23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

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SteveHGraham
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23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:30 pm

Now that I have emigrated from Miami to the United States of America, I face occasional freezing weather. This week they are saying it will reach 23 at night. This is fine by me, as I much prefer cutting trees in 40-degree overcast conditions with no bugs, as compared to 90 degrees and bugs literally flying in and out of my nose.

Question: do I need to do anything to protect my hose bibs? This farm has a number of them. The seller wrapped the exposed pipes with foam, but it doesn't cover the final few inches.

We hit 28 a few days back, and it killed a few plants. I did not know they were susceptible. I'm happy about it, because I would rather have them die than run out like an idiot and wrap a bunch of snowflake plants in bed sheets. Now I have room to plant something better.
Last edited by SteveHGraham on Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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SteveM
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibs?

Post by SteveM » Tue Jan 02, 2018 5:43 pm

You can replace them with ones that have the valves inside the house, so that there is no water in the exposed section.
Image

They also sell little foam cups with an elastic that you wrap over the valve and it holds against the house.
Image
That one is available at Grainger for $3

In your case, this being an urgent situation (it's going to be 28 degrees tonight, and not next week) one of the things you can do to protect them is to leave them dripping.

Steve

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warmstrong1955
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Tue Jan 02, 2018 8:29 pm

If you have some running vertically out of the ground, like we did in Oregon, with less than real cold weather, it's an easy fix. We lived in the Colombia Gorge.

I put foam pipe wrap on the pipe....but not the valves. I slipped a foam cap much like Steve's pic over the valve at the top. Then, I built some boxes out of CDX, with foam insulation on all four sides and the top.
Folks we bought the place from used to drain them and blow them out each winter.I never did, in 5 years, and we did have some days & even weeks of below freezing temps.

Bad news for ya....in spring...I'd pull the boxes off to start watering a bit....and found moles were livin' in a bunch of 'em. Guess they found a warm spot....mighta helped insulate even....I will not describe the molicide that ensued when they took off runnin'.....

:)
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SteveHGraham
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:16 pm

Moles?! Are you kidding me?

Wait...maybe I can build a heated trap for them...
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SteveHGraham
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by SteveHGraham » Tue Jan 02, 2018 10:21 pm

I was taught never to open a gate valve partially, because it would wear out the end of the stopper or whatever, resulting in permanent leakage.

I'm Googling it, and what I'm seeing is slightly different. It looks like opening a gate valve partially causes vibration, and the vibration, not the passage of water, is what does the damage.

Whatever. It beats busted pipes.
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neanderman
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by neanderman » Tue Jan 02, 2018 11:33 pm

SteveHGraham wrote:I was taught never to open a gate valve partially...
Curious why whoever installed them used gate valves. Those are generally for high pressure applications. The only gate valve in my house used to be on the street side of the water meter. And I replaced that with a good ball valve.

I could install a freeze-proof sill cock, but I have a shutoff inside instead. As long as I remember to turn it off!
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SteveHGraham
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Jan 03, 2018 5:05 am

You have brought up an interesting point. At some point, I was told that hose bibbs valves were called gate valves, but now I am reading that the correct term is "globe valve," and it looks like they are made to tolerate partial flow.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 8:03 am

SteveHGraham wrote:Moles?! Are you kidding me?

Wait...maybe I can build a heated trap for them...
Nope.....the dog had a great time. Black Labs don't like moles either....except as a snack.

You have a new plan.....
Open up a MoleTel 6. Heated rooms....but they check in....and never check out.....

;)
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SteveHGraham
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:10 am

Maybe I can start a business selling mole prosciutto.
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SteveHGraham
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:12 am

I may be crazy, but I welcome this weather. Today it's 45 and raining, and I am happy about it. I remember how miserable and fetid the air in Miami was, all year long. Here in Ocala, it was hot through September, and bugs were everywhere. I would cut trees for several hours a day, and then I would come in, and when I took off my wet shirt and dropped it on the floor, it would go "PLOP." Give me cool weather and appropriate clothing any day.
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warmstrong1955
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by warmstrong1955 » Wed Jan 03, 2018 11:19 am

SteveHGraham wrote:Maybe I can start a business selling mole prosciutto.
I you can tan their little pelts, and sell fur coats.....
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John Hasler
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Re: 23 Degrees: Cold Enough to Freeze Hose Bibbs?

Post by John Hasler » Wed Jan 03, 2018 12:04 pm

Just google "moleskin". Obviously there is a market there.

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