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  • Frost Free Hose Bib

    The frost free hose bib recently burst from freezing, allowing water to flow into the wall, downstairs bedroom and bath room. There was no stop cock inside the house. The house is two levels, built on a quite steep incline running down from the front of the house to the back; both levels being on ground level. The hose bib is on a side wall toward the back of the house and is extremely inconvenient as there are only loose stones on the slope at the side of the house.

    To overcome the difficulty in accessing the hose bib I ran a PVC pipe from the bib up the hill to the front of the house and installed a faucet and hose connection at the top of the incline. The PVC pipe ran down to a tee at ground level directly below the bib. From one side of the tee I ran the PVC up the hill, in the other side of the tee I installed a faucet for the purpose of draining the system. These changes were made about eight years ago and have worked, until this winter, without problem.

    My normal practice for winter is to turn off the hose bib, open the hose outlet, open the upper hose faucet, open the faucet at the tee and drain the system. This year our winter temperature hit lower than in previous years and the frost free hose bib froze and burst. It is my belief that the angle at which the hose bib pipe was originally installed sloped up from inside the wall to outside and that some water did not drain from the bib. The bib was equipped with an pressure equalizer. A stop cock has now been installed, along with a new bib, and I will now be able to open the hose bib, along with the aforementioned faucets, when winterizing.

    My question is; does the system I have described sound as though it will be safe from bursting in the future? Does the fact that I have a PVC pipe connected to the hose bib increase the chances of the bib freezing and bursting?

    Toredo


  • #2
    Re: Frost Free Hose Bib

    Just missed that disaster myself this winter. I have a rink so I use the tap all winter. I had a short 3' hose coming off the bib which made it much easier to connect the 60' real. All winter through the -25° C and less weather I was fine as I was sure that hose drained when the real was removed. One cold day I was doing 2 floods to repair the ice and no water came out for the second flood. The short hose had caused water to remain in the spigot and freeze which expanded the tube back by the shutoff washer. So the point I am trying to make is that the PVC tube with the whacked weather we had may have developed condensation that trickled down and came to rest inside the spigot. Once this happens on a cold day the tap will transmit the cold via the water and fairly quickly change it to ice all the way back to the shutoff washer. If you leave the bottom drain tap open and now that the spigot has been installed correctly with a slope toward the outside you should be fine

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    • #3
      Re: Frost Free Hose Bib

      Thank you for the information. As I said before, the tee at the end of the vertical PVC which comes down from the hose bib itself has a faucet on one side while the other side holds the PVC which heads up the hill to the hose connection. The tap on the tee, which is by far the lowest part of the system, is left open all winter. There is about three feet of vertical pipe from the tee up to the hose bib that would have to fill up even if the bottom tap was frozen.

      Trouble is that the insurance people are telling me that the problem was caused by my having the PVC connected to the bib. They're in affect saying that it's like leaving a hose connected to the bib. My position is that it's not the same because my system is totally drained when the tap in the tee is open; presuming that the bib was installed with the correct slope.

      Toredo

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      • #4
        Re: Frost Free Hose Bib

        Originally posted by toredo View Post
        Thank you for the information. As I said before, the tee at the end of the vertical PVC which comes down from the hose bib itself has a faucet on one side while the other side holds the PVC which heads up the hill to the hose connection. The tap on the tee, which is by far the lowest part of the system, is left open all winter. There is about three feet of vertical pipe from the tee up to the hose bib that would have to fill up even if the bottom tap was frozen.

        Trouble is that the insurance people are telling me that the problem was caused by my having the PVC connected to the bib. They're in affect saying that it's like leaving a hose connected to the bib. My position is that it's not the same because my system is totally drained when the tap in the tee is open; presuming that the bib was installed with the correct slope.

        Toredo
        Sounds like the insurence company is correct. You should have hired a plumber.
        the dog

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        • #5
          Re: Frost Free Hose Bib

          Originally posted by toredo View Post
          It is my belief that the angle at which the hose bib pipe was originally installed sloped up from inside the wall to outside and that some water did not drain from the bib.
          I agree, the frost free hose bib was installed incorrectly. The hose bib must slope down from the inside, out. If you would have hired a plumber to perform the repair he could've testified to the insurance company that the hose bib installation was improper. Is this a new home? Where in Canada?
          You will never expand your mind, if you do not challenge your beliefs.

          By the reading of this post, you acknowledge and agree that the poster shall not be responsible or liable, directly or indirectly, for any damage or loss caused or alleged to be caused by or in connection with use of or reliance on any content contained herein.

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