Spigot Supply Valve - Pipe to outside spigot

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by drjimmy, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25
    I think I have a problem caused by a common mistake homeowners make each fall - shutting off the outside water valve inside my house, but also shutting off the valve outside after disconnecting the hoses for the lawn and garden, and not allowing any remaining water to drain out.

    Last Sunday, here in the East, we had thawed to about 40 degrees after a very cold week where temperatures were about 10 -15 during the day, lower at night. I think that the water inside the piper that remained must have froze and when the temperature rose, the water pressure of what was remaining in the pipe from the fall shut off couldn’t escape through the outside spout, so it kind of "burst" through the end of the pipe that connects to the outside spigot

    This scared the heck out of me because I first thought there was a burst pipe ( the pipe leads from the valve under my kitchen sink, through a wall in an adjoining porch ( not heated ) and out to the hose area.) After inspecting the pipe, thankfully there was no problems in the house -

    I turned the valve on outside and noticed the water flowing out, but I had just assumed it was the water melting and escaping because later in the day, it went from a flow out of the hose connecter, to just a dripping at the connector part, so it didn’t seem at the time that the water was coming from the main line, because the valve under the sink is shut off by hand as tight as I could shut it off.

    After a few days, I notice that the dripping hasn't stopped , and now I believe that quite possible the valve under my kitchen sink even though shut off, might have a bad seal ??

    I have no idea if I am describing this right - I hope I am - but if that valve is shut tight and I still have dripping outside - that has to be a bad seal/seat from the valve under my sink allowing the water to get past and get through that pipe going to the outside hoses, yes ?

    My only other assumption is that what is dripping out is STILL what is remaining in the pipe - but I would think after a week it would have emptied by now - and my bad valve under the sink needing replacement seems more likely…even after I allowed what I thought was melted ice water to come out.

    On the other hand - if the valve was bad the whole time - why wouldn’t the water have dripped out or forced its way out since I shut both the outside and inside valves off way back in early November..? Could I have just been a victim of 3 months of bad under the sink valve mounting up all this time?

    It's hard for me to understand which scenario is right - it’s a bad valve that caused water backed up and had to escape and froze on me - or its not the valve and just water trapped from "summer use" that I didn’t allow to drain….

    I can't hand tighten that under the sink valve any more than it is - so I think it might be the issue - that being said - is this valve easy to remove and replace just by going to the local hardware mega store and getting a replace ment ?

    Someone told me I need to take the valve apart and replace "seat seal" ?

    Sorry for the long story, but I am a novice at plumbing to say the least, and very nervous when it comes to water issues in the house…. Opinions.?
  2. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    pipe

    I am having a hard time keeping track of your description. What happened when the pipe "burst" outside? What kind of valve is it if that is what burst. All the rest of it boils down to whether the valve inside shuts off or not, and if water is coming out with it shut off, then it is letting water leak through.
  3. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25

    Sorry HJ - I get a little too detailed because I gave a problem mixed with my thoughts of what might have caused it over a few months.

    Yes, it boils down to whether or not the water valve inside the house is letting water get past even with it shut off.

    The end result was water seemed to spraying outside where the spigot/valve connects to the end of the pipe. Because I had the outside valve shut off, I am thinking that when the water thawed out, the pressure couldn't get out through the normal way ( the spigot ) and it started spraying out a couple inches behind the spigot - there is a contraption the previous owner had installed around the tail end of the pipe - kind of like a small brace with a screw down the middle, and a screw on the left and right side - I dont know what that contraption is, but thats where the water was spraying out of

    My question is I am not sure if the water is getting past the valve in the house and still trickling slowly outside, or, was the rush of water that came out just the trapped water that was in most of the autumn and winter that froze and then escaped once it thawed.

    Im thinking the valve under my sink in kitchen is the issue. I think by now if it was remaining water from summer use, it would have drained by now, frozen or not.

    The flow of water apparently isn't strong enough to come out of the hose attachment in the spigot, its just dripping at that weird contraption I described.

    So Im not sure if what is coming out is escaping past a bad valve, or just left over water that was in the pipe - I tend to think its slowly getting past the valve shut off and feel I need to replace that valve under my sink. Or fix it.

    thats the limit of what I know - Should I just shut the house main water off and see if the dripping stops..? Or should I just go out and buy the parts to fix the valve.

    I am not sure what to do -I am scared of water getting past the shut off, but I am not 100 percent sure it is getting past.
  4. JohnnyMalaria

    JohnnyMalaria New Member

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    18
  5. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States
    Pipe valve leaking

    I vote take the easy way out AND CALL A PLUMBER
    as you don't have the least ideal what you are talking about little alone
    any ideal on what it takes to solve your problem
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  6. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    The internal shutoff valve is leaking. You'll need to replace it. A 1/4-turn ball vavle rather than a multi-turn valve will be more reliable. Assuming it wasn't frozen, any water in that section of pipe under the porch should have drained through the open outside valve in no more than an hour (and probably a lot less). If it is coming out with any pressure, it is certainly the inside valve leaking, since you likely don't have much elevation change, and gravity just won't produce much of any pressure unless you have a good elevation change.
  7. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

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    25
  8. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

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    25
    No kidding. Thats why I came on to this do it yourself forum to ask "an expert" about the issue.

    And IMO, my explanation was as clear as you could get from someone who doesn't fix pipes for a living. Shouldn't you be chasing ghosts somewhere?
  9. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Thank you. That's the exact answer I needed. Thank you for taking the time to answer, I appreciate it. At least, I think its the answer I needed, being I have no idea what I'm doing, or talking about...
  10. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25
    just wanted to note its not coming out with any pressure. Its just dripping slowly at the "self tapping valve" contraption. Water meter isn't spinning either, if that's any indication of flow. But I am sure water can get out without making the dials spin, so I will shut up before I get yelled at....
  11. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25

    Attached Files:

  12. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,358
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Your first problem is the valve itself is totally wrong. Saddle valves are DIY devices commonly used to install ice makers. They are prone to fail. Most plumbers and serious DIY install a ball valve with adapters to connect to the copper tubing. If you are running water from inside your house, through an unheated space to a hose bib outside, you should have a tee in the supply line and a ball valve to shut the line off in the fall. Yes, the hose needs to be removed and the outside valve left open during the winter. Even frost free hose bibs will freeze and break if the hose is left on because the water can't drain. Installing a tee and ball valve, while not difficult, does require cutting pipe and soldering fittings. If this is beyond your knowledge base, then you should hire a plumber. But, do trash that saddle valve and shoot any salesman that tries to sell you another one.:D
  13. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25

    LOL....I will take your advice. This is what was on the house when I moved in. I honestly never gave it a second thought till the water spraying incident. I see from that link page that its meant for ice makers and refrigerator issues, like you say. I have no idea why the former owners put it there. And now I'm curious as to where the line leads to from the center of the saddle valve and why its tucked up around windows on my unheated porch and across the length of the area. Weird. You guys know better than me, but I know there's no ice makers on my porch...! heh..
  14. JohnnyMalaria

    JohnnyMalaria New Member

    Messages:
    18
    It isn't an ice-maker valve, it's an electrical grounding clamp. The thing coming from it should be a thick copper wire going to your electrical service panel or possibly from something like a satellite dish. It isn't clear from the photo but the clamp may be made from galvanized steel. If so, the contact between it and the copper pipe will likely lead to corrosion and a leak.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  15. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25
    Ahhhhhhhhhh..........yes. So they spiked it through the metallic pipe - its a ground for electrical precaution - and the hole caused by spiking caused the spraying of water over time as it aged.......Good lord, I'm stupid for not picking this up earlier..... So the hole in the pipe from the clamp is the exit for the slow rush of exiting water past the main valve in the house - my issue is the valve in the house - totally. Good valve - nothing to go and drip out.

    you guys are pretty good. i appreciate you all taking the time to explain to me.
  16. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,133
    Location:
    New England
    The valve should also have a vacuum breaker on it. You can buy hose bibs with them but in this case, an add-on one may be a good idea. Costs less than $10 or so and will prevent sucking water from a stagnent puddle into your house.
  17. Ladiesman271

    Ladiesman271 Homeowner

    Messages:
    221

    If you have a typical shut off valve, the valve does come apart. There is a washer inside the valve that is old/damaged. You need to use a wrench to unscrew the top part of the valve. When the top part of the valve is removed, you can see the washer. Pickup a replacement washer (and brass screw) and replace the washer.

    You should check all your shutoff valves in the house while you are at it. Toilets, sinks, and the like. You may find that they all need a bit of work. Make sure they all work before you need to use them.
  18. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,815
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    thing

    That thing is an electrical ground clamp and has nothing to do with the plumbing. It should also not be the cause of the leak, so until you know EXACTLY where the leak is you will not know the cause of it. That clamp should have been installed on the outside of the copper adapter where the metal is thicker, but they are often secured to the copper tubing itself.
  19. drjimmy

    drjimmy New Member

    Messages:
    25

    jad - ladiesman - HJ - thanks for taking the time to respond to me. Hopefully, its just the washer on the water shut off in the house that has gone and is allowing the water to escape out in the back.

    Yea, the ground clamp - i was thinking perhaps the way it was installed with the screw in teh middle it might have pierced the pipe over years, helping to cause a hole for water escaping. But like you said, I need to find exactly what is leaking outside. Which I wouldn't mind so much waiting till spring to fix -its the main valve in house letting the water get by that I fear freezing again, so I need to get on the horse and get this remedied.

    thanks again.
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