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Thread: Frozen/Burst Outdoor Pipe Question

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member bh81's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    Toronto, ON

    Default Frozen/Burst Outdoor Pipe Question

    Hi there,
    Stupidly, we forgot to bring our outdoor hose in this year. I discovered it today, still attached. Obviously it was frozen solid. When I attempted to unscrew it at the bibb, the entire (sweated) bibb came clean off. There was ice inside the bibb as well as the first couple of inches of the copper pipe.

    Now, the water supply to the outside was shutoff at the valve but it was obviously just never drained. My question involves whether I may have a burst pipe. It's an older home (built in 1959) and I'm 99% sure it was not a frostless bibb. Is there a simple way of telling if the portion of the pipe inside the wall has burst? Since the supply was off I wouldn't think it was but I'm concerned that if the sweated bibb came off with just a tug, there may have been a lot of pressure somewhere.

    So, I guess I'm asking what my next steps are. Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by bh81; 01-24-2011 at 09:40 PM.

  2. #2
    Forum Admin, Expert Plumber Terry's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Bothell, Washington
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    Regardless of what hosebib you had, you will still have some plumbing work to do.
    Even with a frostfree bib, you would have needed to go farther back to find the end. A frost free can be anywhere from 6" to 12" long.

  3. #3
    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    Aug 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona


    From what you have told us, there is not enough information to tell if the pipe broke, but since the hose faucet was "pushed" off the pipe, that should have relieved the pressure that would have burst the pipe.

  4. #4
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    New England


    That must have been a poor solder joint if it failed, but it may have saved you. There are at least a few frostfree silcocks that can drain even if you leave a hose on. You might want to consider looking into one of those for your repair (in the spring when things unfreeze!).
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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