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Old 12-16-2009, 06:32 PM   #1
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Default Immersion chillers and frozen outside faucets

I'm brewing a 10 gallon batch this weekend. First time brewing this year in which it will be (and has been) really cold. My outside faucet has the hose disconnected, so it should be fine. But I'm wondering if I could hurt anything by connecting my immersion chiller and using it to chill my wort in the middle of winter. Can the faucet be damaged by the cold or ice?

I always thought that the danger of breaking it was if the hose was connected, and water froze in the faucet it might not have enough room to expand and could rupture. Is there still this risk if I don't leave anything connected to the faucet when not in use?

Brian


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Old 12-16-2009, 06:42 PM   #2
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Your faucet should be fine as long as you disconnect the hose and shut off the outside faucet when you are done. Do you have a shut off that is inside the house? Normally there is a ball valve just before the outside faucet. That way you can shut that off, and then open your outside faucet to relieve any pressure that might build from the water freezing inside of it.


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Old 12-16-2009, 06:48 PM   #3
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I wondered the same thing but I think that as long as the pipes inside the house are warm then you should be ok. I have to chill outside as well and used the outside water faucet and hose. I did it a few weeks ago and it was in the 30's here in Denver. I disconnected the hose when I was finished and no problems. water coming out of the hose is moving too fast to freeze. I do not think hose spigots are like sprinkler systems in that they retain water. I could be wrong but so far so good
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:52 PM   #4
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We don't have an internal shutoff. I'm wondering how these faucets work, because the valve shutoff can't be right under the dial where I turn the water on and off, because that is outside, and the water right behind it would freeze for sure. Maybe I should research how the faucets actually work. My best guess is that the dial on the outside closes a valve somewhere further up the pipe (like a foot or so inside). But that is a total guess.
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Old 12-16-2009, 06:55 PM   #5
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You will either have a ball valve inside your house like black95tt said, or you will have a frost-free spigot. It's one or the other. You should be fine with the frost-free, but if you have the ball valve, it should be shut off every winter. You leave the outside faucet open and that allows the water to drain out. You want to make sure you do this so you don't damage your pipes. Frost-free requires no maintenance.

Long story short, you will be fine.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:01 PM   #6
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I've looked for ball valves before, after my father told me that his old (early 1900's) house employs this method. I could never find any though. So I assume I have Frost Free spigots . Is there any way to tell for sure, like label or something? I'll look for ball valves again before brewing just to make sure I've got this right.

For those that don't know, Frost Free spigots close 8-15" further up the line, and are supposed to be installed in a sloped manner so the residual water will drain out of the faucet after closing the valve. Or so Google tells me.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:11 PM   #7
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This past weekend I bought a garden hose to sink adapter and ran my chiller water hose inside to my kitchen sink. I'll use that this winter if I brew anymore. It was very nice cause I then also had Hot water for cleaning. Made me plan on running hot and cold water lines to the garage this spring.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:14 PM   #8
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I'd love to be able to do that for piece of mind. But our home's previous owners installed nice faucets on all our sinks that can't connect easily to hoses. Great idea for the hot water for clean up though.
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Old 12-16-2009, 07:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bdnoona View Post
I've looked for ball valves before, after my father told me that his old (early 1900's) house employs this method. I could never find any though. So I assume I have Frost Free spigots . Is there any way to tell for sure, like label or something? I'll look for ball valves again before brewing just to make sure I've got this right.

For those that don't know, Frost Free spigots close 8-15" further up the line, and are supposed to be installed in a sloped manner so the residual water will drain out of the faucet after closing the valve. Or so Google tells me.
Frost free spigots have a plastic cap on the top of it. Underneath that cap is an anti-syphon mechanism that releases the pressure in the line to allow the water to flow back into the house. At least the spigots on my house are of this design...hope this helps.
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Old 12-17-2009, 12:39 AM   #10
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If you have a washing machine then you have a garden hose connection inside already.


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