I have this old spigot sticking up out of the ground. There is a newer working one that’s on the side of the house. I’d like to remove this one. I believe the pipe runs away from the slab that you can see in this picture. I kinda just want to dig it out a little bit and then cut it off annd bury it and nothing else. My thought was if dirt gets in there and there is no backflow preventer. It’s an old house and I don’t know when this was put in and so don’t know if Backflow preventer were common or even if it’s necessary. Since no water flows through it presumably it’s not connected to anything so it probably shouldn’t be a problem. Id like to just cut it off, but I don’t know?

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  • 1
    Two choices if no water flows out. One it is completely disconnected from your water pipes or there is a shut off valve inside. If connected you want to have a cap on it, just in case. Probably should have a cap on it, to prevent rain/flood water from entering your just finish basement.
    – crip659
    Apr 20 at 22:19

3 Answers 3


Steel pipe should never be run underground unless it has special protection, as it will otherwise quickly corrode and cause leaks. You should ensure the original source supplying that pipe has been disconnected permanently inside the house. There is nothing simple or reliable about working with old, rusted steel pipe, and attempting it can quickly turn into a nightmare; it should all be abandoned in favor of better modern replacements.

  • Does this depend on the soil? My last house had a hose tap in the front yard on an iron pipe that had been there since at least the 80s, so 30+ years.
    – KMJ
    Apr 22 at 3:41

If no water comes out of the tap, and you don't know of any shutoff valve, I'm thinking you could treat this as a disconnected pipe. This happens. There was one like it at my last house. Ultimately I capped it off. You have two options to do that:

  1. Since it's iron pipe, you can cut it off anywhere and thread it, then cap it off with a standard cap. You need a threading tool. If you have easy access to one, this is easy.
  2. If you don't have access to a threading tool, you can use an expanding rubber plug or JB Weld to plug the hole after you cut the pipe off.

You want to plug it because it can be a sneaky path for pests or water to come in to your building envelope, assuming it's been cut off at the other end. If you don't know, you plug it.


When the house was rewired ~5 years ago, did they also replumb it with pex? Do you have a pex manifold?

I'm pretty sure you'll find a shut off valve in basement which has a peacock for draining the exterior piping. If you can find that, then replace the valve with a cap.

Otherwise, that vertical pipe connects to a horizontal pipe. Dig down to the joint, unscrew the vertical pipe, and screw a plug in its place.

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