few different ways to go about adding hot water to outdoor faucets.
The easiest is probably to install what’s called a “recirculating system.” These work by taking some of the water from your home’s hot water tank and circulating it through the hot outdoor faucet plumbing. That way, when you turn on the hot outdoor faucet, the water is already warm. And the cold water will still run through the cold water hose bib.
Another option is to run a new line from your home’s water heater directly to the outdoor faucet. This will require some additional plumbing, but it may be worth it if you do a lot of outdoor entertaining or need warm water for other purposes like washing your car.
If you’re not sure which option is best for you, talk to a plumber or outdoor faucet specialist. They can help you figure out what will work best for your home and needs.
Other Considerations for Outdoor Hot and Cold Faucets for a Kitchen
Once installed, there are a few other things to think about when finally installing the outdoor hot and cold faucets, especially in a kitchen setting. You’ll need a pressure relief valve (PRV) that prevents too much pressure from building up inside your outdoor plumbing. It is usually installed in systems where there is a potential for high pressure, such as in a boiler or pressure tank.
When the pressure in the system gets too high, the pressure relief valve opens, allowing some of the pressure to escape. This prevents the system from becoming damaged or exploding. While most pressure relief valves are found in industrial settings, they are also used in residential settings, such as in outdoor kitchen faucets.
If there was no pressure relief valve, the water pressure could build up and cause the outdoor faucet, or the plumbing in your exterior kitchen, to burst. Depending on what kind of outdoor fixtures you buy, too much pressure can be damaging.
Some outdoor hot and cold faucets are designed and intended for year-round use, but you’ll still want to protect your investment. As the temperature starts to drop, it’s important to take some simple steps to protect your outdoor hot and cold faucets from freezing. This can help prevent the tubes from bursting and causing expensive damage.
How to Protect Your Outdoor Hot and Cold Faucets
Here are a few tips to prevent water damage or burst pipes during freezing temperatures:
- Insulate your outdoor faucets with special covers or wraps. You can find these at most hardware stores.
- If possible, keep your outdoor faucets turned off and drained of water during very cold weather. Be sure to turn them back on and open the valves slowly when the weather warms up again.
- Make sure there is no water left in hoses connected to outdoor faucets. Either disconnect them or drain them completely before the temperature drops too low
Just like when a garden hose is inadvertently left connected to the faucet during the winter, keeping your outdoor hot and cold faucet and plumbing full of water can lead to some pretty big fixes come springtime. Not to mention additional costs of increased water bills due to the leaks.
Work With the Experts
Simpson Plumbing has decades of experience working with outdoor plumbing, as well as a host of other plumbing services. If you’re thinking about installing an outdoor hot and cold faucet, replacing a water heater, or repiping the whole house, get in touch with Simpson Plumbing today!