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Insulated outside tap?

Discussion in 'Valves & Taps' started by Drip, Mar 18, 2019.

Discuss Insulated outside tap? in the Valves & Taps area at

  1. Drip

    Drip New Member

    Insulation on outside taps can be a pain. Insulation gets dirty and often falls apart after a bit of time. My current insulating cover wont fit on with the hose connector so I need to screw/unscrew the hose fitting every time I use it in the winter.

    Are there any tap/insulation combinations that work well? I've seen one from arrow taps called 'Tap in a Box' which looks ideal but it is very expensive. Does anybody know whether these taps are good? They recommend to drain the water out of the tap in freezing conditions but I suspect this probably wouldn't normally be necessary on the side of a heated house in the UK.
  2. scott_d

    scott_d Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Isolate and drain for winter
    • Agree Agree x 6
    • Like Like x 1
  3. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber Top Contributor!!

    It's not cheap for a reason i.e. it's half decent. Unlike the cheap stuff installed previously.
    ALWAYS drain in winter. Frankky to not do so is simply stupidity.
  4. Last Plumber

    Last Plumber Trusted Plumber GSR

    If it's below zero for the right length of time it will freeze regardless of insulation. As the others have said, the only certainty is to turn it off and drain it.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. Drip

    Drip New Member

    I wonder how many people (people who aren't plumbers) actually isolate and drain their outside taps? I suspect it's less than 1% of people. I have never isolated and drained an outside tap in more than 10 years and never had a problem. The walls of a heated house are always a bit warmer. My isolation valves are currently hard to get to (one is behind the washing machine) so I'll probably move those any way and start draining taps in the winter.
  6. YorkshireDave

    YorkshireDave Plumber Top Contributor!!

    FYI. It's people who will not listen who keep our families fed. You'll find it's an awful lot more than 1% - long may that stupidity continue.

    I regularly found pipework INSIDE frozen too. In my experience, it was nearly always pipework which ran on an outside wall and behind kitchen units.
    • Like Like x 5
    • Funny Funny x 1
  7. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    When it dropped to -14 in west lancs where we are in 2014 it was often the outside tap and associated pipes running in thro wall that froze up other inside stuff...often behind kitchen carcass where no heat gets that
    caused the trouble. So yes drain down. But it needs to be effective and then turn the turned off taps on to realease any pressure. We have holiday lets which are closed Oct to Feb and always adopt this policy.Drain cylinders, tanks, flush bog and drop sponge in pan soak up water and throw sponge away and leave all taps open . If I have any spare R100 drop it in the sink bath and basin traps, that goes down to minus very silly .
    Rob Foster aka centralheatking
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  8. BYP


    Last year I was called out to a couple as their outside tap pipe kept bursting, she told me that they must of had 3 or 4 plumbers out and it would still burst even though it was heavily lagged. The tap was on an outside wall fed up from the ground with a stop tap below before it converted to copper. Replaced the pipe and fitted a drain off, so it could be drained in winter. In a lot of cases all you will need to do it turn the supply off to the tap inside and then turn on the outside tap to remove any water left in the pipe.
    • Like Like x 3
  9. Rob Foster

    Rob Foster Top Contributor!!

    And leave it open chking
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Svenedin

    Svenedin Member

    I always isolate and drain down in Winter. Modern outside taps with internal check valves are easily ruined if they freeze even if the pipework doesn’t burst (I found this out by not draining in Winter one year). The symptom is in Spring the tap doesn’t work at all, no water flow.
  11. Plumb

    Plumb New Member

    In the US they use freeze proof taps (faucets) which stops the water flow inside the house. Here's a youtube clip:
    Googling "freeze proof faucet" gives info. Of course a double check valve would be needed inside the house.
  12. Ben-gee

    Ben-gee Plumber Top Contributor!!

    Just isolate and then leave the tap open if you have no facility to drain, often there is not. As the tap is open - if it freezes the water can expand out of the open tap and will not burst the pipe, sometimes it makes a pretty icicle.
  13. Drip

    Drip New Member

    I've installed the tap. I decided to get a normal tap with a built in double check valve. On the inside (under the kitchen sink) I have a ball valve (with a large arm so I don't need a screw driver to operate it) and a drain off. I'll be draining off during the winter and I've made it as easy as possible.
  14. Riley

    Riley S. Mod Trusted Plumber GSR Top Contributor!!

    Should only really fit dc taps if it’s replacing an existing one
  15. Drip

    Drip New Member

    What's the reason? Are there some issues with them?
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