Leaky Outdoor Faucets Are History (Video)
Photos via Aquor Water System
A new product from Aquor Water Systems aims to stem the wasteful flow of water from leaky faucets. The company’s hose hydrants are touted as the reinvention of the outdoor tap.
The House Hydrant is designed to be an eco-friendly, in-wall outdoor faucet that is completely leak proof and compatible with any garden hose. The system eliminates the need for a jutting brass knob that is highly susceptible to rust and leaks. The House Hydrant has a patented auto-stop seal mechanism that stores all the water inside the home.
Simply use Aquor Water System’s Hose Quick Connect to attach a hose to the faucet and the twist-lock system will stop the water from spilling out while delivering full water pressure.
In addition to retrofits for existing homes, the hydrant is being built into new prefab homes from Method Homes.
Method builds pre-fab homes in a huge hangar at their manufacturing plant in Ferndale, WA. They build several homes at a time in an assembly-plant fashion, then ship them to their final locations to be finished.
In regions such as Lake Tahoe, the construction season is short and building is expensive. Method provides a unique way of quickly and efficiently building luxury homes at an affordable cost. They now offer Aquor hydrants on every home they build. The outlets match Method's design style and eco-friendly philosophy, providing the same convenience and thoughtfulness that is seen throughout their homes. The benefit of having a flush-mount outlet also saves on building costs: since pre-fab homes are shipped on semi-trailers, they have maximum width requirements. With standard protruding hose bibs, Method needed to call plumbers on-site after the home had been transported. Now, Aquor hydrants are installed before transport, saving time and money.
“We like the Aquor hydrant for several reasons, said Keith Knutson of Method Homes. "Most importantly, the quality is top notch. It also provides a clean and modern aesthetic, which our clients and designers greatly appreciate. Lastly, it solves a specific problem in the modular pre-fab industry of providing a hydrant that doesn’t greatly increase the width of the building footprint."
Outdoor faucets with protruding brass hose bibs can be problem for prefab home builders– the extra width can make prefab homes too wide to transport, and creating a separate project for plumbers is an added expense. The Aquor Water Systems in-wall option allows pre-fab companies to incorporate it into their blueprints without adding any width, saving time and money.
Traditional brass hose bibs have poor insulating qualities. Even the “frost-free” models often fail in cold temperatures. Additionally, the bibs require foam covers to protect them from exposure to the elements. Unlike these models, the House Hydrant has astainless steel body with freeze protection up to minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.Stainless steel allows for significantly less heat loss than brass, so the house hydrant’s stylish cover is enough to keep pipes in tact year round. The House Hydrant also self-drains when unplugged, so it never needs to be winterized.
The stainless steel design features an auto-stop seal mechanism that keeps all water flowing inside the building until it’s needed. Once a hose is connected to the flush-mount outlet, the twist-lock system prevents water from spilling out.
Aquor co-founders Cash Walcome and Kamil Slusarski said the concept of the hydrants -- $60 for a basic hydrant and $90 for a hydrant with a built-in vacuum breaker – mimics strategies used to prevent water leaks and injuries on boats – namely a flash-mounted faceplate, stainless steel body and twist-lock connection.
The inventors outlined several benefits for both commercial users and those owning and managing multifamily buildings. Among them:
Ease of use: Users can connect hoses instantly under full water pressure. Simple tasks like spraying off a sidewalk or watering plants are no a hassle. Currently, one must unlock the spigot or screw on the handle, thread on the hose and use pliers or channel locks to tighten if needed. The Aquor requires users to just plug in a connector that triggers water flow through the hose.
Easier security: Property managers disconnect garden hoses after every use to prevent unauthorized usage. Secure outdoor faucets tend to be bulky (12 inches x 12 inches) and expensive, running $300 or more, Walcome and Slusarski said.
“The only other alternative is unscrewing the handle and hoping it doesn't get lost,” Walcome said. “With our system, the hose connector acts as a key, and won't get lost because it stays attached to the garden hose.”
No leaks/water savings: Commercial spigots use the same sealing mechanism as traditional hose bibs and frequently leak. Aquor relies on an O-ring and bayonet twist-lock connection system that eliminates leaks because it uses water pressure to seal, rather than compressing a flat washer with friction. The setup can be easily cleaned or serviced if needed.
Freeze protection: Walcome and Slusarski say the freeze resistance of their products is about seven times better than anything currently available. The reason: Faucets made of stainless steel, which is a better insulator than brass. The faucets also automatically drain when disconnected, and there is no winterization that needs to take place.
Lower cost: Most commercial hydrants cost between $150-600, and if the valve seat or threads wear out, the entire unit must be replaced. Aquor is billed as a more durable solution with a smaller price tag.
The hydrant founders say they believe their solution will change how water is accessed and used outdoors. After all, the traditional design of the outdoor tap – relatively unchanged for more than a century – has been plagued by leakage for basically as long.
“We wanted to design an outdoor system that is convenient for all customers,” Slusarski said. “Properties with landscaping services appreciate the quick connection and time/water savings. Buildings that use water infrequently appreciate not needing to winterize or worry about theft."
Read more about water saving devices.