Outside water faucet pipe broke again over the winter


  #1  
Old 05-17-24, 07:58 AM
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Outside water faucet pipe broke again over the winter

I just discovered water leaking into my finished bathroom from a broken outside water faucet pipe. I'm guessing the pipe froze and broke sometime over the winter. This same thing happened about 15 years ago. The first time it happened, the plumber recommended spraying foam insulation around the pipe inside to prevent it from happening again. So I did that but it still broke. Each time I disconnected my hose reel in the fall and didn't connect it till spring so I'm not sure what is going on.

I'm wondering if I should just cap the pipe inside and put a plug on the outside of the house so I don't have to worry about it happening again or is there another way to fix the problem so it doesn't happen again? Would adding a shutoff valve in my utility room help? I could shut it off in the fall but then would I need to suck the water out of the pipe or something? I have another outside water faucet on the other side of the house so it wouldn't be too big of an inconvenience to decommission the problem faucet.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 08:42 AM
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would look and see where exactly it is leaking most frost free water faucets actually shutoff in the interior and are not likely to freeze as long as they can drain by not having a hose installed that and since it is may already may not be freeze related at all.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 08:45 AM
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Installing an inboard shut off valve is the correct fix. Mine are far enough inboard that they never see freezing temps. I disconnect the hoses for winter storage and I leave the silcock open.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 08:50 AM
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If you have pipes in the exterior wall (a bad scenario to begin with) when insulating you want to insulate between the pipe and the outside. NOT between the pipe and inside the home. You want the warmth of the house to keep the pipe warm. If you just spray foam from the inside you stop the house's warmth from getting to the pipe.

Most relatively modern homes have frost proof spigots. They are quite long and protrude into the home since they are longer than the wall is thick. The spigot is installed so the interior portion of is under the floor or inside an interior partition wall. In your case possibly a side wall to your shower. Removing the faucet and capping the pipe inside will require cutting an access hole in the wall.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 09:07 AM
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I just took some pictures. There is a small cavity that I filled with foam and then i put a small amount of foam in the bigger cavity. Not sure why I didn't fill the entire cavity with batts




https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.doi...ab749.jpg.webp

https://cimg6.ibsrv.net/gimg/www.doi...35d88.jpg.webp
 

Last edited by tnixa; 05-17-24 at 09:18 AM.
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Old 05-17-24, 09:14 AM
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Sorry, having trouble getting attachment images from my laptop to show up...
 
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Old 05-17-24, 10:02 AM
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I'm betting a hose was left attached to the faucet during freezing weather. All it takes is one time...
 
Wayne Mitchell voted this post useful.
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Old 05-17-24, 11:27 AM
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I've been very diligent about leaving the hose reels disconnected until it gets later in the spring so I don't think that is the problem.

I have access to the outside faucet water line in my utility room so I could fairly easily install a shutoff in there. So I'm contemplated doing that and then leaving the faucet open like @Wayne Mitchell suggested. Or still considering just capping it off as that is my wife's preference and would guarantee it is never a problem again.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 11:33 AM
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On my rental houses I removed most of the outdoor spigots. Nobody ever admitted to leaving a hose attached but I'd have a dozen split spigots like yours every spring.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 11:35 AM
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LOL yeah, I can imagine. My hose reels are heavy and no one else moves them besides me though.
 
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Old 05-17-24, 01:49 PM
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I can guarantee that you will never have a problem again if you install an inboard valve. A Shark Bite ball valve will do the trick. Easy to install, easy to operate and easy to verify that it is shut. As long as you remember to leave the silcock open.
 
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Old 05-19-24, 09:32 AM
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I took out the broken faucet today and discovered it didn't have any downward slope on it. Not sure why the plumber didn't do something about that after the first incident
 
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Old 05-20-24, 06:18 AM
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Had a new home with an outside valve plumbed through an unheated garage to a shutoff valve in basement. The shutoff valve in basement had a drain on the outlet side and was the low point. Before the first winter I shut off the shutoff valve in basement, removed the drain cap and opened the outside valve. I found the pipe in the garage ruptured from freezing when I turned water on in spring. The only thing I could think of is with atmospheric pressure at outside valve and drain of basement shutoff, some water was not draining. My solution was to put a tee in the line in the garage near the high point. The tee was connected to a valve vented to atmosphere. Now before each winter I shut off the shutoff valve in basement, remove the drain cap and opened the outside valve, I open the valve in the garage open to atmosphere. No more burst pipes for 40 years.
 
 

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