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MrAngles 05-21-2013 09:53 AM

Exterior Faucet Leaking into Basement
I have a freeze-proof faucet that started spraying everywhere when I turn it on, and now I have water in my finished basement bulkheads and walls. There is no leak when the faucet is closed, so I'm trying to figure out where the failure is here. Is the hole where the faucet enters the siding supposed to be caulked up? It's not, so I'm wondering if the water is spraying so much from the handle that it's running along the pipe, through the siding and into the house. Or is the water somehow leaking from the pipe inside the house, but only when the faucet is on?

This is what my faucet looks like

And here my son has unscrewed it from the wall to find that it's not sealed at all.

AllanJ 05-21-2013 10:24 AM

A freeze proof faucet can freeze if you leave the garden hose connected to it over the winter or if it was hooked up to the plumbing system using plastic pipe.

If you are daring, put a cap on the spout and turn the water on. If you hear water running, quickly turn it off. The innards of the faucet outside the washer and valve seat may have frozen and burst, letting water in between the outside wall surface and the inside wall surface.

MrAngles 05-21-2013 10:35 AM

The interior plumbing is plastic pipe. That makes sense that the faucet itself burst inside the wall, vs water coming in from the outside.

So what's the deal with plastic pipe? Not insulated as well as copper?

AllanJ 05-21-2013 11:19 AM

The freeze proof faucet relies on interior heat, partly conducted to the faucet via the supply pipe itself. A metal supply pipe conducts more heat to the faucet.

A variety of factors including insulation in the ceiling through which the supply pipe passes, also affects the heat keeping the faucet from freezing. A styrofoam cap placed over the faucet on the outside will offer some protection but does not eliminate the need for the building interior to supply some heat to the faucet from the inside.

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