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  1. #1
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    Default Outdoor water spigot line

    Is it acceptable to have an outdoor water spigot line cut in ahead of the main water cutoff for the house? I would not think so, but I came across one today. I often see them cut in after the main cutoff, but before the pressure reducing valve, so that you get a higher pressure outside, but I've never seen this before.

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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Some places in South Florida required it so plumbers would have water available when the main shut off to the house was shut off.

    To repair that one hose bibb required shutting off at the meter, but that was not a problem.

    I would not want anything inside the house tapped off before the main shut off.

    From the 2006 IRC.
    - P2903.9.1 Service valve. Each dwelling unit shall be provided with an accessible main shutoff valve near the entrance of the water service. The valve shall be of a full-open type having nominal restriction to flow, with provision for drainage such as a bleed orifice or installation of a separate drain valve. Additionally, the water service shall be valved at the curb or property line in accordance with local requirements.


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Thanks Jerry,

    This place had a semi-finished basement, and they managed to drywall in almost the entire ceiling. Can't get to the cutoff valve for either outdoor water spigot. Also, can not get to the gas cutoff for the fireplace (and it's currently off). Looks like they'll have some exploring to do.


  4. #4

    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    If the spigot is tapped off before the meter, a great way to water your lawn whith out the expence.

    Steve Reilly


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Reilly View Post
    If the spigot is tapped off before the meter, a great way to water your lawn whith out the expence.

    Steve Reilly
    If it is tapped off BEFORE the meter, it is also illegal and will get you a heavy fine when it is discovered.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    It's after the meter, but before the main shutoff to the house. So when you shut off the water to the house (from the basement), the front water spigot still has water. And they've closed off the ceiling with drywall, so you can no longer get to the outdoor spigot cut off valves.


  7. #7
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Isn't there a shut off at the meter? That would enable you to deal with the spigot if you ever needed to. In our older neighborhoods most of the houses (including mine until I install one) have no shut off except for the one at the meter. It's not too big a deal here, although not ideal.

    We actually had a shut off installed a few weeks ago when I was installing a new water heater, but the valve itself was leaking, so we had to cut it loose and put a union in. Because I'm in the middle of nowhere, we couldn't get another 1 1/4" shut off valve, so I was foiled again. Why I have 1 1/4" water main lines, I have no idea.

    Jim Robinson
    New Mexico, USA

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Yep, the water can be shut off at the meter, but most homeowners won't know how to do that. The house was built in 2005. I've never seen this before, and was just wondering if there was anything specifically wrong with it. If they could get at the cut off for the spigot, it might not be a big deal, but as it stands right now, there's no way to shut off water to that spigot.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Crouse View Post
    Yep, the water can be shut off at the meter, ... but as it stands right now, there's no way to shut off water to that spigot.
    Except at the meter.

    The key question becomes, then, is the pipe that taps off of "inside" or "outside" the home? If inside, you would want the water shut off, or even another one installed, before that hose bibb.

    Also, being in Georgia, you would want, the IRC requires, all piping outside the thermal envelope of the house to be protected from freezing with heat tape, insulation, or both.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Jerry,

    Yes, the only current way to shut off water to that spigot is via the meter. It is cut in immediately before the main shut off, inside the basement. I can see where it T's off, but I can't see the cut off valve for it. The hole in the ceiling for the main cut off is only about a 10"x10" hole.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Crouse View Post
    It is cut in immediately before the main shut off, inside

    That is where the problem starts, it is "inside" and before the main shut off to the "inside" plumbing.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Yep, that and the fact that you can't even get to the cut off (assuming there is one), was enough to report it. Let the plumber take care of it now.

    Thanks for the help!!!


  13. #13
    Joshua Hardesty's Avatar
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    Default Re: Outdoor water spigot line

    Not to mention, I'd say a good 80% of the water meters I've seen are either submerged under a foot of water or buried in dirt to the point where you couldn't see the valve knob.

    And if they did see it, would they even know that it WAS a shutoff valve, and would they be able to turn it without a key?

    I worked with this one guy, he's been plumbing almost as long as I've been alive, and yet somehow, he didn't know if a ball valve was on or off by looking at the handle. 8/


    I get the point of making an installation like that, though it can catch you a little off guard at times.

    "Did you cut the water off?"
    "Yeah!"
    "Then why won't this spigot stop draining? Turn it tighter!"
    "Okay! *snap*"


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