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Freeze Vulnerable Plumbing

This is an example of freeze vulnerable plumbing.

But things can be done to prevent it.

This is a pre-drywall inspection (my third this week) and one of many issues about which comments were made.

This is the service line for the rear hose bib.

It goes up through the sub floor and out the exterior wall about 2" above the sill board.

It is within an inch of the exterior rim joist (some call it the frieze board).

That close to the wall, it is extremely freeze vulnerable.

Typically the hose bib service lines are copper within a foot or so of the exterior wall.  The metal is a bit more able to withstand the cold.  But not that much.

However, what can be done?

Two things.  Certainly the tubing needs to be more protected than the crushed insulation that is intended for that exterior wall.  A black, foam wrapping can be added. 

But that does not add that much protection, particularly when temperatures get down near 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

The other thing that MUST be done every winter is to winterize that hose bib.  That means ABSOLUTE DILIGENCE in turning it off indoors, opening the valve outdoors and loosening or removing the breather cap from the indoor shut-off valve.

If there is no water in the tubing to expand when it freezes, the tubing is less vulnerable to crack when frozen.

But still, who is absolutely diligent?

My recommendation:  with some installations one must think ahead.  And this is one case which must be thought about in advance.  Since the hose bib is above the rim joist it is absolutely essential that it be the least freeze vulnerable material possible.  And protected to the max!

 

 

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


Comment balloon 17 commentsJay Markanich • July 29 2015 02:32AM

Comments

Good morning Jay.  Except for a few I believe everyone wants to do a good job regardless of what that job is.  

Posted by James Dray, Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results (Fathom Realty) about 5 years ago

Which is why I notice and comment on things like this James.  I am trying to think ahead.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, more evidence that those buying new construction need a home inspection! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 5 years ago

This might be viewed as a little thing, Wayne, until it breaks at 10am and the people are at work.

You have to think in advance.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Either learn to winterize a home or move to a log cabin with outdoor plumbing.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 5 years ago

I just did a log cabin inspection a month ago Lenn, and it was eaten alive!

The plumbing didn't matter...

 

Says he, with a wink.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Good morning Jay,

The present home had no shutoff valve except the main; so you know what I ahve been doing.

Make yourself a great day.

Posted by Raymond E. Camp, Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester (Howard Hanna Real Estate Services) about 5 years ago

I'm guessing putting a pipe cleaner up into the hose bib to try to get the water out, Raymond?

I'd like to have a video of that, please.

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Another fine example of why people should get a Pre-Drywall inspection! You can't trust "The Builder", as high on his pedestal as he thinks he is, if he doesn't check behind his subs... the house is toast!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

You don't need a pre-drywall inspection!  There are dozens of inspections!  Even the county comes by a thousand times and we have a supervisor on site every day, scrutinizing the work with is omniscient experience and overseeing eye.

Something like that, Fred?

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay- it was a new experience for us when we moved to Leesburg.  I never had to winterize a home until then. 

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 5 years ago

Jay, you've caught the wrong doing again!  Love your posts. 

Posted by 1~Judi Barrett, BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK (Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745) about 5 years ago

And people often forget Kathy!  I was in River Creek just the other day and did not know where to wave, so I waved everywhere.

Judi - the design of the house made this installation pretty necessary, but they have further to go!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Jay, do they use sillcock valves in your area?  And don't the hose connections usually come in through the sill board?

Nice catch.

Posted by Stephen Weakley (Nationwide Mortgage Services) about 5 years ago

If by that you mean the round-handle hose bib valves, then yes Stephen.  And yes to question two, too.  Or to.  Or two again.  Whichever.

 

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

Yeah... and the county guy drives by a thousand times a day... but never stops? I'll buy that!

Posted by Fred Hernden, CMI, Albuquerque area Master Inspector (Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area) about 5 years ago

That's him!

Posted by Jay Markanich, Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia (Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC) about 5 years ago

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