It is spring time, and the manifold I used last year is, once again, irreparably broken. Judging by feedback on Amazon, none of them survive winter -- even if drained dry before the first frost.

I'm thinking of building my own -- using a manifold (such as this) and valves like this.

I'll connect it to my exterior faucet with a flexible hose like this one.


  1. Is such a thing any likelier to survive the next winter, than the much cheaper (made in China) offerings I've been using so far?
  2. Will I be as satisfied with it during the very first summer -- or will the 1/2" width of the manifold's ports perceptibly limit the water-pressure in the attached hoses?
  • I know, why it broke, @Harper-ReinstateMonica -- but what to do about it? Given absence of anything other than "cheap Chinese junk" anywhere, one's only alternative becomes a DIY. Hence, this question. – Mikhail T. May 9 at 20:15
  • What size ports are /were on the old manifold ? – JACK May 9 at 20:16
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    Frozen water can bust well made stuff as easy as cheap stuff. How are they busted? Are they split or just fall apart in your hand? The reason they break will lead to better answer. – crip659 May 9 at 20:50
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    @crip659, could you elaborate -- why is air-compression drying useful? My understanding is, a pipe full of water can burst in winter, because ice has greater volume than liquid. But what's the danger of a few left-over drops freezing solid? Thank you! – Mikhail T. May 10 at 14:22
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    The way this question is worded is entirely opinion based - "is it likely...", "Will I be satisfied...". A complete revamp to say, "Here are my requirements, and here is my design, will my design meet my requirements" is much more answerable. As it stands, VtC for opinion based... – FreeMan May 10 at 14:42

I built my own manifold using tees, nipples and ball valves. My supply to my manifold is 1” and all my valves are 3/4” I have several of these at my farm, my setup is fed from the top valve and the bottom valve can fill a 5-7 gallon bucket, if the weather is going to be really cold I will close off the top valve and open the bottom valve and drain the manifold the other valves are opened so they drain.

The reason I used ball valves is even when they freeze they will usually function when warmed up. I have some that were not drained and the brass cracked but the only time it leaks is when changing from on to off or on to off.

Standard valves or gate valves have always cracked and leaked more than the ball valves when it freezes or that has been my experience

The size of the manifold probably won’t be an issue because of the pipe size feeding the manifold in my case I can run a pair of rain birds to water the indoor arena at the same time and have enough pressure, but if the kids start washing a horse down in the shower stall there is insufficient pressure for the rain birds to overlap. But the automatic waterers in each stall always function and don’t use enough to affect any thing. You may have similar results depending on your flows through the manifold.

  • Is not the internal diameter of all these valves 1/2" anyway, though? – Mikhail T. May 11 at 15:32
  • Some valves are smaller but the ones I use are a full 3/4” hose bibs are usually smaller than 1/2” ball valves. – Ed Beal May 11 at 15:54
  • I was planning to use these... – Mikhail T. May 11 at 16:02

. . . will the 1/2" width of the manifold's ports perceptibly limit the water-pressure in the attached hoses?

The size of the opening has no effect on the water pressure, but it WILL affect the flow rate. That is, a 3/4-inch-diameter opening will allow more water to flow than will a 1/2-inch-diameter opening. You can experiment by attaching a 1/2-inch-diameter hose to an existing spigot and see if you're satisified with the water flow.

  • Thanks, I can test, I guess. I'm just wondering, why no one is offering manifolds with 3/4" ports... – Mikhail T. May 10 at 0:00
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    « The size of the opening has not effect on pressure » wrong - a change in diameter causes a pressure drop or loss. And calibrated orifices are used based on this loss. – Solar Mike May 10 at 6:42
  • Mikhail the reason I build my own manifolds other than the store bought is those are usually cheep and because most homes have 3/4 plumbing or less to the hose bibs the manifolds use smaller components. Some of the manifolds I have tried in the past only had 3/8 balls in the valves this limits the flow and with the flow limited it will reduce the pressure while in use. If there is no flow the pressure won’t change so the opening has everything to do with pressure when in use. – Ed Beal May 11 at 16:05

Ok, for the record -- and to brag -- here is, what I did. From this (the quad-contraption had one of the valves busted, rendering the rest useless): enter image description here

to this shiny and new -- though not yet fastened to the wall: enter image description here

The water source is still the same sillcock

The black pipe (hose?) on the right is buried one, it goes all the way to the backyard's garden (purchased the house with it). Whereas before it was connecting to the manifold using the garden threads, now it has its own push-connection.

The white pipe on the left goes up to the deck -- to feed the children's sprinklers. It also used to connect to the manifold.

Instead of the two free openings I used to have, I now have three -- and one of them has regular NP-threads instead of the "garden" ones. (I'm thinking of switching everything to the quick-connect couplers, this will be the first step.)

I wish I could make the new "manifold" from 1" -- or even 1¼" -- pipe, but nobody makes "push" reducing tees that size, that would still have a ¾" on the side :( I would've had to install reducers, and I didn't want to increase the number of connections further.

A shame, really -- you could get a ¾x¾x½ reducing tee, no problem. But no wider ones...

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