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I'd like to replace my old outdoor hose bibb (because it's really difficult to turn on) with a new hose bibb and PEX.

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Ground Wire 1

On the other side of the hose bibb is copper pipe and a clamped ground wire from the electrical panel in the basement.

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The ground wire then exits the exterior wall, through the concrete driveway, and into the ground.

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Ground Wire 2

There's a second ground wire comes from the same electrical panel in the basement, runs through the garage, and is clamped onto the main water supply copper pipe.

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The water supply enters the garage immediately below this ground wire at the bottom of the concrete wall, which is underground.

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Question

I will probably need to remove the section of copper pipe that Ground Wire 1 is clamped to in order to replace the hose bibb using PEX.

Any ideas on how to maintain the Ground Wire 1 connection to the plumbing system?

Thanks in advance.

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  • 1
    +1 for an excellent post with plenty of clear photos!
    – Matthew
    Aug 21 at 16:53
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    With ground connections at the panel, main water supply, and into the ground, the question of why it is also clamped to the pipe near the hose bib is an interesting one, hopefully you get an answer to that. But why do you want to replace that pipe with PEX? It looks to be in good condition. The hose bib doesn't look so bad either. You could just screw on a quick connect adapter. I have never seen a hose bib with built-in quick connect and I wouldn't buy one. They are a bit flaky, and sometimes you want to remove the QC and connect something that doesn't have it.
    – jay613
    Aug 21 at 17:21
  • @jay613 thanks for your reply. The old hose bibb is really difficult to turn on. I thought PEX would be easier to install since its flexible. I added a link to the hose bibb I'm looking at, and I could just push the PEX into the hose bibb to connect the two. It would still have the male thread adapter for the hose, which I'm fine with. My primary concern is the grounding, and whether or not I need to clamp both ground wires to the water supply copper pipes. I edited the beginning of the question to add this info. Thanks again.
    – Ryan
    Aug 21 at 18:37
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    Think the clamp on ground wire #1 is extra, unless there is an electrical break(plastic pipe between) of pipe from ground #1 and ground #2. Ground wire #1 should NOT be cut/broken(clamp can be undone).
    – crip659
    Aug 21 at 20:00
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I bought one of the same quarter turn Sharkbite hose bibs in a similar situation and I'm happy with it. I also used PEX to replace the last few feet of copper because it's so much easier.

Note that your current one is supported by the pipe not the wall, and your pipe is slightly supported by the surrounding studs so the whole things works, perhaps not very well but it works. If you replace the last few feet of pipe with PEX you'll have to firmly attach the new hose bib to the wall and that'll be very difficult. You should consider putting a piece of composite board behind it (maybe a 3/4 in thick 4 inch circle), that you can firmly attach to the wall with four screws and anchors, not too close to the pipe hole.

Cut the copper inside the house a foot or two from where that elbow is, attach the remaining copper pipe to the nearest stud or joist for support, use another sharkbite to connect the PEX to it. You'll probably need a PEX 90 degree bend support to navigate between the stud and the outside wall without having to create another joint.
enter image description here.

I still don't know what the ground clamp there is for, but whatever it is, just clamp it back to the copper where it ends. It'll do just as good a job there at whatever it does while you figure that out.

If you're in a freezing location, the piece you use to connect the copper to the PEX can be a valve with an integrated drain like this enter image description here

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  • Thank you jay! I purchased that exact Sharkbite connector and some 90 degree EvoPEX connectors. I also purchased Tapcon 3/16” diameter screw anchors, a rotary hammer, and was planning on drilling the anchors through the new hose bibb into the mortar. I’m not sure I can add a composite board because there’s nothing to screw it in to. There’s just half inch foil-lined rigid foam board glued to the brick. The only thing I have to secure a composite board to are the studs. Do you think the Tapcons into the mortar would be OK to secure the new hose bibb? Or is there a better mounting approach? Thx!
    – Ryan
    Aug 21 at 20:15
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    Hey Jay - sorry, I thought you meant to put the composite board on the interior side of the brick wall, and now I realize you meant the exterior side. That is a much better idea than drilling the new hose bibb directly into the mortar. I’ll go your composite board route - thank you!
    – Ryan
    Aug 21 at 20:29

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