Can anyone tell me what happens to a valve if it freezes with water inside? Okay, I’ll tell you. The seal gets ruined. Something happens when the ice expands in the valve, so after a few freeze/thaws, you get some leaks. We’ve had it happen to the kitchen sink after that froze this past Winter. It also happened to the hose valve outside, most likely years ago. The hose valves are tricky. You have to remember to turn off the water source inside and open the outside valve during sub-freezing temperatures or else you’re in trouble.
The best way to deal with not having to remember to turn off the water inside before the first freeze is to install a sillcock. I’m not sure if that’s the name of just the freeze-proof hose valves or all hose valves, but from now on, I’m just going to call what I installed a hose valve.
This is a picture of what we used to have hanging out of the basement wall. When we used the hose and the valve was turned on, it would drip like crazy.
If you’ll notice, this valve is rather short. Any freezing that’s going to take place, is going to take place throughout the entire thing – even where the rubber seal meets the brass. That’s not good.
Now, check out this new valve I installed yesterday. Take a look at how far inside the basement the pipe extends. The rubber seal is all the way at the end. I left this open overnight so I could check for leaks. Now that I know it’s leak free, I can put the insulation back.
This is a picture of the new valve outside the basement. See the way it leans down. That’s not a mistake. The valve came with a plastic bushing that, if used, forces the valve to drain any water that’s left in it after the water is turned off. That way, if you use the valve in the Winter, the water exits instead of freezing inside.