Exterior water supply

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Paragraphs below:      Yard Faucet     Exterior Hydrant     Garden Water Tub


Exterior Hydrant
The Exterior Hydrant  is the faucet you will find on the outside wall of your home. Great for washing cars or watering the flowers. Nothing ever goes wrong with these faucets. WRONG! These faucets like all other faucets, have a rubber seal in them which stops the water when you turn them off. The seal wears out and kazamm, Houston, we have a leak. Not the only problem with these faucets. As you know, weather changes and weather can cause problems.

Problem number two is the water gushing from the wall. What happened and where is the water coming from. Why does it only flow from the wall when I turn it on if it has a leak behind the knob that turns it off. Let's take a look at that little problem.


Picture A
Exterior Hydrant

The exterior faucet shown at left is what you will see on the exterior wall of your home. It extends only about three inches from the wall. It may not have the top piece on it. This is a frost free faucet and will relief water pressure here if the hose is hooked up and you turn off the water. Some water will be released through this cap. The next picture is the faucet which is in the wall (same faucet) and believe me, there are differences between this one and a faucet for the wash machine. Remember, this one is outside and must be protected from the cold weather in the winter to keep it from freezing.


Picture B




This is the whole faucet and we will explain how it keeps from freezing but remember, this also needs your help. The faucet is extended into the wall and should reach in past the inside of the wall. That means that if you climb down under your house, you should see the back end of the faucet. It should not connect to a pipe inside a block wall. Notice in this picture the knob with a solid metal rod that is long enough to reach the back end of the faucet tube. That back end is where the water stops when it is shut off. If the water was allowed to come to the end that has the knob on it, it is at the freezing temperatures when it gets freezing cold outside. The space under the house rarely becomes cold enough to freeze the water in the pipes if the house is heated. So let's make sure the water stops back there inside the wall and not outside.

What happens if you leave a water hose connected to the faucet in the winter. In many cases, you will see the results in picture "C" below. The water hose does not allow the water which made it into the faucet tube to escape. If the water is trapped there it can freeze and you will have Niagara Falls every time you turn on that faucet. If the water freezes inside the tube, it will swell and split the tube inside the wall.


Picture C

This picture shows the results of freezing water in the faucet tube. We do not want this so disconnect the water hose when the weather is cold. You can also get a plastic cover made to install over these faucets in the winter for added protection. If the faucet is installed properly however, you should not need the extra protection. The swell in the end of this exterior faucet is caused by water freezing inside the tube and it has split the tube. Some has split as much as 6 inches. Only leaks when you use them because the water stops at the end under the house and the faucet tube empties.


Let's look at what makes up the faucet. Notice in Picture B above, The faucet extends all the way through the block and would hook up to a water pipe INSIDE the space under the house, NOT in the block. The following picture "D" will show the parts and you can see where the seal is.



Picture D
 Ext hydrant parts

This is how it stops the water in a non freeze area. The long thin shaft goes inside the faucet tube. Notice the rubber washer seal is at the very end of the shaft and will seat against the small end of the faucet tube when assembled. That is the point where the water will stop when it is turned off. *Leaks* They can be in the wall as described earlier or they can drip from the faucet end. Also can drip just behind the knob that turns the water off. If it drips from the faucet, replace the rubber washer at the end of the shaft. If it drips from the stem just behind the knob, simply tighten the nut behind the knob. This is shown in picture "D" laying on the  paper tag of the faucet. There is a packing inside that nut which compresses to stop that leak. DO NOT OVER TIGHTEN this nut. Now, again, if it leaks inside the wall, replace the faucet is your only course of action. New faucets come in different lengths so make sure you get a new one that goes all the way through the block wall. Standard lengths can be between 8" to 12 " long. They also come in sizes for pipes at 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch pipe so check the size of water pipe under your house at the point of the faucet.


  The photo to the right is a yard faucet which has been installed in a yard and is used for watering gardens and washing cars. Anything you need outside water for. It works in very much the same way the faucet above (exterior faucet) does except it has a handle you raise and lower instead of turning off a knob. The seal is still at the far end of the shaft. In this case it is 2 feet under the ground. That is below the frost line for the area. The temperature may be very cold but the ground will only freeze so far down. The lowest point that will freeze under normal conditions is called a FROST LINE. With the seal below that point, the water will stop there and drain from the tube into the soil. This prevents the freezing in the pipe. This can be placed next to the house or installed in the middle of a field some place.

Yard Faucet


Garden water tub
What is a garden water tub? Welp, how about a tub to supply water for your garden or flower bed. A way to recycle the rain waters can be handy and with a little knowledge of what is available, you can have a rain water recycle tub which supplies water to the flowers on those dry days. It collects water during rains and can be made to deliver it when needed. Let's say we have a small water barrel or tub and position it below a rain gutter with a downspout into the tub. Quickly fills when it rains. Now it can be dipped out with a water can or with materials made available at your local hardware store, you can add a faucet on the side of the tub and attach a water hose to it. Not a lot of pressure behind the water hose however we aren't going to pressure wash the flowers. A trickle is good but this tub if positioned higher than the flower bed can deliver a good steady flow to wet the flowers down. Just keep in mind however that standing water can cause mosquitoes so drain it from time to time or get a mosquito cake from the garden supply or feed store which you just drop into the water and it prevents mosquitoes from starting in the water.


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