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Question about when to isolate garden taps

Discussion in 'Plumbing and Central Heating' started by Mmcgar, 10 Apr 2021.

  1. Mmcgar

    Mmcgar

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    Hi all, sorry if this is a daft question.

    I recently had a garden tap installed. It's actually the 1st time I've ever had one hence the following question.

    1st off the tap installed is one of those kits, it's actually a bit cheap and cheerful, basically it's a garden hose type tube that goes directly into the back of the tap fitting, on the inside this tube connect's to the cold mains via a clamp that has a self tapping screw which effectively bursts into the mains pipe. On this clamp there is an isolator and , I assume, a check valve. Again it all seems a bit cheap so I'm not keen on opening and closing the isolator unnecessarily as I'm not sure it's MTBF would be great.

    I've always been told you need to isolate and drain these down over the winter and I've heard some horror stories about pipes rupturing and leaking into the wall cavity undetected.

    My question is, when people refer to isolating over the winter, does this really apply to the worst months when the temperature is struggling to get above zero for a prolonged period?
    On the other hand, the weather forecast for tonight has the temperature dropping to around -3 through the night (below zero for maybe 8 or 9 hours) before being back up above zero around breakfast time, is this worth isolation for? I don't have any exposed pipework and I assume the plastic hose will allow more expansion that a copper pipe but I just thought I'd clarify basically at what point it becomes worth isolating.

    Again, sorry if a daft question but everything I see online just says to isolate "over winter"

    Cheers
     
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  3. denso13

    denso13

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    No. It needs to be sub-zero temperatures, and throw in some wind, for a number of days (day and night) for freezing to be a problem.
     
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  4. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    It's the average temperature, at the pipe/tap which matters. If you anticipate a long spell of sub-zero, with not much above freezing - then isolate and open the tap to drain it.
     
  5. Mmcgar

    Mmcgar

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    Cheers man, I sort of suspected that would be the case wanted to check
     
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  7. Old Salt

    Old Salt

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    I have a polystyrene cap that fits over the tap and hopefully keeps it cosy.
     
  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

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    To be honest, I have never worried about isolating my two outdoor taps, one on the side of the drive, the second towards the rear. There is only the actual taps themselves poking out through the wall and our heating is always on - conduction along the pipe, to the taps seems to prevent them freezing. The hoses have frozen many times.
     
  9. Old Salt

    Old Salt

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    [​IMG] Mine looks like this, easy to remove and replace when required
     
  10. Keithmac

    Keithmac

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    I've never isolated ours and never had a problem.

    My mate fitted ours originally (like your original kit), I went back and redid it all with copper pipe and proper fittings (bought most of it again, just saved the tap!). Just didn't like the look of the connector or the pipe, didn't trust it..
     
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