during two recent below 20 degree nights, an icicle has formed on one
of the outdoor water faucets. there is no apparent leak, and no
problem is visible
there was one time in the summer where it appeared to leak at the point
where the faucet attaches to the pipe, but there has been nothing since.
That's not true (unless the water dripped from somewhere else and just
happened to land on the pipe/faucet). There is obviously a slow leak
that was slow enough to evaporate in warmer weather, but not in cold.
You have a slow leak w/o question.
Then you need to install one. Promptly. Or call a plumber.
What type of pipes do you have? If it's any type of rigid plastic, this is a
pretty trivial job that anyone who's familiar with basic hand tools can easily
accomplish. If it's copper, you need a plumber's torch, and the skills to
sweat-solder copper pipe -- not rocket science, but not quite trivial either.
If it's steel, probably time to call a plumber. If it's PEX (flexible plastic
tube), definitely time to call a plumber: PEX isn't hard to work with, but it
does require specialized tools which most homeowners don't have. So... whatcha
got? Let's see if we can help you get a shutoff installed.
Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
If it's copper, compression fittings would also do the job and as you
said about plastic pipe "a pretty trivial job that anyone who's
familiar with basic hand tools can easily accomplish."
Now, let's not get into a long discussion on the merits of sweat
fittings vs. compression. I'm simply pointing out another, perhaps less
scary, option for the OP.
Doug Miller wrote:
No one has asked what is behind the wall that your spicket comes out
of. If you are on a concrete slab and the spicket is on a wall that is
not open on the other side (i.e. adjacent to a finished room) it isn't
exactly going to be simple to add a turn of valve. If you have a crawl
space, I don't understand why you woudln't have a shut off inside.
Either way, you should weatherproof outdoor spickets, especially in
areas where the temperature frequently drops below freezing.
Get your spicket fixed/tightened, if possible have a shut off valve
installed, and for safe measure you can purchase an insulator from your
local home store (Lowes or Home Depot) which is basically a styrofoam
cone that fits over the spicket .
=========================Where do Icicles come from?
=========================(a) Angry gods?
(2) Icicle Factories?
(c) Santa's Reindeer during a test flight?
Anyways.... I put a insulating cover over the faucet to get thru this
10 degree night.
I'm surprised there are no turn off valves to either faucet? I grew
up in a 1910 house that had them, why not this 1970ish house? Is
there a statute of limitations on criminal home building?
BTW: house has copper pipes.
Just guessing here, as you neglected to mention how old the house is,
and what part of the world you live in.
As others mentioned, a remote cut off is typically required by code.
Have you looked under various sinks in your house, particularly the
kitchen sink? In many instances the shutoff will be found there, *if*
the wall where the spigot lives is finished on the interior.
Additional Info: The spigot lives on an unfinished basement wall. a
few inches of copper pipe runs thru fiber glass insulation to a 90
degree connector, then down approx 8" to T connector "A". "A" runs
left approx 8" to T connector "B" -- and right thru the wall and
probably up to the kitchen area above (unsure).
T connector "B" continues left thru a wall to the bathroom area above
(unsure)? "B" also branches downward to a turnoff valve and then to
the clothes washer.
House age: approx 40 years.
More Additional Info: the wood siding was replaced with vinyl siding
in mid summer which added insulation to the outside of the house.
Perhaps this changed the temperature dynamics of the plumbing?
UPDATE: A plumber replaced the faucet in front this morning. He said
that a remote cut off wouldn't help "because the sun hits that side of
the house". He also said that the foam insulating cover I installed
last night wouldn't have helped either. (I'm relaying this
conversation second hand so I can't explain further)
It also turns out that the rear faucet also had a small leak. The
plumber did install a remote cut off on this faucet but didn't replace
the faucet because he would have to tear apart some of the ceiling.
The plumber said to call him in the spring to replace the faucet.
Somehow, the two fixes seem to disagree with each other. A remote
valve was installed to fix the problem in the rear, whereas that would
not have helped in the front? As always, I remain confused.
So the house is probably safe for habitation for a while longer
I have to say your setup is rather confusing to me.
I'm rather surprised the plumber could not add a shutoff for you very
close to where the hose bib supply line goes through the wall.
I'm glad I'm not where you are. It is about 27 here in MD, and I'm very
uncomfortable going outside.
Thanks for your post. It reminded me to shut off the valves feeding my
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