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Author Topic: Help me save my outside faucet from the cold  (Read 1620 times)
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Daehawk
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« on: October 20, 2008, 04:28:43 PM »

I need helpful ideas on how to save my spigot out in the cold this winter. Last year I wrapped it in a bath towel then wrapped that all in a plastic garbage bag and duct taped it up good. But this spring when I unwrapped it to start using it it was no longer the faucet I wrapped up. It was all green and mushy...like it had sand filled crest all over it. When I touched it it would just mush under my finger and when I tried to turn the handle it broke off with little to no pressure from me. Im guessing it got wet and the moisture was trapped in there against it all winter.

So I now have a new faucet installed and I need to fix it for winter again..but I dont want a repeat of what happened last year. Any ideas on how to keep it safe? Looking for any ideas at all..home made...store bought..whatever works.
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Ironrod
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2008, 04:50:50 PM »

Um...just leave it alone?

We've had the same spigot on the side of our house for 25 years without doing anything special to it. I've never heard of anyone trying to protect a faucet, unless maybe it's at the end of a long, exposed pipe.
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Covenant
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2008, 04:51:40 PM »

Why are you wrapping it in a towel and stuff?  Just shut the valve off to the spigot in your basement/wherever it is.
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CeeKay
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« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2008, 04:53:10 PM »

yeah, up in Cleveland we had an oustide spigot and never had to do anything to protect it.  I'm sure our winters were alot worse than yours.

of course, if something bad does happen then I blame Ironrod.
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2008, 04:54:27 PM »

I'm not sure if it was Daehawk, but if it was, this is an ongoing saga of fixed, failed, fixed, and failed faucets...some of them have been pricey too if i have the right guy.
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Octavious230
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2008, 04:55:52 PM »

As Covenant mentioned you should be shutting off the water supply to that faucet. If you don't have a shutoff they sell faucet covers at home depot that are insulated that should keep it from kersloding on you. I bought one for like 4-5 bucks last year and it worked like a charm.
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WalkingFumble
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« Reply #6 on: October 20, 2008, 04:56:30 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on October 20, 2008, 04:28:43 PM

I need helpful ideas on how to save my spigot out in the cold this winter. Last year I wrapped it in a bath towel then wrapped that all in a plastic garbage bag and duct taped it up good. But this spring when I unwrapped it to start using it it was no longer the faucet I wrapped up. It was all green and mushy...like it had sand filled crest all over it. When I touched it it would just mush under my finger and when I tried to turn the handle it broke off with little to no pressure from me. Im guessing it got wet and the moisture was trapped in there against it all winter.

So I now have a new faucet installed and I need to fix it for winter again..but I dont want a repeat of what happened last year. Any ideas on how to keep it safe? Looking for any ideas at all..home made...store bought..whatever works.

2 options.  Heat lamp, or heat cable.  

Lamp:

http://www.amazon.com/Woods-550165-Brooder-Heat-Lamp/dp/B000HJD8LW/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1224521663&sr=1-2

Cable:

http://www.amazon.com/M-D-Building-Products-64444-Thermostat/dp/B0006VALDE/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1224521756&sr=1-2
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Creepy_Smell
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« Reply #7 on: October 20, 2008, 05:00:05 PM »

Have you tried faucet covers? I use them but don't know how effective they really are. I dont really see mine doing OK and neighbors without them losing their faucets. Its just a winter ritual to the faucet gods. I'm also in OK so not sure what one would need that gets colder winters.
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wonderpug
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hmm...


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« Reply #8 on: October 20, 2008, 05:02:39 PM »

3rd option: Automatic Draining Freezeless Wall Faucet

The general idea of a sillcock (someone hold down CeeKay) is to have the valve extend a good ways into the home interior so that the water gets shut off where it's still warm, but even with a warm valve you can end up with water staying in the pipe forward of the valve.  The version linked above will automatically drain the area forward of the valve after shutoff so that the frozen areas stay water free.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 06:30:09 PM »

Thanks for the idea on the covers. Will probably go that route.

Our faucet will freeze and bust the way its installed and where it is. We have a concrete and brick front porch. The well pump is under there and the door to it is right beside this faucet. The faucet itself just stick out through a hole drilled in the brick wall there. Its attached to a PVC pipe and it sticks out about 8". There is no shut off for that pipe. The door to that access hole is also gone. I have to block it best I can till I can make a new door. In the winter is has frozen and busted 2 times and that was just in the 20s. Its already been into the upper 30s here so i have started worrying about it. Its no fun crawling under there and cutting in a new pipe each year smile

The covers seem the best thing for me.
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Purge
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 01:15:38 PM »

Take a picture and show us.

Also, install a shutoff valve at the beginning of the line with a bleed valve. Get a non-freezing tap that pushes the valve back away from the surface so the exposed parts of your tap are sunk back and are less likely to be exposed to the punishing cold.

As for insulating it, I'd suggest insulating the entire line (molded foam) and on the tap you could shove pink insulation and a tar paper or burlap cover; you want something that can breathe so you don't get moisture buildup.

shut-off w. 90deg ball valve and line bleeder


external tap with recessed valve (the mechanism happens at the far back)
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Daehawk
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 03:34:06 PM »

Ok heres some pics. One shows the faucet as it normally is. See how it sticks out? That pipe will freeze so easily its crazy. Then another pic is me barely tugging on the faucet. It will pull way out. The third pic is inside the wall under the porch where the pipe is. Its just way up in the air where it can freeze. Im thinking I need some kind of insulated wrap or something to put on it there.

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wonderpug
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 03:51:45 PM »

So the under-porch area gets frozen in the winter as well?  At what point does that pipe hit someplace insulated?
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Purge
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2008, 04:01:49 PM »

Look at the pics I posted (the tap one)... that should be on the barrier between the inside and outside of your house. note that it has holes to fasten it. Pick up a small package of concrete/mortar screws, anchors and they usually come with the right sized drill bit and run about 5 bux for the set. Fasten the tap to your outer wall, use low expansion foam to insulate the opening. Then go put the shutoff valve inside your house just before the line heads in, and make sure the bleed valve is on the "outer" side.

Under your porch you'll want to simplify your tubing so you don't have any loops. Right now your water in the porch goes down and back up; that will mess with bleeding the line before freezing. Try to put the tap lower than most of the line so that you bleed forward and outside rather than inside (not a must, but it's faster and easier than holding a bucket inside waiting for the water to drain from such a small hole).     
                                                                                 
tap     porch                           house            ,-----
          |wall|                          |wall|      ___n__                 <-----  house water direction
MMM   |xxxx|             /,=============|_  ___|===============================
,.ii.___|xxxx|__         //           |xxxx|        U
|    _________|====//             |xxxx|         `This is the bleed valve. Note it is PAST the shutoff handle.
 |  |    |xxxx|`monofoam here   |xxxx|
   .      |xxxx|                         |xxxx|
   o     |xxxx|                         |xxxx|
          |xxxx|                         |xxxx|
   O     |xxxx|                         |xxxx|
          |xxxx|                         |xxxx|
          |xxxx|                         |xxxx|
        .\|xxxx|                         |xxxx|
outside          porch crawlspace          inside house

Note how the tap mechanism ends up inside your porch space... the shutoff on the kind I posted above is not at the spigot, but way back at the end of it.

NOTE: My instructions assume you've shut off the water and bled the lines dry. Otherwise removing the tap with the house water ON is on YOUR head, not mine. slywink
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 04:26:01 PM by Purge » Logged

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Octavious230
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« Reply #14 on: October 21, 2008, 06:28:39 PM »

We have a door to our crawl space that won't close properly anymore because it was installed by idiots. Since I have a billion other things to fix first the door has stayed as is. I bought a big roll of thick clear plastic and I cover the door with that. It works perfectly.First year I had the house all the pipes froze. Now I don't even worry about it. Very easy to install too obviously. smile
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Daehawk
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« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2008, 07:25:09 PM »

Quote from: wonderpug on October 21, 2008, 03:51:45 PM

So the under-porch area gets frozen in the winter as well?  At what point does that pipe hit someplace insulated?

Nothing is insulated anywhere. In that 3rd pic is a barrier that no one can fit past to get under the main part of the house. A pipe busted back there and the plumber just had to by pass in inside out house and run a new line a;ong our ceiling . Knocked 3 holes in our walls and one through a door to run it to the bathroom. We have no hot water for the kitchen or anything..just the bathroom.

This house is 100 years old. Cant get to anything.

Purge thats a great idea but its a lot of work too frown I wonder if they have some kinda spray foam insulation I can just spray on those pvc pipes?
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #16 on: October 21, 2008, 07:36:21 PM »

I've seen pipe insulation that comes as a foam tube.  Great for making LARP swords.
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Octavious230
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2008, 08:10:13 PM »

Yup there's foam that slides right onto the pipe. It's dirt cheap I have that on all my pipes under the house just in case. It probably wouldn't hurt to by some of that expanding foam stuff to seal the hole where the pipe goes into the house too. I just picked up some myself because one of the new pipes we installed a few years ago was never properly seasl and cold air comes up into the house.
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« Reply #18 on: October 21, 2008, 08:50:09 PM »

Quote from: Daehawk on October 21, 2008, 07:25:09 PM


Purge thats a great idea but its a lot of work too frown I wonder if they have some kinda spray foam insulation I can just spray on those pvc pipes?

Seriously? You'd rather run the risk of having busted pipes and plumbers fees than spend a day doing hard manual labor?

And no hot water in the kitchen? I'm afraid to ask where you do your dishes.

Carry on then.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #19 on: October 21, 2008, 09:10:51 PM »

Carry the hot water from the bathtub smile

As for the work it would require more cutting and gluing of PVC and that means more money plus its cramped under there and with my kidney stones it aggrevates them. Ill get some insulation though.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2008, 09:48:19 PM »

Get a pink Funoodle!
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« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2008, 10:42:21 PM »

You've *never* had hot water in the kitchen?  Or something broke and you haven't had hot water in the kitchen for X amount of time?

I think if I didn't have hot water in my kitchen I would do nothing but work on getting hot water in my kitchen before I did a single other thing.
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Eduardo X
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« Reply #22 on: October 21, 2008, 11:34:14 PM »

Quote from: kratz on October 21, 2008, 10:42:21 PM

You've *never* had hot water in the kitchen?  Or something broke and you haven't had hot water in the kitchen for X amount of time?

I think if I didn't have hot water in my kitchen I would do nothing but work on getting hot water in my kitchen before I did a single other thing.
Seriously. Carrying that much water is a lot of work.
Shit, even just attaching a hose to the bathroom faucet would work. You may have to get a new faucet to allow that, but fuck!

Also, there has to be a shutoff valve for that spigot, and if not, for your house. Find it, and do yourself a favor and install that shutoff valve with the bleed.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #23 on: October 21, 2008, 11:53:14 PM »

We used to have hot water....but since that pipe burst and no way under the house we have just a patch job to the bathroom. Been over a year.
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