I'm installing a frost free silcock which will be pretty much at grade (I might even have to dig a little under it for the hose attachment!). I pretty much expect this to be covered in snow all winter, but don't really think that will be an issue, but I'm looking for feedback. I live in Yukon, Canada FYI.

I will of course disconnect the hose and make sure the silcock is drained. I'm debating in if winter I will bother draining the pipes as the silcock is 18" and my pipes will likely have insulation/heat tape and I have a heater in my crawl-space (overkill, but it gets -40 where I live sometimes, but not usually for more then a few days!).

  • If it's covered in snow and can avoid the wind chill then I think you will be fine. I've seen frost-free sillcocks fail even with the hose disconnected. MY theory is that the valve mechanism had some trapped water and enough windchill got inside to freeze it. I will be installing a frost-free silicock soon and I will install a ball valve with drain at the start of the line so that I can leave the silicock open and drain as much water from the line as I can. – MonkeyZeus Nov 4 '19 at 15:26
  • MonkeyZeus, your first question doesn't make much sense. Wind chill has no effect on inanimate things. It isn't something that can "get inside" anything. No object can ever get below the ambient air temperature. – isherwood Nov 4 '19 at 18:03
  • @isherwood... you may want to confirm your statement..... – FreeSoftwareServers Nov 4 '19 at 19:20
  • I don't. I live in Minnesota and have a degree in aviation (which is heavy in both meteorology and physics). Wind chill refers only to rate of change (which is nearly meaningless in our discussion) or perceived temperature (skin feel), not actual resulting temperature. MonkeyZeus seems to have a fundamental misunderstanding of these things. – isherwood Nov 4 '19 at 19:21
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    @isherwood I'm fairly certain MonkeyZeus meant that snow = insulation from wind = less chance of freezing/wind getting in the air-gap. But maybe I'm just talking semantics and not logic. – FreeSoftwareServers Nov 5 '19 at 1:14

The frost free or freeze proof part keeps it from freezing outside the house envelope. If the pipes in the crawl space get below freezing for a few days they could freeze but I would not be worried about the Silcock as snow actually acts like insulation. Ever heard about people sleeping in snow caves? I have done it at -20 and been quite warm. It sounds like you have the crawl space well insulated and heated so I would not be two concerned about the Silcock freezing at all.

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  • Yeah all this is probably overkill, it's actually in my land agreement though and I think future buyers will like to see it. Didn't cost much. I have a like 6Ft 240V Baseboard heater in my crawl space, so it's no issue as long as I have power. – FreeSoftwareServers Nov 5 '19 at 1:23

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