Home>Discussions>PLUMBING>Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve
13 posts / 0 new
Last post
Top Cat
Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

Live in New England and it is getting cold. Have two outside faucets/hosebibs that do not have an interior shutoff valve. Have removed hoses and insulated both from inside. Also made two small styrofoam box's and attached over each to elimnate/reduce windchill. Is it imperative that you have a shutoff? (Both sillcocks have a plastic screw cap on top, which I have opened). Anything else I can do besides keeping an ear for running water??

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

keeping the inside where the plumbing is...warm?

MSSP
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

How old are these silcocks? Also what are the screw caps you speak of? If I am understanding you right then these screw caps are anti siphon valves. If so these should be frost free hydrants. Another question is what type of tubing is your house water piped with?

Top Cat
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

Bought the house 15 months ago. Built in '69, copper plumbing, but sillcocks are newer. Screwcaps on top of sillcocks similar to 12 ounce plastic soda bottle screw cap.
Shut off valve in basement was constructed over and very-very difficult to get to. Rub is, from sillcock, 5 feet of copper pipe is outside the foundation. Runs under what was an open/ no foundation screen porch. Now enclosed office with insulation and heat. Floor joists are 2x8's with new insulation and plywood to hold insulation in place and keep wind out. Pipe runs tight to floor decking and has foam tubing. Office floor is plywood with carpet.

Let me know your thoughts &/or ideas.

Thanks

Top Cat
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve
MSSP wrote:

How old are these silcocks? Also what are the screw caps you speak of? If I am understanding you right then these screw caps are anti siphon valves. If so these should be frost free hydrants. Another question is what type of tubing is your house water piped with?

Bought the house 15 months ago. Built in '69, copper plumbing, but sillcocks are newer. Screwcaps on top of sillcocks similar to 12 ounce plastic soda bottle screw cap.
Shut off valve in basement was constructed over and very-very difficult to get to. Rub is, from sillcock, 5 feet of copper pipe is outside the foundation. Runs under what was an open/ no foundation screen porch. Now enclosed office with insulation and heat. Floor joists are 2x8's with new insulation and plywood to hold insulation in place and keep wind out. Pipe runs tight to floor decking and has foam tubing. Office floor is plywood with carpet.

Let me know your thoughts &/or ideas.

Thanks

goldhiller
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

Ever try your hand at sweating copper pipe?

Sounds to me like sweating in another valve (inside the basement/heated space) that you could get at.... would probably be advisable.

Or....you could add a valve with compression fittings if sweating copper is something that you're not up for at the moment.

In either instance......install a 1/4 turn ball-valve and not a globe or gate valve would be my recommendation.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve
Top Cat wrote:

Live in New England and it is getting cold. Have two outside faucets/hosebibs that do not have an interior shutoff valve. Have removed hoses and insulated both from inside. Also made two small styrofoam box's and attached over each to elimnate/reduce windchill. Is it imperative that you have a shutoff? (Both sillcocks have a plastic screw cap on top, which I have opened). Anything else I can do besides keeping an ear for running water??

Top Cat wrote:

Bought the house 15 months ago. Built in '69, copper plumbing, but sillcocks are newer. Screwcaps on top of sillcocks similar to 12 ounce plastic soda bottle screw cap.
Shut off valve in basement was constructed over and very-very difficult to get to. Rub is, from sillcock, 5 feet of copper pipe is outside the foundation. Runs under what was an open/ no foundation screen porch. Now enclosed office with insulation and heat. Floor joists are 2x8's with new insulation and plywood to hold insulation in place and keep wind out. Pipe runs tight to floor decking and has foam tubing. Office floor is plywood with carpet.

Let me know your thoughts &/or ideas.

Thanks

So now you find that you do have a valve inside:), good, use it:D. So you may need to remove some of the basement finishing materials to get to it, oh well:rolleyes:. It shouldn't have been covered over or obstructed in the first place:(. You can install a plumbers door or panel if you need to, pick one up at your local home center. Watts makes two sized APUs there are other manufacturers sizes and designs and means to install them, or you can create your own access and means to disguise it. In the worst of times you may need to OPEN it (remove the panel or open the door) to allow the area to remain warm to prevent freezing of the valve or the upstream side.

Get to it and shut it off then, and be sure to DRAIN the line beyond it, open the exteriors to allow to drain while you do this. While the shut off is engaged inside keep the drain open, return outdoors and mostly close the bibs but keep the indoors one open. Good idea to tag out the interior shut off with a warning to FIRST close the DRAIN before opening the supply valve.

Installing just a valve indoors won't do any good without a means to bleed the line empty between it and the hose bibs outdoors after you've closed the valve, otherwise the water left behind may freeze and burst the pipe.

Not so sure about your "insulating" efforts of the supply pipe between the newly discovered inside the basement shut-off and the intermediate exterior above un-heated crawl. You may be preventing that pipe from being warm from basement and insulating to KEEP the pipe at COLD/freezing temperatures from the outdoors. Hard to know what you've done from your description - but insulating the sill and rim and buffering the pipe from same (isolating thermal break) good. What might be great for preventing condensation collections on cold water pipes in the summer behind your basement finishing can cause problems when that same pipe runs to an exposure outside and it is subject to sub-freezing temps for sustained periods.

MSSP
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

In all my years of experience I put in a shut off valve and closed it. Opened the outside hydrant to relieve pressure. Remaining water if it did freeze will not break pipes. Copper tubes only break if water freezes and expands under pressure.

Blue RidgeParkway
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

When water freezes it EXPANDS. Frozen water in your pipes can rupture your plumbing. :rolleyes:

Texcan
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

I agree with Blue. I spent 40 + years in a colder climate and I have seen water freeze in an open ended run of pipe(especially in a vertical run or a horizonal run not sloped towards the opened end),because the coldest end will freeze first, expanding and forming a dam then a plug allowing the water building up behind it to split the copper when it freezes. (another good reason to go to PEX tubing)

MSSP
Re: Sillcock absent Shut-off Valve

Yes I Agree that water EXPANDS when it freezes. If you think it might have been done in the slightest correct way. Whom ever installed this system might have put a downward degree slope from shut off valve to open hydrant

Pages

TV Listings

Find TV listings for This Old House and Ask This Old House in your area.