I've never installed any plumbing before, but I'm going to try to install an outside faucet/sillcock because it seems fairly simple. The only interesting part is that the pex tubing will be run under a crawl space that gets extremely cold in the winter months.

I'm going to use a shut-off valve that can be drained, but I'm not sure the best way to pitch the pex tubing across such a long distance. I was going to use simple talon clamps.

Do I really even need to worry too much about the pitch?

2 Answers 2


yes you do. even if you drain it, its going to get water lying in low spots. that will rupture the line if it freezes. just make sure you slope it 1" in 4 ft to where you are going to drain it. that way it will have no water in it come freeze up. you can just mount it with stood off pex clamps

  • 5
    one of the main advantages of pex is does not burst when it freezes. It will expand when frozen and the shrink to its original state when thawed. But you should try to avoid it freezing and not assume it will do this indefinitely.
    – Alaska Man
    Jul 30, 2016 at 17:08
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    #alaskaman. incorrect. we see pex lines ruptured commonly here. fittings blow all the time in the cold additionally. it is ontario, but judging by your username, i am surprised you dont there. maybe a different standard for your tubing compared to ours? Jul 31, 2016 at 18:21
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    Yes, our contractor installed a pex line in a closed in area underneath an addition held up by ground screws. It lasted one Ottawa winter and flooded the basement in spring.
    – kevinskio
    Aug 29, 2016 at 20:07
  • i should have said it is less prone to bursting do to freezing. i found this on the pex website under Advantages of PEX Plumbing: "PEX is much more resistant to freeze-breakage than copper or rigid plastic pipe" I have read of instances where pex did freeze, expand and then return to its original shape after thawing without bursting. copper will split when frozen whereas pex can survive freezing.
    – Alaska Man
    Sep 29, 2016 at 2:12
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    even if the PEX itself does not rupture, the pressure spike due to freezing is not at all good for fittings.
    – aaron
    Mar 8, 2017 at 12:20

If the line is properly winterized, by shutting off the unexposed control valve and leaving the exposed faucet open, you likely don't have to worry about the pitch.

As any water left in the line begins to freeze, it will expand further down the line, in the direction of least resistance. Even if the line were still completely full (not likely), the open faucet will provide enough space for expansion that the line will probably be fine.

Ideally, extra water is blown out with a compressor, but this isn't always an option. Simply draining the lines and leaving them open is usually enough. I've done this not only with outside faucets, but inside faucets if the building will be unoccupied and the heat left off during the cold months. Many water lines are run in the floor or under a slab, so obviously can't pitch down to the faucets they serve. Yet, opening the lines lets out enough water and relieves enough pressure to keep them from bursting.


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