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Thread: Plumbing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    meadville, Pa
    Posts
    19

    Default Plumbing

    I have an outside faucet that has no shut-off valve under the crawl space. It is galvanized steel piping. Will it freeze. I live in northwestern pa and it is definatley cold here.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Plumbing

    New house to you?

    If galvy piping...it's likely been there a while, yes?

    If you don't see any evidence that the pipe has been renewed recently, it likely hasn't frozen and burst in the past. Just don't make the mistake of stuffing insulation around the pipe and it will likely be okay.

    Or.....you could tear things apart and put in a frost-free sillcock.

    Whether a sillcock such as you describe will freeze and burst depends upon a number of factors...including which side of the house it resides on, how warm the basement or crawl is and whether anyone does/has done anything to alter that basement/crawl temperature.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    meadville, Pa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Plumbing

    Yes, house is new to me. Dos not appear that it has ever broke before. Why not insulation? I did put the black pipe isulation around it inside of the crawl space.Crawl space is open to the basement which like most is heated so to speak from vent. Probably stays in the fiftys.Has been in the teens here the past few days, every thing is fine so far.
    Thanks,
    Deb

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    1,131

    Default Re: Plumbing

    In instances like this, insulation can/will prevent the heat from the surrounding basement air from getting to.....and warming up.....the water in the pipe.

    Since the sillcock is exposed to the outdoor temp...the cold temps there will penetrate/encroach (actually it's heat loss, but cold-encroachment seems to be better understood by most folks) upon the water in the pipe and can cause it to freeze if no counteracting warming is present. This becomes more likely...the colder it gets outside. At zero F and below...the odds of freezing the contained water escalate at a near exponential rate.

    Can't tell ya exactly how many of these I've run into over the years (couple dozen anyway) and the cause was always the insulation that had been stuffed into the joist bay around the pipe or the pipe had been wrapped like yours...by a well-meaning individual. The cold could encroach from the exterior, but the warmth from the interior couldn't get in there.

    An alternative to replacing with a frost-free sillcock...(if you think you will need/want one) would be to install a valve in this line about a foot or so inside the exterior wall....with the little drain-port on that valve. Shut off water to sillcock, open sillcock so it can drain and then open the drainport so any remaining water in the valve body can also drain out. That is......if one of these valves isn't already present.

    If no such valve is present now, it might be/probably would be......easier to just replace with a frost-free unit. Just make sure if you do this that you do not leave a hose attached outside with a nozzle or similar on it. That would prevent the frost-free from draining properly and freezing/bursting will then result. Have seen that a number of times also.
    Last edited by goldhiller; 12-08-2008 at 11:44 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Pacific Northwet
    Posts
    1,663

    Default Re: Plumbing

    At a minimum, use one of the foam faucet covers sold by every home center and hardware store this time of year. That will help to protect from freezing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    meadville, Pa
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: Plumbing

    I think I will Plug it for now. I can take the pipe apart (hopefully without breaking something else). From the out side the pipe runs approx. 2.5 to 3 feet back to an elbow. Hopefully with some help or at least guidence I can at least do that for the winter.
    Thanks again,
    Deb

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