Freezeless Faucets


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Old 11-15-10, 02:44 PM
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Freezeless Faucets

The outside of my house has one "freezeless" faucet. The faucet is almost 30 years old.

A friend of mine also has a freezeless faucet on his house, and his broke, flooding the crawl space with about a foot of water before it was discovered.

Now I lay awake at nights wondering if/when mine will break. Is there any kind of routine or preventive maintenance for this type of faucet (simple hose bib)?
 
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Old 11-15-10, 06:24 PM
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These faucets are functional ONLY if the water is purged from the tube when the water is turned off. This means not leaving a hose hooked up to it in the winter. In addition the pipe leading to this faucet must be tilted downward. On most models there is a nylon wedge that must be installed as the faucet is fastened to the house. It is installed on the upper half and causes the pipe to canter downward.

And they are "frostproof", probably not "freezeproof".
 
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Old 11-16-10, 10:25 AM
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I replaced my frostproof faucets a couple of years ago. I went with a cheaper, standard hose bib and I installed shut off ball valves in my basement. I don't know if I just had bad luck, but it seemed like I was repairing or replacing one of them every couple of years.

Now I just open the valve on the hose bib when I put the hoses away for the winter and I shut the ball valves until spring.
 
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Old 11-16-10, 01:50 PM
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That's what I do. The gentleman who built our house back in the 70's put ball valves inside the basement. Turn them off, open the faucet, and you're winterized.
 
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Old 11-16-10, 03:51 PM
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Wayne Mitchell:

>>>I replaced my frostproof faucets a couple of years ago. I went with a cheaper, standard hose bib
 
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Old 11-16-10, 10:56 PM
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Thank you all for your replies.

This faucet (and now I'm wondering if it is indeed a freeze/frostless faucet) exits the front wall of the house and is connected to the main water supply. Nothing to drain. I have always taken the hose off and stored it for the winter.

All my sprinkler zones are connected to a separate irrigation system that is drained in October and repressurized in April. I blow out all the zones each season.

Maybe I should just stop worrying so much
 
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Old 11-17-10, 03:48 AM
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One thing you can do to reduce the chance that a freeze-resistant hose bib will freeze and burst is to make sure that the opening in wall through which it passes is sealed tightly at the exterior to prevent cold air form infiltrating into and behind the wall along the pipe.
 
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Old 11-17-10, 07:58 AM
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[QUOTE=shacko;1790206]Wayne Mitchell:

>>>I replaced my frostproof faucets a couple of years ago. I went with a cheaper, standard hose bib
 
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Old 11-17-10, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Not needed. All my hoses have a shutoff valve at the end. When the hoses are attached the shutoffs are closed and the hose bibs are left open.
I think you should do a google and see how many people have been killed or made sick with the same hook-up you have. That's why most jurisdictions in the country REQUIRE them on any faucet or spigot that can have a hose connected to it.
 
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Old 11-17-10, 03:17 PM
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Pipsisiwah: I hope your irrigation sysyem has a back flow preventer connected to it, if not you have a safety hazard!
 
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Old 11-18-10, 05:19 PM
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Originally Posted by shacko View Post
I think you should do a google and see how many people have been killed or made sick with the same hook-up you have. That's why most jurisdictions in the country REQUIRE them on any faucet or spigot that can have a hose connected to it.
Sorry Shacko - I can't buy that. Water supply contamination requires a very specific set of circumstances for either backflow or back pressure to occur. They are not required in my area. It concerns me not.

I was unable to get CDC stats on water contamination fatalities that were a result of backflow or backpressure in a residential environment. Can you provide a link.
 
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Old 11-19-10, 03:38 PM
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Old 11-19-10, 05:18 PM
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You are correct, it's not what I was looking for. Some municipalities require backflow preventers as a means of protecting their municipal water systems. In the case of municiple water systems it is understandable.

Think about the circumstances that have to occur to contaminate a residence potable water supplied by a well. That is my situation and the only one I'm concerned about. Remember, you cautioned me about my situation as being unsafe. It isn't.

In order to get backflow I would have to lose water pressure to the extent that the puddle, pool, hose end sprayer or car wash bucket open to atmosphere had a higher pressure. All of this would have to occur while the hose end ball valve was left open and the end of the hose was left immersed in whatever. Even with the loss of pressure, the contaminent would have to defy gravity and make a fairly long trek to get back into my water supply.

Granted I'm not a plumber, but even with a loss of pressure I don't understand where the pressure differential is generated. I've done some searching and find lots of sites advising the use of a backflow preventers on a hose bib but I can't find one that explains how the backflow can occur other than unusual circumstance like a hose left open in a pool that was above the level of the water supply.

In any case, I never leave an open hose in a bucket or a puddle or a pool, although I'm not sure how that would kill me. I never use a hose end sprayer. I have never experienced a sudden loss of water pressure.

There are reasons why towns without municiple water supplies don't require backflow preventers. In most cases they just aren't necessary.
 
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Old 11-20-10, 04:24 PM
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>>>In order to get backflow I would have to lose water pressure to the extent that the puddle, pool, hose end sprayer or car wash bucket open to atmosphere had a higher pressure. All of this would have to occur while the hose end ball valve was left open and the end of the hose was left immersed in whatever. Even with the loss of pressure, the contaminent would have to defy gravity and make a fairly long trek to get back into my water supply.>>There are reasons why towns without municiple water supplies don't require backflow preventers. In most cases they just aren't necessary.
 
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Old 11-20-10, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by shacko View Post
Pipsisiwah: I hope your irrigation sysyem has a back flow preventer connected to it, if not you have a safety hazard!
No backflow required. My lawn sprinklers use water channeled in from the fresh, clean, pure, Colorado River.
 
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Old 11-20-10, 08:38 PM
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I'm not trying to be a dick but I can't understand this at all.

This is getting to be too much trouble, but I'll try, if you have a vacuum in your system due to the lose of pressure any thing connected to your system becomes pressurized due to atmospheric pressure pushing against a vacuum, this is usually enough to push thru your valve even if off. Thats the basic idea.

How can a closed valve that is withstanding normal supply pressure, say 50 psi, leak a contaminent at atmosphere if the supply side loses pressure? Are you saying my contained water supply is capable of creating a vacuum greater than what the valve is capable of withstanding? How does it do that? Wouldn't my pipes collapse?

Again, my town does not require backflow protectors on hose bibs. Are they required by the UPC? Any plumbers here?
 
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Old 11-21-10, 07:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell View Post
Are they required by the UPC?
It's in section 603 of the UPC. I inspect under the IRC, so I don't have the exact UPC wording.
 
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Old 11-21-10, 02:42 PM
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This is your UPC code:

....602.3 No plumbing fixture, device, or construction
shall be installed or maintained or shall be connected
to any domestic water supply when such installation
or connection provides a possibility of polluting such
water supply or cross-connection between a
distributing system of water for drinking and
domestic purposes and water that becomes contaminated
by such plumbing fixture, device, or construction
unless there is provided a backflow prevention
device approved for the potential hazard....
 
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Old 11-21-10, 03:05 PM
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Just a comment...I don't have BFPs on my outside faucets...(just basic hose bibbs)..and from what I can tell..neither do any of my neighbors. Looking at the threads..doesn't appear any were ever installed.

They do have regs for irrigation systems that I can view online..and they are required. Next time I'm downtown, I'll stop by the office and ask if they are needed currently (not that I'll install them). They are a royal pain and never seem to last past 10 yrs or so. A required part of construction SHOULD last as long as the system overall.

I can understand why they want them..but then I can understand why they want AFCIs everywhere...not that I agree.
 
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Old 11-22-10, 03:31 PM
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>>>Gunguy45
Just a comment...I don't have BFPs on my outside faucets...(just basic hose bibbs)..and from what I can tell..neither do any of my neighbors. Looking at the threads..doesn't appear any were ever installed
 
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Old 11-25-10, 11:47 PM
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Exclamation

I'm licensed in backflow prevention in the state of Kentucky, along with being a licensed Master Plumber.


I've been licensed in backflow for over 11 years and I can tell you plain and simple:


Any positive flow system is capable of a backflow scenario, and I don't care how well you try to discredit the logic.

Every year we are told of the constant drumroll of backflow case histories that dictate and warrant the use of backflow prevention devices across this nation.


I'll give one such example of a residential backflow/cross connection case history:


Customer had a lawn fertilizer company come over and spray the lawn.
The employee put the customer's garden hose in the tank with the concentrated chemicals to make the product less in strength, mix to proper equation.
A street contractor one city block down was doing underground work, hit the water main and broke the water line.

The employee of the lawn fertilizer company was unaware that when this negative drop occurred in this positive flow system, a reversal of flow occurred and there was no device to stop that same garden hose from siphoning the contents of the tank back into the water supply.

It started with one of the homeowners getting deathly sick from a poured beverage using tap water, tea. Then others complained of getting sick. Immediately, authorities were advised of people in the same location were arriving with chemical ingestion sickness and warranted further inspection, which revealed this disaster unfolding.

That chemical entrained itself into the water supply system that covered a city block of homes.

All the water lines had to be replaced in the homes, along with water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines and basically everything water was part of its function.

This also included the water mains that were the laterals to each home, and the main service line. Extensive testing was done to determine how many feet of pipe (in the thousands) was contaminated. EPA would not allow extensive flushing of the lines due to liability concerns and that was leaving a door open to get sued.

This event ranged in the millions for the catastrophe. Happened back in the 80's and I believe one death became of the event.

Never doubt that your plumbing is foolproof. It isn't, and that's why I read questions in threads like these in plumbing forums across the internet that gain the attention of doubters that think they understand fluid dynamics.

It's not my job to convince those too deft to understand the logic, but my attitude in print is to educate those "with" an open mind that know the risks in these situations on the residential all the way up to the commercial and industrial levels.

Plumbing codes are to protect those who cannot protect themselves. That's where the duties of a licensed plumber come into the equation.

If you have a freezeless/frostproof faucet, without anti-siphon protection, Do NOT install a screw on backflow preventer/vaccum breaker and leave it on in the winter months.

That device will not allow the water to escape the faucet and will freeze and burst. Removing that vaccum breaker for winter will suffice.

In Kentucky, code is now enforced that any outside faucet installed or replaced shall have a anti-siphon vaccum breaker to prevent the reversal of flow back into the potable water supply. This faucet must be integrated, not a screw on or bolt on design.

Property owners are constantly adding chemical sprayers to the end of their garden hoses, relying solely on the venturi effect to keep that chemical from entering and moving in a reverse direction.

But, anything man made can and will fail, eventually.


The cost of prevention is flawless, and provides the best insurance.

The cost of ignorance is everlasting, and leaves victims when some refuse to comprehend or understand.

Just because your state and local jurisdiction doesn't require certain protections, that never means the idea or suggestion isn't warranted. Look to history of situations where we trusted "it can't happen to me" attitudes.
 
 

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