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Old 01-23-2016, 08:53 PM   #1
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Outdoor spigot with no shut off valve?


I have an outdoor spigot that seems to have no shut off valve or if there is one it is hidden behind the drywall. I have already cut a small square into the finished drywall to investigate further and found no shut off in the area where I suspected it might be. So I have a few questions about this. First off, I thought all outdoor spigots were required by code to have independent shut off valves.

If that is not required, is it possible that the original home builders (1982 house) opted to maximize the insulation around the copper line branching out to the spigot? It appears that length of line would branch out only a few feet. Also, I assume that if a shut off were installed somewhere, it would be required to be accessible via some access panel or whatever, right? Since there is no such access, should I assume there is no such shut off valve anywhere behind the wall? I suppose someone could have just ignored the valve location and laid drywall over it or forgot to open it up after finishing the basement but I would like to get some more info on the best option before I begin cutting more holes in the wall.

For the record, we have gone through two full winters and there have not been any frozen pipe issues so I am wondering if my hunch about the insulated line is on target.

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Old 01-23-2016, 09:51 PM   #2
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Usually the shut off for the outside hose bib is within a couple feet of where the pipe comes into the house. I've seen them as far away as the water meter before. Don't know if it's code or not but good idea to have one imo.

Is your hose bib the frost free type like this one; If so, you should be protected against freezing issues. All you have to do is remember to disconnect the hose from it during winter.


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Old 01-23-2016, 11:19 PM   #3
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No code required to have a secondary shut off on outdoor spigots. Some people go as far as building or using a manifold, that allows them to isolate specific lines, so that you can work on them, without shutting off the main water supply.

The only issue that I can see with placing a shutoff in an outside wall. Would be no insulation on the door to cover the hole, and the possibility of cold air freezing the line inside that hole.



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Old 01-24-2016, 07:10 AM   #4
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its logicial to supply a shut off valve from a plumbing perspective....for service.. even if it is a frost free ..they can freeze if not installed right....maybe done by home owner....yes install a shut off...also look in the basement around where the plumbing comes down from outdoor faucet...valve my be there..
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Old 01-24-2016, 08:24 AM   #5
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With a secondary shutoff, the shutoff should be closed and the spigot itself left open in winter.

There should be no insulation between the shutoff (or the spigot if no secondary shutoff) the inside wall surface.
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Old 01-24-2016, 09:25 AM   #6
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Is this actually outdoors or outdoors in your garage?
I have one spigot in my garage with no shut off and it never freezes I also have a spigot at the side of the house that has a shut off inside the house. If it's at the side of the house I would definitely add shut off if you cannot drain it for the winter. You can also buy a Styrofoam cup device that covers the spigot on the outside. I picked one up at Lowe's for five dollars


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Old 01-24-2016, 11:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmon View Post
Is your hose bib the frost free type like this one; If so, you should be protected against freezing issues. All you have to do is remember to disconnect the hose from it during winter.
No, it is not the frost free type. I thought about eventually changing it out for that type.

Also, to answer the question about the faucet location....It is on the front of the house, right through the vinyl siding and not in the garage.

I am probably going to have to cut into more drywall to see if the shut off is behind the wall in another location. Based on some of the other things I witnessed with this basement when we first moved in, I would not be surprised if they forgot to open up that area for access after it was finished.

The first cut I made yesterday was near the top of the wall about 5 ft from where the main shut off is located. The access panel is near the main shutoff but with all the insulation in the wall, I could not see all the way up where the line turns at the ceiling. I confirmed there is no shutoff along that length.
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Old 01-24-2016, 12:07 PM   #8
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If you have a finished basement the plumbers might have run the shutoff for that valve back in the unfinished area.
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Old 01-24-2016, 06:35 PM   #9
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Shut off might not be directly behind the spigot. In my house, the spigot, which is at basement level, they ran the line from the main floor kitchen sink area. Took me a while to find the shut-off. Finally noticed an extra shut-off valve under the kitchen sink.
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Old 01-26-2016, 10:13 PM   #10
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The last two posts on this issue got me thinking that I need to do deeper exploration in the unfinished laundry room to see if I could see anything that was not in plain view and sure enough I spotted a shut off value buried about five feet away from my reach deep in the middle of the house. I thought I could access it from the closet under the stairs but that ended up being a dead end. I finally pinned it down to an area in the basement bathroom that is finished. So I am going to have to try and figure out the best way to narrow down the location and cut open the ceiling drywall for an access panel.
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Old 01-26-2016, 11:07 PM   #11
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If this was at my house I wouldn't touch a valve that had not been exercised since 1982 unless I had a new valve in hand and was prepared to replace it.

I would instead replace the outdoor spigot with a frost proof valve shown in reply #2. This advise isn't from being intelligent but from experience.
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Old 01-27-2016, 04:19 PM   #12
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That is excellent advice but the valve appears to be newer than 1982 and I think it was just covered over when the basement remodel was done but I am not sure when that occurred. Nonetheless it is still great advice as I was thinking it would spring a leak as soon as I touched it...haha.
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