I have a new garage that is separate from my house. I'd like to have a
water supply out there for washing the car, etc. It is wired with
electric heat but I am not planing to heat it 24/7. How can I run a feed
from the house without having it freeze up in the winter. I'm in
southern Canada and sometimes we get short bursts of -20 weather.
The first thing you'll need to do is find out what the frost depth in
your area is. It's only about 12" here in Washington state, but it can be
3 to 4 feet deep in other parts of the country (and Canada).
Then you'll have to dig a trench deeper than your frost depth to run the
water line out to your garage. I prefer to dig down and run the pipe
under the house footing, but that's just me.
On the house end, you'll need to protect the pipe from freezing down to
the frost depth. Depending on your house (crawlspace, basement, slab,
etc.), you may be able to just wrap the pipe with insulation. If the pipe
is in a more exposed location (next to a foundation vent, or your house
sits on piers, you may have to install heat tape around the pipe before
insulating it. Obviously, you'll need an electrical outlet near the pipe
if you install a heat tape.
On the garage end, I would install something called a "yard hydrant". It
mounts in your yard instead of on the building, though you could probably
install it close to the building if that's important to you. Basically
it's a faucet that shuts the water flow off down at the frost level,
instead of up where the pipe is exposed. They usually have a drain at the
bottom that lets the water in the stand pipe drain off when you shut off
the water. You would normally install gravel at the bottom of the hole
If you prefer to have the faucet mounted on the garage wall, you have two
1. Install a valve at the house end, and shut off the garage water line
in the winter. That's the approach I used on our garage.
2. Keep the garage heated, and install a "frost proof" sillcock. These
shut the water off back in the heated area of the building, instead of
out where they can freeze. But obviously, the building needs to be heated
for this to work. Be sure to insulate the pipe well on this end too.
I may be overlooking a thing or two, but this should give you a good
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