Is 1/2" Copper Pipe OK for Hose Bib?

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Old 05-21-05, 03:09 PM
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Is 1/2" Copper Pipe OK for Hose Bib?

I recently had a valve replaced that goes to an outdoor hose bib. The plumber only had a valve that went from our 3/4" copper pipe to 1/2", so he replaced a 2' section of pipe with 1/2" copper. The water pressure is fine and it's only feeding a single hose bib, but are there any concerns I should have about the smaller pipe? Is 1/2" pretty common?

Here's some of the things I've considered...The temperatures can get just below freezing here in the winter and the pipe is in a garage wall. Is the 1/2" much more likely to freeze and would that damage the pipe? Also the water is pretty hard here, and I'm not sure how much mineral build up there will be and whether that is significant.
 
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Old 05-21-05, 05:00 PM
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I can't tell where you live so I can't overly comment on freezing but in my area virtually all hose sill cocks (sometimes referred to as bibbs) use 1/2 copper.As you have found it does not effect pressure and wouldn't even if the whole line was 1/2.If the line hasn't frozen in the past I doubt you'll find that to be an issue.If you have any worries and the line has an inline valve then turn that off in cold weather and drain the line.I've never known mineral build up to be a significant issue either.
 
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Old 05-22-05, 01:43 AM
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It's only a 2foot section, and it's for a hose, correct? Shouldn't be a problem at all. If the 1/2" copper line was more than 10 feet, you might have some friction loss problems. I wouldn't worry about it. I live in Florida so I don't worry too much about things freezing, but I have had some time and experience "Up there" close to the Arctic Circle (anything below 60degrees is freezing to me). 1/2 inch pipe will freeze just like 3/4 the difference is minimal. Follow spdavid's advice if you are concerned and drain the line if a hard freeze is forecast. Mineral buildup is not an issue unless it is a pipe through which hard water flows constantly on a daily basis, such as a water heater. If it is a hose you use to wash cars or water plants, don't even worry about it.
 
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Old 05-22-05, 04:34 AM
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It usually goes down to the teens here at night during the winter months and warms up to the 50s during the day, so it really doesn't get that cold.

The wall will be sealed (except there will be an opening where the valve is). Should I use that black foam pipe insulation? At the hardware store it is labeled for use with iron pipes, and doesn't say anything about copper. I can't imagine that it makes a difference. Or should I just use regular wall insulation, or both?
 
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Old 05-22-05, 07:59 AM
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Well, my father lives in Gainesville, FL. Not a place you think that would have a freezing problem. I installed a hose bibb on his garage and guess what? The thing froze a year later. It probably was a freak thing, but I replaced it with a frostproof hose bibb anyway. They drain after each use, eliminating the possibility of freezing. By all means insulate the pipe. Just because the insulation doesn't mention copper doesn't mean it won't insulate it. I use it all the time on copper air conditioning lines.
 
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