Faucet vs Spigot vs Tap

This is a complete guide to understanding the differences Between Faucets, Spigots, and Taps.

In a typical home, there is a particular common household fixture that may be found in a sink, bathtub, or garden that people can never live without. It is used for drinking water, washing food, cleaning, bathing, and brushing our teeth. The faucet, tap, and spigot, yes, you are right. However, do you know the difference between faucets, taps, and spigots? People use them and refer to them the same, but did you know they differ from each other? Some places may address it as taps, faucets, or spigots, so, to avoid confusion, this article will discuss the major differences between those three terms.

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    The major difference between a faucet from a tap and a spigot, the faucet is intended for water and is usually found with a basin under it, which can be a sink or a tub.

    Faucets are most found mounted on the wall or underside of the kitchen sink or bathroom sink that has a small basin to fill with water. It is a common term called for a valve for controlling or directing the flow of water. 

    It is believed that in c. 1400, from an unidentified source, the word faucet comes from Old French Fausset, which means spigot, breach, peg, or stopper, usually of a large container.

    Faucets are typically used to control the flow of potable well water for drinking, cooking, and washing. The word “faucet” may also refer to a device that is used to control the temperature of hot and cold water, and mix hot, and hot water.

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    Common parts of a faucet include a waterspout, controls, flanges, aerators, gaskets, washers, and screws. Faucets are used for the water coming out of the pipes, which can be with one handle or two handles. It has an ordinary valve at one end, and the handle moves that turn on and off so water can flow, usually in one direction only.

    In American English, native speakers refer to faucets and taps with the same meaning.

    Modern technology enables us to have faucets with automatic shutoff systems, which stop when the tank when empty or if a manual knob turns it off. Or choose hot and cold water.

    The faucet and spigot aren’t far too different from each other, the spigot is a type of faucet but with a longer spout and longer body.

    The Faucet Anatomy of Each Type

    There are many types of faucets, but they all fall into two categories: Cartridge-based faucets and Direct-drive faucets. 

    • Cartridge-Based Faucets (the longest spigot)

    Cartridge-based faucets (the longest spigot) have a long spout that is attached to a long flexible tube made from rubber or plastic.

    • Direct Drive (shortest), Pull-down (longest)

    Direct-drive faucets do not use a flexible tube and instead use either an internal valve system or an external valve system for water flow control. 

    The Old-style, direct-drive faucets like those found in bathrooms require manual operation of the water control. The user turns the valve handle counterclockwise to turn the water off and clockwise to turn it on. 

    Spigot manufacturer


    The major difference between a spigot, tap, and faucet is that a spigot is a term used differently, varying in which place or location it is used. For example, In American English native speaker, spigots are mostly used to refer to an outdoor faucet.

    In which a spigot is a type of faucet with a threaded spout that is installed on a pipe that carries water flow to other places, such as the outdoor faucet, a garden hose that can be attached to a hose bib, a greenhouse, or a swimming pool.

    The word spigot comes from in late 14 C. middle English spigot, meaning a plug used to stop water flow through the hole of a cask, can also mean wooden stopper, sicca in Latin, and Spiga Old Occitan.

    However, in British English native speakers, spigots are a plug, a peg, a fitting for controlling the flow of liquids from a container, most typically for dispensing water from a cistern.

    In American English, faucets and spigots go together, the spigot is a part and type of the faucet.

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    What is a Water Spigot?

    The Spigot or water spigot is an outdoor faucet be manipulated by turning it clockwise rotation. The outdoor faucet is typical with a single handle mounted on the wall or the side of a kitchen sink, bathroom sink, or bathtub.

    In the winter months, there is a gate valve to avoid frost. Proof spigots can withstand extreme cold and enable good water flow, allowing the rubber washer to stop freezing and let cold water flow.

    The outdoor spigot, also known as a hose bib, is a kind of external plumbing fixture connected to an outer wall of the house, with valves usually connected to the water supply.

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    Types of Hose Bibs

    • Non-frost-Free Hose Bibs

    This is the most typical and oldest type of hose bib attached outside the house, the toughest to maintain, especially if in places with cold winter seasons because water freezes inside it that are needed to drain out during spring. Worst it can burst pipes and break the water supply system.

    • Round Plastic Hose bibs

    Made of polyvinyl chloride pipe (PVC), this type of hose bib can handle high-pressure water flows and is usually used in water heater tanks. The way to manipulate it is by turning them clockwise.

    • Knobbed Hose Bibs

    This type of hose bib is mostly used in water heater tanks and used for high-pressure water flow, but unlike round plastic bibs, these types of bibs are tighter and tougher to manipulate. You will need tools like a wrench.

    • Loose Key Hose Bibs

    Mostly made of brass, but also can be made from any material. This type of hose bib is manipulated by inserting a removable key intended for a hole. It is mainly used to save water, as it is directly accessible to the water plumbing system.

    • Free Frost Hose Bibs

    This type of hose bib built a valve much further back than the typical outdoor faucet hose bib. This keeps the remaining water warm on the pipe and avoids it from freezing during winter months.

    Spigot tap faucet difference


    The major difference between a tap, a faucet, and a spigot is that a tap controls any kind any liquid. In the UK, they use the tap in dispensing gas from any container.

    The word tap comes from the word tepa an old English term for a peg for the vent hole of a cask and Germanic origin, which means to provide a stopper on a cask.

    English speakers refer taps usage as only limited to dispensing liquid but also to gas.

    British English native speakers refer to this as taps. They don’t use faucets in referring to a device mechanism that controls the flow of water from one pipe.

    Taps are found in sinks and tubs and come in a wide variety of styles and shapes. With mechanized taps, usually, the single knob faucet handle on top can be turned to adjust the amount of pressure needed to activate it at one time.

    Tap is a most common term in the UK that typically refers to a device that controls the flow of liquid from a container, such as a barrel, for example, a tapped barrel, is done by opening a hole and closing a single tap to control the flow.

    The word “tap” can also apply to valves controlling any fluid flow, not just water but also car engine oil.

    Taps are used for filling containers and can be attached anywhere. For example, a single tap on a maple tree to extract maple syrup. Pillar water tap is the most used in the UK, it has separated hot and cold water.

    It is also believed that faucet and spigot are all old names, referring to a tap delivering water from a barrel or cask.

    Spigot vs tap vs faucet difference

    In Summary, faucets, taps, and spigots are plumbing fixtures, and familiarizing oneself with their differences is important and helpful not only in everyday usage but also in our knowledge. They may differ from one another, yet they all share a common functionality in dispensing liquids and beautifying the home design.

    If you’re searching for an affordable and high-quality kitchen and bathroom fixtures and fittings manufacturer, look no more. Try FaucetU

    FaucetU is 26 years in the market. The company offers excellent quality products, world-class services, and international standards with the most cunning innovative technology. If you want to learn more about this company, kindly visit their website at https://faucetu.com/.

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