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Boiler Drain Valve Vs. Hose Bib: Which One Is Better?

Appropriate valves and faucets are essential for proper control over the plumbing system. Nowadays, boiler drain valves and hose bibs are quite familiar with their excellent functions. But which one is better?

Let’s see a boiler drain valve vs. hose bib comparison. Their functions are to drain and control the fluid flow, respectively. The first one has a hose threads extension, which the latter one doesn’t have. Also, the hose bib is quite budget-friendly than the boiler drain valve.

Throughout this article, we will discuss several differences between these two valves and bibs. In the end, you will be able to decide which one is the best fit for you. Thus, keep reading till the end.

Table: Differences Between The Boiler Drain Valve And Hose Bib

Let’s see several basic differences between the boiler drain valve and hose bib:

ParametersBoiler Drain ValveHose Bib
Functions and ApplicationsTo drain sediment and water from the boiler of any heating systemTo control the water flow
Outlet pointThe outlet point is at the right angle from its handleThe outlet points towards the forward at any angle
Hose ConnectionConsists of extended threads for hose connectionRequires additional hose extender for hose connection
Working principleBall valve operationCompression valve operation
Vacuum BreakerLack of vacuum breakerConsists of a vacuum breaker
Maximum operating temperature120°F-200°F160°F-180°F
Size½,¾, and ⅜ inches pipe diameter½ and ¾ inches pipe diameter
PriceCostly than hose bibCheaper than the boiler drain valve

Boiler Drain Valve Vs. Hose Bib: An In-depth Comparison

boiler drain valve vs hose bib

In general, the boiler drain and hose bib may seem similar. But, they have several slight differences from each other. If you know those differences, it will be easier for you to pick one according to your preferences. Here are a few differences between them:

Functions and Applications

The primary functions of these two valves are different from each other.

Firstly, the prime function of the boiler drain valve is to remove the sediments or bottom sludge and drain fluid from any heating system’s boiler. Generally, you will find them below the boiler or storage tank. So, when you open the valve, the boiler will blow off.

But, in the case of the hose bib, you can use it to control the fluid or water flow. Though people know it as exterior faucets, it’s a valve to control the fluid flow through the valve.

Outlet Point

If you check the outlet point of these two elements, you can see that their outlet looks different from each other. Generally, in a boiler drain, the outlet point will be perpendicular to its handle.

On the other hand, the outlet of the hose bib usually points forward. Besides, its outlet will be in an angular position with the bib’s handle.

Hose Connection

The boiler drains are typically highly suitable for hose hooks. Because they consist of hose threads extension, which will ensure proper hose connection. Generally, this valve has standard outlet sizes for garden hoses.

But you won’t find any hose threads extension in the hose bib. Therefore, to connect any hose, you may need to buy an additional extender. That hose extender will function to connect additional hoses with the bib.

Working Principle

The boiler drains work with the operation of the ball valve. Here, a ball is stable inside two similar seat seals. Besides, there will also be a hole through the centerline of the ball. When the hole is in line alignment with the fluid flow, consider it as an open position.

Then, when the hole is out of in-line alignment or 90° pivoted, the fluid won’t flow. This ball valve is responsible for the boiler drain being a quarter-turn valve.

But, the hose bib consists of a multiple-turn compression valve. You will find a seal under the stem which connects with the handle. When you turn the handle multiple times, the seal will touch the internal seat’s base. This will eventually shut off the fluid flow.

Vacuum Breaker

The function of a vacuum breaker is to prevent the backflow or reversing of the fluid flow. Generally, a boiler drain valve doesn’t consist of any vacuum breaker.

But, in a hose bib, there will be a vacuum breaker. It will restrict the contaminants from reentering the fluid flow.

Maximum Operating Temperature

The maximum operating temperature will be higher for the boiler drains. Generally, this temperature will vary between 120-200°F with the valve materials.

On the other hand, the hose bib has a small range for the higher operating temperature. Generally, this maximum operating temperature may vary between 160-180°F according to the bib’s material.


Generally, you will find a boiler drain with ½, ¾, and ⅜ inches pipe diameters. But, in the case of the hose bib, you will only find the ½” and ¾” pipe sizes.

The larger the diameter, the higher the flow rate. But, the water pressure will drop with the decreasing pipe diameter. So, you will get more fluid flow through the ⅜” boiler drain valves.


The price of the boiler drain valves and hose bibs will differ with their materials and a few other factors. But, generally, the price of a hose bib is relatively less.

You can buy this drain valve after spending around $9.55-$31.39. But you can quickly get a hose bib within a price range of $7.54-$12.25.

Which One Is Better, Between Boiler Drain Valve And Hose Bib?

Both the boiler drain and hose bib provide excellent performance at their places. So, which one is better will completely depend on your preferences for the valve. Here are several factors that you need to consider while choosing one between these two elements:

  • If you have a tight budget, you should go for the hose bib instead of the drain valve. Because they are way cheaper than boiler drains.
  • In the case of durability, the fewer the parts of components, the greater the durability. The boiler drain valve has fewer parts and less complex constructions. That’s why it is more durable than the hose bib.
  • You can operate the boiler drain valves with a mere quarter turn. But, the hose bib requires multiple turns to operate. Therefore, if you are looking for an easy-to-use option, the first one will be a better choice.
  • Both of these elements come with a standard WOG(Water, oil, and gas) rating. But, the valve is more suitable with acid, base, halogen, aliphatic solutions, oxidants, and salts than the bib.
  • Generally, for blow-off operations, choosing the drain valve will be wise. And, if you need a valve for controlling the fluid flow, a hose bib will serve better.
  • Sometimes, reducing the risk of recontamination of the water system by the reverse flow of fluid might be necessary. In this case, the hose bib will be a better choice for you.

Hence, you can choose a hose bib over the boiler drains if you want to maintain the budget. But, in many aspects, the boiler’s drain valve has greater quality and excellence than the bib. So, if your budget is flexible, we suggest going for the drain valve.


In this FAQs section, we will answer multiple questions about the hose bib and the boiler drains.

Do Boiler Drains And Hose Bibs Reduce Water Pressure?

Both in boiler drain valves and hose bibs, water has to make quite tight turns. This will act against the flow of water. As a result, the water pressure will drop significantly.

Can I Replace Hose Bib With Boiler Drain Valve?

Yes. You can install a boiler blow-off valve as an outdoor faucet instead of a hose bib. This valve can also control the water flow by significantly reducing the pressure.

In Which Sectors Can You Use Boiler Drains?

You can use this valve in the chemical, paint, cement, and pharmaceutical industries. Generally, they are primarily suitable for use with storage tanks, water heaters, and boilers.


If you have a clear idea about the boiler drain valve vs. hose bib comparison, you can decide which one is better. Generally, the drain valve is easier to use than the bib. Besides, it’s easier to connect the hose with the drain valves as it has an additional hose threads extension.

But, the hose bib is relatively cheaper and also prevents reverse fluid flow. Hence, both of them have excellent qualities. So, the selection of the best fit will differ from person to person according to their preferences.