Installing a Sillcock – Outside Faucet

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    Most homes will have an outside faucet to hook up your hose in the front and back of your house but sometimes the faucet is not in a good location for watering your garden or washing your car.

    Here we will cover the steps needed to install a Sillcock.

    You should have a good understanding of basic plumbing. 

    If you feel this job is outside your basic abilities then you may want to ask a friend to help or have a plumber perform the work.

    Leaks from plumbing are the most common reason for insurance payments. Most often it is a leaky clothes washer hose or a water heater but if you install a pipe yourself you may need an inspection and you may need to notify your insurance agent.

    You will need the following tools to complete the job. 

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    Copper Pipe Cutter
    PVC Pipe Cutter or Hack Saw
    Propane Torch Kit
    Solder, Plumbers Flux, Sand Paper
    Pliers
    Teflon Tape and PVC Glue
    1/2″ Drill and assorted Drill Bits
    Rags
    Eye Protection
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    The first thing we should cover is the difference between a Hose Bib and a Sillcock.

    The first thing we should cover is the difference between a Hose Bib and a Sillcock.Although they do look some what the same you will notice that the Sillcock has an extended pipe that enters deep into the home.

    Sillcocks can come in 6″ to 12″ lengths and you should always pick the longest reasonable size. The reason they are so long is because unlike a Hose Bib where the valve that controls the water is exposed to the outside elements. The Sillcock places the valve at the end of the long pipe. This is so in the winter the valve is protected from freezing.

    If you own an older home and find that you are constantly repairing your Hose Bibs it might be a good idea to install the longer Sillcock.

    And for practical reasons Hose Bibs should be reserved for heated areas of your home like a utility hose connection in the basement or on a hot water heater.

    Ok now we can get started.

    First we need to find the place on the outside of the home where we want to place the Sillcock.

    You will want to locate the Sillcock at least a foot in from the corners of the home and away from door openings and not under windows.

    Our Sillcock will be placed on the front wall of the garage to make it easy to wash the car.

    At this time the inside of the Garage has not been drywalled so it is  a perfect time to run our lines.  We are also lucky to have a Utility Sink in the garage so we can tap off of the cold water feed to the sink.

    Our original lines are CPVC but where the Sillcock enters the garage we will use Copper Pipe because it can withstand the vibration and abuses of connecting and disconnecting a hose.

    We have selected a 6″ Sillcock that will extend out of our 2×4 wall inside the house. This will allow us to cross our corner outside of the wall without need to cut into the framing of the house.

    First make a hole in the OSB Sheathing from the inside of the house.
    Press your bit into the siding that covers the outside of the house just far enough that it makes a hole with the centering part of the paddle bit. Then go outside and complete the hole by drilling through the siding.

    You can now place the Sillcock in the hole and get a better idea how it will sit.

    We place a 2×4 up against the OSB and toe nail it into the studs on either side. then we to to the outside of the wall and drill back through the 2×4 so the Sillcock can run through it.

    It is important to properly support the Sillcock so we add a second 2×6 piece under the 2×4 and use it as a ledge. We will anchor our Sillcock and copper pipe to this board. When we are finished this area will be boxed in and drywalled over while still allowing a removable access plate in case we need to service the Sillcock.

    Here you can see we are prepping the Copper pipe that will connect to the Sillcock.
    First we cut the pipe to length using a tubing cutter.

    A hack saw will also work but it is better if you use a Tube Cutter as the cuts will be perpendicular and straight and they will not have the jagged edge that a hack saw leaves.

    All the parts are cut to size and test fitted.

    Each piece of copper that is joined, both the outside of the pipe and the inside of the fitting must be prepped.

    We use black emery cloth sand paper to remove the oxidation on the area that we want to solder. Just rub the sand paper on the pipe until about 1 inch is clean and bright.

    Now we have to add some Flux to the areas we want to accept Solder.

    Flux will let the solder run smoothly on the pipes surface and it will insure that impurities are not introduced when you are soldering.

    Basically any place you put the flux will get solder on it so use it sparingly but apply it to all parts just like you did with the sand paper.

    Wires can be soldered with a soldering iron but to join pipe you have to use a propane torch. Read the instructions for your torch before you begin.

    The Blue Cone inside of the outer yellow orange flame is where the hottest part is.

    You want to heat the pipe not the solder.
    When the pipe gets hot enough you will be able to touch the solder to the joint and it will melt and flow back into the fitting.

    Never try to help the solder by applying flame directly to it. Melting the solder means the pipe inside the fitting is not hot enough and you will end up with a ring of solder at the edge of the connection and no penetration back into the fitting area.

    You can see we are heating the Fitting at the bottom of the pipe and the solder is melting and flowing into the joint at the top of the fitting.

    There are two fittings one is a half inch swett to a 3/4 inch female transitional fitting to accept the Sillcock on the other side we attach the male side of a CPVC to Copper half inch fitting.

    Never try to solder a CPVC to Copper coupler fitting while it is still assembled because you risk the chance of damaging the rubber washer and CPVC pipe.

    Once everything is cool we attach it to the 2×6 support with nail down pipe holders.

    A small piece of luan is placed under the pipe to give it a downward slope that way water will drain out of the Sillcock and not remain in the pipe over winter.

    Now we run the line up the side wall to our sink.

    A downward slope toward the sillcock is measured and then a string line provides quick reference.

    In Pressure Lines it is not normal to have a slope toward the fixture but because we will be draining this pipe in the fall before the first frost it is important that water can flow easily out of the Sillcock.

    To install the CPVC pipe in the wall we use a 5/8ths paddle bit and drill in the center of our studs.

    We will need to make connections inside the wall by joining the pipe with couplers.

    A coupler is just a straight fitting that joins 2 pieces of pipe.

    Clean the pipe with a towel and then apply primer and then adhesive.

    All joining parts must be coated with primer and then adhesive.

    There is no need to sand the connections like you would for copper pipe.

    Place the coupler on one side of the pipe then give it a half turn.

    Insert the other side into the coupler and turn the pipe you inserted a half turn.

    Now hold the connection together for about a minute so the glue can join the parts.

    You will find that PVC Pipe likes to force its way apart so holding the fittings and allowing glue time is important.
    Twisting the pipe after it is inserted into the fitting also forms a good bond. Even if you are repairing pipe that is previously installed and held down by pipe straps there is usually enough play in the pipe to twist it a bit before you insert it into the fitting.

    To make the transition from CPVC To our Copper pipe we need to glue the female part of the Union on to our CPVC pipe that is in the wall.

    Because Unions are made to be taken apart all you have to do is glue the female end on the pipe and then you can connect the two brass parts together just like you were making a hose connection.

    Like we said before never solder on the Male part of the Union with the fitting assembled.

    If you look inside the female part you will see a small piece of CPVC pipe has been joined at the factory to the brass part and there is also a rubber washer gasket that seals the connection.

    You may also want to try a Shark Bite fitting in this area. They are a special fitting that can accept CPVC, Copper and Pex pipe and there is no need for solder or glues.

    One of our other howtos explains the use of Shark Bite Fittings.

    Now that we have the copper pipe connected to the CPVC that we installed in the wall it is time to tap into our Cold Water pipe that is feeding the utility sink.

    Carefully cut the CPVC portion of the Feed Line and then prep and insert a T-Fitting.

    The T-Fitting will divert water before the shutoff valve of the sink so we will need to add our own Ball Valve Shut off on the piece of CPVC that runs from the sink to the wall.

    Our connections are almost complete.

    We have water available from the sink out to our Copper mounting pipe.

    All we have to do now is install our Sillcock by wrapping the threads with some Teflon Plumbers Tape and then secure it to the outside of the Garage with some small Lag Bolts or security screws.

    Before you screw in the Sillcock it is a good idea to fill the hole and the area behind the mounting flange with exterior grade caulk.

    You should apply more caulk then necessary
    and then wipe away any excess later.
     

    The final thing we need to do is add some insulation around the pipe.
    Although pipe insulation only has a small insulating factor it is better then nothing.

    We will also position the fiberglass insulation behind the pipe to try to keep the line as warm as possible.

    This line will need to be drained in the early fall but sometimes an early frost can hit.

    If you live in a location where cold weather is a problem then you may want to plumb your feed line with metal pipe and have it exposed inside of the garage.

    If you choose to have an exposed pipe you should use heavy walled galvanized pipe.

    Galvanized pipe can withstand some abuse and unlike CPVC or Copper it won’t crack if it is hit by a lose shovel or falling bicycle.

    If your pipe is inside your wall or in a heated area you have the choice of copper or CPVC.

     

    Installing a Sillcock is a big job and once you have all the tools and parts it will take you the good part of the morning.

    If you don’t feel that you can accomplish this job by yourself then find a plumber or a friend that has plumbing experience.

     

     

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