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The following image shows an exterior faucet that currently does not have an accessible shutoff. This home is in the southeast region of Michigan, so the faucet is exposed to freezing temperatures. I'm concerned about the possibility of the pipe freezing and cracking -- and, if it does, it will go directly into a finished basement. So, two questions:

  1. Is there a legitimate concern of freezing and cracking? It hasn't done so yet, but it seems like an imminent risk. Thoughts?

  2. Assuming there is a legitimate concern, is there an easy solution to get through the winter? For example, could the pipe be wrapped with heat tape and then covered from the snow?

Any other suggestions that could safely get this homeowner through an unpredictable Michigan winter?

enter image description here

  • This is an outlet pipe, not an inlet. If it cracks, then water will pour thru the crack onto the ground (unless the crack occurs inside the foundation, which would mean your whole basement is frozen). – Carl Witthoft Nov 10 '16 at 14:30
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The key question would be: How many winters has this pipe been like this and lasted without bursting? If it has made it through for many years, it should probably be good for many more.

Does it have an indoor valve where you can turn it off and drain the water, similar to this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-4-in-Brass-Sweat-x-Sweat-Ball-and-Waste-Valve-with-Drain-119-4-34-EB/205812172

If so, then you can just shut off the valve and drain the water.

The safest/best/permanent solution would be to install a shut-off valve like above (make sure the drain hole is on the "to the outside" side of the valve) and also replace it (or have it replaced) with an anti-siphon frost-free outdoor valve like this:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/1-2-in-x-12-in-Brass-Anti-Siphon-Frost-Free-Sillcock-Valve-with-Push-Fit-Connections-P140-8-12x12/203518399

For a "quick fix", you could wrap it with a short length of heat tape:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B002YFAHAW/ref=twister_B0048BPXDG?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

and then some pipe insulation:

http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-3-4-in-x-6-ft-Foam-Pipe-Insulation-ORP07812/204760801

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