Goal: Install a new hot and cold supplied exterior faucet for garden watering and year round animal watering.

Here's the rough situation:
House Plumbing

We're on a rural property, drawing from a well, into a pressure tanks and 3 stage-filtration system. We have a handful of adorable dwarf goats in the back, and last winter we filled up buckets of hot water and walked it out to them every morning and night. Obviously that was a lot of work because we'd have to go around/through the house, so we figured this would be a good first step.

Question: Where do we split the existing water lines? I have read briefly about pressure drops when sharing pipe runs, which can apparently be addressed by adding a manifold at the source and then splitting off of that. Is this typically a concern? Should we be splitting at the place that is most convenient/shortest new pipe run, or going right back to the pressure tank/hot water heater, installing a (presently non-existent) manifold? As it stands, we have mediocre pressure, but haven't noticed a drop when the washing machine kicks on, for example.

  • 1
    Is all the pipe in the drawing the same size?
    – Tester101
    Sep 23, 2015 at 15:02
  • The pipe in the drawing is all 3/4", with 1/2" coming off for all the appliances etc. Sep 23, 2015 at 16:19
  • Generally outdoor faucets are split off the water supply before any water softeners / water treatment... since the water is often just used for landscaping etc. it doesn't need to be treated and it's just a waste of the treatment equipment. Since you probably only have one hot water heater it will not be possible to split your hot line before the water treatment, but the cold line could be.
    – Hank
    Sep 23, 2015 at 18:07
  • @HenryJackson - That's a good point. Looking at the plumbing now, it seems the existing faucet does T off after the pressure tank, but before the treatment. To that end, as you say, maybe it makes sense to run the cold right from there so that the majority of the water (cold) skips the treatment. I'll have to scope it out more! Sep 23, 2015 at 18:17
  • @HenryJackson Not only that, but water softeners, in particular can be harmful to plants: they exchange hardness (calcium and magnesium ions) with sodium ions (salt), which interferes with plant growth or can even kill them.
    – gregmac
    Sep 23, 2015 at 20:36

2 Answers 2


If all the plumbing in the image is 3/4", then I'd simply tee off as near the new faucet as practical. In the drawing, somewhere between the laundry and the kitchen.

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If you're worried about losing pressure to the other fixtures when the faucet is on, then you'll want to tee off using a 3/4" x 3/4" x 1/2" tee.

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That way you'll have 3/4" all the way to the kitchen, but the supplies to the new faucet will only be 1/2". This configuration will help maintain pressure to the kitchen, when water is being drawn from the new faucet.

You'll want to install "anti-siphon frost-proof sillcocks".

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These have a vacuum breaker built in, so water won't be pushed back into the plumbing. Without this feature, you could potentially contaminate the water supply. This is required by code in some areas.

The frost-proof feature should prevent the plumbing from freezing during the winter. The sillcock has a long stem, so the water is actually shut off way back where it connects to the plumbing, instead of right at the spigot. This means that when the valve is closed, there should be no water in the entire assembly. Basically, the water is shut off back inside the warm house, instead of outside where it's cold. NOTE: If you have a hose attached to the spigot, make sure the hose drains after each use during the winter.


It sounds like you're only going to be using the faucet for a couple minutes at a time. Pressure drop problems do exist, but this situation seems basic enough that I wouldn't worry about. Tap in wherever is easiest for you.

Try and keep your pipes as big as possible if you're worried about it, i.e. don't reduce your 1/2" pipe to 1/8" pipe! :D

Don't use a regular faucet! Use two freeze proof spigots. A regular faucet brings the water all the way to the mixer which will be outside in the freezing.

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