Connecting Pex tubing to frost free sillcock

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by SugarHollow, Apr 8, 2012.

  1. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 9, 2012
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    WHY would you want to do it, rather than attach the PEX to a threaded adapter screwed right onto, or into, the faucet?
  3. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    I want to use an elbow but I can't find one other than this swivel.
  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

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    Location:
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    Ask for a drop ear elbow, they should have LOTS of those.
  5. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

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    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    You're right, they are available. I can use that, though I don't need the ear, and it will look a bit strange just suspended unattached to anything. But can you tell me why that is better than the swivel elbow? Why would you avoid the swivel? Thanks.
  6. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    1,172
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    First of all, the ones you showed us are plastic...

    This is plumbing inside the home, not a temporary sprinkler hose in the yard...
  7. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    True, but there are many plastic fittings in my home which were installed by the builder's plumbers. I just want to know whether there is a compelling reason why I should not use this swivel fitting to connect my pex supply line to the outdoor hydrant. Thanks.
  8. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    A swivel is just another potential leak point.
  9. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    San Diego
    That is essentially a "hose fitting" and should not be inside the wall or where otherwise inaccessible
  10. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    A drop ear el would give you the opportunity to anchor the floppy pex. Some hose bibs screw into the wall, but it doesn't hurt to anchor the other end of the long frost-free silcock firmly, either.
  11. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    I probably just should have posted pictures of my situation; I'm probably going about this wrong. The anti-siphon part of this hydrant is busted so I have to replace the hydrant (I can't find any replacement valve, I don't see any brand or manufacturer name on the hydrant anyway). So you can see the way the hydrant was originally installed. The center of the inlet pipe is two inches from the cinder block. I don't understand why they just didn't put an elbow directly into the hydrant; why the short segment of pex between the elbow and the hydrant? I was just hoping to attach the elbow right onto the hydrant. Maybe that is a bad idea, if so, I would like to learn why. Anyway, I was hoping to thread it on because I have never done any soldering of pipe and do not own a torch. Maybe I should buy a torch and learn.

    IMG_0801.jpg IMG_0802.jpg
  12. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    Location:
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    If you are going to do anything with the PEX, you will need to buy the proper clamps and clamp tool to install it. I would cut off the pipe at the existing fitting and install a PEX drop ear elbow which the silcock will thread into. It will not stick out 1/2 as much as your existing installation.
  13. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    1,172
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    Canada
    I'm not sure why you're so surprised they used a 90 and small piece of pex...
  14. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks, I do have these tools.
  15. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    It seems to me it's twice as much work as just attaching an elbow directly onto the hydrant, and it pulls the pex tubing farther out from the drywall (to which it is attached above) making the finished work appear odd to me. I'm just wondering if there was a good reason for doing this. Maybe this was to allow a slight downward angle to the outside to facilitate drainage of the hydrant after use. Thanks.
  16. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    THere is no "practical reason" for doing it that way, other than to make a sloppy installation. The "plumber" might have had "tunnel vision" and ALWAYS did it that way. Cut the ears off the elbow if you don't like their looks. We cannot tell how, or if, the hydrant is anchored to the building, but if not then the "swivel" would not prevent movement and could loosen up. The crimp at the hydrant looks like it is almost at the end of the insert barb, indicating poor workmanship.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  17. SugarHollow

    SugarHollow New Member

    Messages:
    21
    Location:
    Virginia
    Thanks, hj.

    Just one more question. It just occurred to me that if I thread a drop ear elbow directly onto the hydrant, most likely the pex inlet end will not be oriented in the direction I need if I tighten the threads completely. Can the threaded connection remain water-tight if I have to back off counter-clockwise to get the inlet oriented so the pex can attach properly? Sorry to ask such a basic question, but if it isn't already completely obvious, I have minimal experience with DIY plumbing jobs. Thanks in advance for your reply.
  18. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,143
    Location:
    New England
    When making up a threaded connection, you can usually make as much as another full turn after the point it is sufficienctly tight to seal. Getting it at the desired angle normally isn't an issue. You generally do not want to back it off once tightened, though. The pipe threads are tapered, and the pipe dope or tape are what make the seal, not the threads themselves. For this reason, pipe dope is maybe somewhat better, since it's already filling the gaps of the threads whereas it needs to stretch the tape into the threads to seal, requiring possibly more turn(s) to do it.
  19. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    1,172
    Location:
    Canada
    It looks like you just figured out why the sloppy plumber who did this work in the first place, did it that way.
  20. mage182

    mage182 Member

    Messages:
    67
    Location:
    NY
    I just installed 3 frost free sillcocks on my house which had no outside water hookups. I converted the pex to copper ~16" from where the sillcock connects so that I could strap it up either with a clamp or use a drop ear elbow. That creates a stationary mount for the sillcock so it could be removed and reinstalled if necessary. I also installed ball valves in the copper so that I can shut the water off if I need to remove the sillcock for any reason. They came out really nice.
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