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NFT: Question for the BBI plumbing savvy

jcn56 : 7/11/2018 10:58 am
I had a frost free silcock go on me over the winter and it needs to be replaced. It's soldered into the house plumbing, so it needs to be removed and another fixture soldered into it's place.

The problem I have is it's inside a wall (the basement in this house was finished after it was built, and the silcock was incorrectly left in an insulated part of the basement).

I've had two plumbers out, both said it would be a fair amount of work (assuming because the wall needs to be cracked open), and neither returned. This is a seasonal home in an area where skilled labor is hard to find.

I'm starting to debate whether I should just repair it myself. I'm not great at soldering copper pipes, which is why I was trying to hire someone. At the same time, I have an outdoor shower adjacent to my garage, which is fed with pex piping. I was thinking I could tap into the pex, and just run another hose bib adjacent to the current one from inside the garage. Both have shutoff valves for the winter (the only reason my basement wasn't destroyed, while I forgot to remove the hose I did shut off the supply).

Is there a downside to having the bib run from inside the uninsulated garage, fed by the pex?
Well the obvious issue  
antdog24 : 7/11/2018 11:01 am : link
is it could freeze. I'm not sure how well pex holds up to a freeze vs copper. I'm assuming it's stronger but never had to deal with a pex freeze issue. I would say as long as you drain it in the winter it shouldn't be a problem. I wish that shit was around when I was piping new construction... the time I would have saved with pex vs soldering every damn joint.
You could always  
antdog24 : 7/11/2018 11:04 am : link
insulate the pex with armaflex to be safe.
Thanks ant - freezing is going to be an issue  
jcn56 : 7/11/2018 11:45 am : link
in either case, unfortunately - when they boxed in the basement, they didn't think to leave the section where the current silcock is insulated, so it's in a cold area that froze despite having some heat in the basement (I normally keep it around 55F in the winter).

I do drain the outdoor shower and cut off the supply before the frost sets in, so I'm not too worried about it freezing. I also found a frost free silcock that will supposedly work even when the hose is forgotten, so I'm hoping that helps too.

FWIW, the pex supposedly is a lot more burst resistant in the cold weather because unlike copper, there's more flex. I DIY a lot of stuff, but I've always been hands off the plumbing. I didn't trust the pex myself until I had a plumber come out and do some work for me, and he insisted that the crimped connections were just as good as copper. Time will tell I guess.
Pex is great  
Mattman : 7/11/2018 12:08 pm : link
Consider using shark bite compression fitting for copper to pex if you donít want to sweat a pipe in a small space. They are pretty foolproof.

My father was a pipe fitter and had me sweating cooper when I was 10.
How about putting a shutoff valve  
VTDAD : 7/11/2018 2:27 pm : link
on the pipe leading to the frost free faucet. somewhere in the basement.

Or am I missing something about this set up?
RE: How about putting a shutoff valve  
jcn56 : 7/11/2018 2:33 pm : link
In comment 14010960 VTDAD said:
on the pipe leading to the frost free faucet. somewhere in the basement.

Or am I missing something about this set up?

There is one - thankfully - otherwise the basement would have flooded when the silcock burst.

My question basically - is there a downside to tapping into the existing pex in the garage to run a new silcock vs. busting open the wall to solder in a replacement for the existing silcock. The fixtures would literally be a foot apart, but the garage pex is exposed, so I could knock it out in 45 minutes. The basement on the other hand would require cutting open a huge hole in the ceiling, removing the faulty fixture, sweating in new plumbing. Unlike Mattman, I'm self taught and the only kind of soldering I trust myself with has to do with circuit boards.
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