Frost-free sillcocks: good or scam???

We live in the northeast and are considering replacing our existing sillcock with a 12" frost-free version.
I have heard very mixed opinions ranging from "it allows you to wash your car in mid-January" to "they don't work at all so you still need to shut off and drain the pipe anyway".
What is the collective wisdom of this newsgroup?
Jeff
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snipped-for-privacy@consult.pretender (Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) wrote in message

They are an excellent way to avoid the nuisance of draing a pipe. They must, of course, have the operating valve in a frost free location, just putting it inside an unheated crawl space ain't a gonna do it.
Harry K
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Jeffrey J. Kosowsky wrote:

They do work as long as the gasket and seat is within an area that does not freeze. The shutoff for my freezeproof sillcocks has not been closed in the 20 NY winters I have lived here. You can wash your car in January as long as you remove the hose and store it in an area that does not freeze. If the temp of the car is 32 F (0 C) or below, you can't wash it anyway, since the water will freeze on the car.

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snipped-for-privacy@consult.pretender (Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) wrote:

Mine hasn't been a problem in 12 years of Chicago winters. It got replaced when I replumbed to copper.
The point of them is to put the valve back in the wall, were it is insulated. If the wall isn't insulated, and the offset back isn't far enough back to keep it from freezing, then well it will freeze.
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I have two in place since 1978. Never had a problem. Temperatures get down to about zero here.
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snipped-for-privacy@consult.pretender (Jeffrey J. Kosowsky) wrote in message

I have 4 of them in my house in NJ and have never had a problem. I'm sure they are longer than 12" though, think they may be 14 or 16. I can only think of 3 reasons they would freeze:
1 - Installed incorrectly so they aren't at horizontal or slightly downward pitched so the water can drain
2 - Installed incorrectly so there is a hole in the wall allowing cold air to get in.
3 - Leaving a garden hose attached so they can't drain.
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Ummm...does this question require a separate answer?

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