The name can be misleading: a non-freeze hydrant will freeze just as easily as a standard exterior hose tap. Many times this elaborate device is not given the chance to perform properly. I think it's called a "non-freeze hydrant" because it sounds better than "designed to self-drain from the inside to the outside hydrant". And really that's all they are about. They only avoid freezing if there's no water in them. A standard exterior hose tap has a washer that closes against a smooth surface (called the seat) that is exposed to the outside temperatures and wind chill, where the non-freeze units are long tubes that have their seat located at the very back of the tube on the inside of the house where it is nice and warm. The washer on the non-freeze is located on the end of a shaft that is in the tube and when the handle is turned to close the valve, the water stops flowing but then the entire tube needs to drain. Be careful here...lots of people see the water still "running" at this stage and will crank the handle more, thinking that the valve hasn't shut off all the way! Be patient...it may take several long moments to drain the tube. If you turn the handle too tight, you'll bend that long shaft and next time you open the valve, the washer will be tilted; then when you shut it off, it won't seat properly and you WILL have a leaker! If this happens, you should call a plumber (hopefully Hanwell Plumbing & Heating) to have if fixed - you'll soon be paying for every drop!
Also remember that if you keep a hose reel or a coiled hose attached to the tap, it won't drain and you will subject the unit to freezing. Obviously the tap itself freezes in the cold, it's the water in the tube you don't want freezing, so let it drain!
So if you're exterior tap leaks, or you just have questions about other aspects of the non-freeze style hydrant...
"Just Call Robin! "
Hanwell Plumbing & Heating (705) 749-4775