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I left a hose attached to my spigot during the first freeze. Nothing happened at the time, but just a few days ago someone went to use the spigot and the water didn't come out - well it did, but it came out inside my basement rather than from the spigot. Closing the valved stopped the flooding.

From what I can tell, I'm guessing that I have either an anti-siphon valve or an anti-freeze valve and a break occurred somewhere along the foot or so of pipe between the spigot and the actual valve since the valve being closed was able to stop the water that was coming into my basement through the basement ceiling.

I've looked at a number of how to's for these types of spigots, and they all seem to indicate that you should replace the whole unit by going into the house to access the attachment point a foot or so back from the actual spigot. The problem in my case is that there is absolutely no access. I think that whoever finished the basement didn't provide access and covered it with drywall.

So, my question is: is there any way to replace this without having access to the actual connection point a foot behind the outdoor wall, or am I looking at cutting out the drywall to gain access (and replacing with an access panel unlike the other person that walled it off)?

  • Don't leave the hose connected to the spigot during the winter. – JACK Dec 31 '19 at 2:12
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You'll have to cut the drywall. Honestly if I were building the house I wouldn't do something special for this either. I'd just drywall overtop and if there is a problem the guy replacing it can add an access panel if he wants. It isn't any easier to do it at build stage than repair stage and you delay the additional cost for how ever many years it takes before it breaks. Also chances are if it breaks and floods like this the drywall above around it will be damaged by the water so even if you did access panel it you'd still be looking at drywall repairs. This sounds like a finished basement so I don't even see a significant advantage to an access panel given how often these things have to be replaced.

I do prefer to do a yard butler instead of house mounted hose bibs though as you can place them anywhere without trip hazards and they should be easier to replace and if they fail they don't damage your house.

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  • Rather than taking the easy way out and expecting it to fail, why not build to minimize failure? Replace any damaged drywall. While you're in there, change the spigot, caulk around the new one, & cut a small (1 - 2") hole in a duct to blow warm air around the pipe. As the heat ends up in finished space anyway, it's not a great loss of efficiency. Add an access hatch and box in behind it with wood or cement board to contain any possible leaks to that little area. Disconnect & drain your hoses & spigots before cold weather. – Eric Simpson Dec 31 '19 at 21:16
  • I used to think that way. Going crazy on little things like this ads up in both labor, materials and planning. Offsetting costs especially where the costs may never be realized is better for everyone. Add interest to the additional costs over the time frame before you have to realize the cost typically results in the repair being orders of magnitude cheaper. Cutting a small amount of drywall, mudding, taping, and painting a small area just isn't that big of a deal for something that likely won't happen again. But I like design to prevent failure - use a yard butler, scrap the hose bib. – Fresh Codemonger Jan 1 at 0:57
  • I understand the contractor wanting the fast and easy way to finish the job. The homeowner making the repair after it freezes may choose to do more prevention, given that it's happened at least once. Can you explain what you mean by "yard butler" and how it applies here? I found free standing hose hangers, hose reel carts, and lawn aerators by that name. The hose hangers and carts still need a garden hose run to them from a supply bib somewhere. How would they help prevent a hose bib on the house from freezing or facilitate its repair? – Eric Simpson Jan 1 at 19:57
  • watts.com/products/plumbing-flow-control-solutions/…. Yard hydrant - hooks up underground. No water pipes in exterior wall of house. – Fresh Codemonger Jan 2 at 6:03
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You might be able to turn off the water behind the faucet, put a wrench on it, and unscrew it if it wasn't soldered on. You also might break the pipe further inside the house, depending on how securely it is attached.

If you can get the faucet off,then you can put a new faucet on the threads and, again with luck, you might even be able to get a leak free connection. I'm deeply skeptical though.

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