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The big picture. I'm looking to install an outdoor hose bibb in my driveway. At present, the way I get water to this location is by running a 50 ft length of hose from an outdoor hose bibb in the corner of my backyard down to my driveway. To reach the driveway the hose runs along the surface of my yard, then downhill next to a run of concrete steps, and finally across a perpendicular run of concrete steps where the remaining length of hose sits coiled in a corner of the asphalt. What I'm looking to do is to bury a water line under the yard and through the concrete steps. I will then install a second hose bibb in the driveway for connecting to this line.

Obstacle 1: backyard patio. At present there is a grass lawn in my back yard but I intend to replace it with a dry-laid flagstone patio. The will involve replacing several inches of sod and topsoil with packed crushed stone and my intent is to install the water line in or below the gravel bed.

Buried pipe or buried hose? The simplest option I've seen is to direct bury a 25 ft length of garden hose. This article claims that I can bury a somewhat expensive Lifetime Hose and not even bother winterizing it. Has anyone had experience with this approach? (I live in Northern Virginia. The ground freezes. Not too deep but deeper than I care to bury a water line for this project.) Assuming this hose can withstand freezing water will it put up with burial in crushed stone? Or should I plan to bury it in a dirt channel just below the level I excavate to put in the gravel?

A more conventional approach is to install copper pipe above ground and PEX or PVC under ground. I would install a tee to facilitate blowing out the line in the fall. Any comment on the best materials and connectors to use?

Obstacle 2: concrete steps. Drilling through the concrete steps sounds like a real PITA. But I have a hack that might work. On the backyard side of the steps there is a gutter downspout connected to a 4" PVC sewer pipe. This pipe has been embedded in the concrete steps and emerges on the other side (and a few feet lower) so that rainwater collected by this gutter flows out onto the driveway (and leaves a nice ice patch certain winter mornings). My idea is to fish a 3/4" garden hose (or PEX tubing) along the existing PVC pipe. The hose needs to go through the pipe near the downspout to connect up to the buried line.

How best to connect through the 4" PVC pipe? I think what I need here is a right angle bulkhead union fitting so I can connect a flexible hose/tube inside the PVC pipe to another hose/tube outside the pipe. Is this easy to find with PEX or garden hose connectors? Would you recommend an alternative approach?

Plan view showing path from the existing hose bibb to new hose bibb plan view

Elevation view showing the embedded PVC drain pipe elevation view

Mockup of transition through embedded PVC drain pipe

drain pipe with hose

  • Rats and mice can detect that a flexible hose has water inside it, and can and will chew through it to get to the water. The City of Dallas used plastic lines to irrigate the median of US 75 (aka Central Expressway) and it was reported that rats chewing made it unusable. I have to wonder if the current ongoing shift from copper to PEX will lead to failures due to rodents chewing holes. Rats have been known to chew holes in the flexible black supply lines to a clothes washer. – Jim Stewart Mar 17 '18 at 10:27
  • would it be feasible to divert the downspout water out into the yard? (You dont like it dumping in the driveway anyway). Completely re-purposing the 4 inch line would simplify things i suspect. – agentp Mar 18 '18 at 19:14
  • @agentp, that's an interesting idea. There's not much by way of yard there, it's right by the stairs and therefore elevated a few feet above the driveway level. So the water wants to go down. I might be able to build up that area into a sort of rain garden and essentially try to send it under the driveway. Let's say I pulled that off. Then I need to seal up both ends of the existing pile and tap into them for this new purpose. Might work. – Stanwood Mar 18 '18 at 19:33

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