A conveniently located hose bib (sometimes called a "sill cock") can save you from having to stretch a garden hose around the house. The most difficult part of installing a hose bib, however, is breaking into a cold water supply pipe and installing a tee fitting. Below, we show you how to get this project done quick so you can move forward with your weekend.
The type shown has an extended stem, so the freeze-sensitive valve is indoors. We will show you how to install a shutoff valve so you can turn water off from the inside as well as the outside.
If you live in an area with freezing winters and the hose bib pipe will enter a heated space, buy a long-stem, frost-free hose bib, which shuts water off inside rather than outside. If you live in a warm climate, simply connect pipe to a standard hose bib.
If the hose bib will attach to a sprinkler system, install a hose bib with an antisiphon device, which prevents water from backing up into the house and possibly contaminating your household water.
For frost-free hose bib installation, plan for all the pieces you will need to install a hose bib. In this case, a short nipple connects the hose bib to the shutoff valve. The valve connects to the supply line with a sweated copper adapter.
What You Need
- Tools for working with pipe
- Carpenter's square
- Spade bit
- Caulk gun
- Hose bib
- Silicone caulk
- Deck screws
- Pipe and fittings
- Pipe-thread tape
Step 1: Drill Locator Hole
At a point slightly higher than the cold water pipe you will tap into, drill a locator hole with a long, thin bit. Bore through the rim joist, sheathing, and siding. To avoid splintering the siding, drill partway from the indoors out, then finish by drilling from the outside in.
Tips for Galvanized-Pipe Connections
To break into a galvanized pipe, cut the supply pipe with a hacksaw or reciprocating saw equipped with a metal-cutting blade and remove pipe back to the nearest joint. Add sections of threaded pipe to reach the location of the hose bib.
Install a union and tee fitting and add a nipple and elbow to reach the level of the hose bib. (Build in a slight incline away from the hose bib.) Drill a locator hole and bore a 1-1/8-inch hole. Add nipples and a union to reach a coupler attached to the hose bib.
If the supply line does not already have a stop valve in the near vicinity, add one between the union and the coupling.
Step 2: Insert Hose Bib
From the outside, slip on the plastic gasket and push the hose bib through the hole. Apply silicone caulk around the hole and attach the hose bib by driving two deck screws that are coated to resist rusting.
Step 3: Make Cuts
Hold a carpenter's square or straight board alongside the hose bib location and mark the cold water pipe for the location of the tee fitting. Shut off the water. Cut into the pipe and install the fitting.
Step 4: Assemble Pipes
Dry-fit a nipple and an elbow to the tee. Dry-fit an adapter, a nipple, and a shutoff. (A dielectric fitting is not needed if the bib is chrome-plated brass.) Make sure the hose bib slopes so it drains when turned off. Place the final nipple in the valve and mark it for cutting.
Step 5: Final Touches
Remove the inner parts of the shutoff valve. Protect the framing with a heat-proof fiber shield and sweat all the joints.