Frost Free Hose Bib Nightmares

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by mbruno, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. mbruno

    mbruno New Member


    I'm not a plumber, but just hoping to get some well educated opinions.

    I decided to wash my truck for the first time after winter this morning, and was about 1/2 way done when I heard "the basement is filling with water!!" being screamed at me by my wife. I ran downstairs and was stunned to see our rec room completely saturated with water.

    I'd heard of the frost-free bibs cracking in the winter when people leave the hose connected, but I had taken off the hose in the fall like I do every fall. I called a plumber, and he saw the problem right away - the frost free bib was sloped back towards the house, which caused it to not drain, and freeze over the winter.

    The plumber replaced the bib, but now I'm paranoid - It seems to me that the new bib isn't draining enough water when I remove the hose. How do I test it to make sure it's draining properly? In the fall, is it a good idea to vacuum out the bib to suck out any water that may be left in the valve when I take the hose off for the season? I'm worried that settling may cause the bib to again become sloped towards the house and that I'll end up with the same problem. What other ways are there to prevent this from happening again? Is it helpfull to cover up the bibs with rags in the fall?

    By the way, I live in BC Canada, where winters see temperatures of down to -30 at times.

    One last thing... The plumber didn't fully tighten one of the 2 screws that holds the bib in place. Is there a reason for this, or am I OK to tighten it so the bib can't move back and forth at all?

    Thank you very much for your help!
  2. Cass

    Cass Plumber

    If the bib is moving you can try tightning the screws. When you shut off the water there isn't a lot ofwater that comes out. Take a small level and place it on the hose bib inside the basement, if you can and see if it has pitch. Did the plumber say he fixed the pitch problem?
  3. Tabby411

    Tabby411 New Member

    This is amazing to me. I haven't been to this site in over a year but I just did a search for "hose bib" and yours was one of the first I see. I just today had the same thing happen to me. Luckily most of the water stayed in an unfinished area and I could get most up in the bathroom with a wetvac and I now have a fan and dehumidifier running. My house is less than a year old and under warranty but the plumber on the phone has indicated that if they cannot find an obvious pitch problem then the only answer is that I left a hose on while freezing. I never leave a hose on when it is colder than around fifty and seldom even leave it on overnight in the summer. It looks like I might have a fight if they do not find a pitch problem and blame it in the brick layers. My other bib base sticks out a couple inches from the foundation because I guess they thought there were going to be bricks and they never fixed it so is not attached solidly. I am going to have the plumber look at it also tomorrow and turn it on while he is here. Sorry that I cannot help you but you are not alone.

    I was wondering if anyone knows of any other reason a hose bib might rupture passed the valve (outside side)? I heard a strange cracking noise when I turned it on but really thought nothing of it at the time except that it hadn't been used in awhile.

    I will get back to you tomorrow on what the plumber says. It also looks like it wouldn't be hard to replace this one that burst. It is in an open unfinished area and I can see teflon tape on the connection so it appears I can just buy another one and screw it back in. I have cpvc piping but the connection is after an adapter. I hope you are as fortunate. This is in case the plumber does not do the right thing.
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  4. This thread makes me happy

    I've already done three repairs on hose bibbs and the average the past two years are around 50+ replacements this time of year.

    I'd flat rate them but I've seen charges as much as $300 for two replacements when dealing with finished basements.

    I use those aluminum mounting plates if the screws don't hold....always stainless steel and fill the voids of opening around the bibb with silicone caulk or waterplug.

    It's not too much fun to redrill an already once-drilled opening that doesn't have proper fall. Pack a lunch because you'll be there for awhile.
  5. tis the season for hose bibs...

    I have one to change tomorrow for $175.00...
    cutting into a closet wall...

    and I will probably be doing them off and on till june....

    average bill $175 for a wood ford hose bib....

    the secret is getting heat up around where this pipe is
    installing a grid cover or whatever it takes to keep it
    from freezing up...

    Its also a great idea to take the stupid garden hose off
    before winter happens.....

    no one will admit that to me when they blow out their
    2 year old hose bib...
  6. First time I've ever seen it

    But yesterday on the NASCAR race they had a commercial from Woodford that IMO was poorly done but made the points needed about why you should buy their product.

    Went on to explain the new style faucet that has a dual check and virtually "freeze-proof" design in case you leave the hose on.

    Looked like a bootleg commercial but hey, just to advertise across the 50 was somewhere around 1 mil at least.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2008
  7. Tabby411

    Tabby411 New Member

    They came today and immediately saw it did not have the proper slope and the small one inch hairline crack was at the farthest end (nearest inside of house) of the bib. He also checked my other bib and said the slope on it was OK but that is the one that "spins". I asked him about it and he was very patient and showed me the connections but I am still having trouble understanding how this "spinning" can be OK. When I hook up a hose and move it around, the faucet will turn as much as 90 degrees. I was worried that it would back itself out but the plumber says it will not because the threads are on tight and the adapter somehow allows this turning with an O ring. They installed the bib with the intent of bricks following and then just pushed it in as far as they could so it now sticks away from the foundation more than an inch. It is screwed to the foundation wall with a lot of caulk in between but that obviously does not make it secure.

    I have cpvc so there is an adapter with a female thread and the bib screwed into it so the sleeve in the adapter that the cpvc is glued to must spin and have an O ring according to his description.

    Does this "spinning" sound reasonable?
  8. spinning hose bib

    It sounds like they used a shark bite fitting to
    install this hose bib....they work ok....
    I dont care for movement at all....

    I would rather see the whole thing tight myself.....
    kids fooling with it and stuff like that can happen.

    If it would ease your mind, do like I usually do
    just go out and buy some
    100% clear silicone a full tube cost only 3 bucks
    and fill in the hole comming out of the
    house with silicone instead of teh concrete....

    use a caluking gun and inject it into the gap all around the hole
    go inside and do the same thing there too if you want to really
    never see it move again...

    and then simply smooth it over with your finger....

    give it about 2 days and it wont ever move again...

    what did they cahrge you anyway???
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  9. Tabby411

    Tabby411 New Member

    It didn't cost me anything because it is a new house under the one year warranty. They put a lot of caulk between the flange and the concrete but I am not sure how far they got it in the foundation wall. The inside is finished so I cannot get to it without tearing out drywall. He showed me the adapter and it doesn't appear to have a sharkbite type mechanism. Would a sharkbite connection allow spinning? It seems to me that the O ring would wear out eventually and then there would be a leak directly from the supply line. I may go to the plumber shop if I cannot find the same thing at Home Depot and figure it out. He assured me it was fine but I will feel better knowing exactly what I have. I have searched the internet and cannot find anything that looks like this adapter. The plastic sleeve was actually completely encased in copper(brass?) on the side that is glued to the cpvc. I was misled by glue residue on the joint between the cpvc and the fitting.

    Late edit:

    I actually just got done searching for sharkbite on the internet and it looks like you may be right. I couldn't see the same fitting but the plastic sleeve inside the brass looks very similar and the O ring that the plumber describes seems to jive. I guess they make a sharkbite that grabs cpvc on one end and has a female thread on the other for a hose bib. Or they simply inserted cpvc on one end and a copper female fitting on the other end of the sharkbite.

    Anyway, I still have two questions. Will the O ring wear out over time with constant turning from dragging a hose around and are sharkbites designed to allow constant turning or will the "teeth" wear out?

    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  10. sharkbites

    they will last a long time...

    although I do not like to see them used in a

    loose situation like that.... it will probably never leak

    it will probably never come apart...

    it is just a half assed way to leave something.

    wiat till the caulk sets up and see if it turns solid in a few days..
  11. Tabby411

    Tabby411 New Member

    The caulk was put there last spring so it won't get any better. I may cut it away and get more into the wall. I have been discussing two bibs here. One that burst and they replaced and is solidly attached and flush with the brick in front plus is accesible AND the other one in the back that hasn't burst but was installed improperly (not flush) a year ago and turns a good deal and is inaccessible on the inside. It sounds like you are telling me that the sharkbites are designed to allow movement (spinning).
  12. sharkbites

    the general idea when you install someting is
    for it to be solid....not looosey goosey ...

    not something the kids can spin around and play with...

    that goes for the sharkbites too,

    they are menat to be installed in a place where
    no one can make them turn frequently

    I really dont know
    how much movement they are desigend to take
    over time before they would begin to leak....

    of course they are under water pressure

    and that is your gamble

    but its just seems like common sense that no movement is better
    than something that is allowed to spin all over the place......under pressure
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2007
  13. casman

    casman New Member

    New York

    Mine is sloped the same way, the idiot installer (ME) drilled the hole through 12 inches of brick slanting inside. I couldn't fix the hole at that point and rather than drill another one I put a shutoff ball valve on the inside with a drain built in. So now the procedure is shut off the valve, open the frost free and the drain. So far so good....
  14. Tabby411

    Tabby411 New Member

    I just went to Home depot and checked out the Sharkbites. It is definitely not a Sharkbite at my house. They had adapters for cpvc to copper that would work at HD but none quite like the one used at my house. The ones at HD look like they would back out where there is an O ring because the connection is threaded on and the O ring is really like a washer. The main difference is my connection where the cpvc would glue to the sleeve has the sleeve crimped on so it could not back out. I still do not like the idea and believe the O ring could wear down so I am going to talk to the plumbing company and send a certified letter to the builder expressing my concern and that they should either correct it or they will be liable in the future.
  15. talkin about sharkbites

    I just got a flyer for them from a supplier I buy from; I can get 1/2" couplings for $4.15 apiece. 1/2" tee $5.89, 1/2" 90 $4.24

    Lot cheaper than what I've been paying at ace,,,,deaaaaaaaaaaaam. Plumbing supply houses don't have them yet.
  16. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington

    Arrowhead now makes a hosebib for this.
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