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Rick
Rick, Construction Supervisor
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 20081
Experience:  Licensed Master plumber with 40+ yrs. experience.
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Outdoor shower freezing ..... I ran the copper pipe from the

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Outdoor shower freezing ..... I ran the copper pipe from the washer/dryer with an inside shutoff to the outside shower pipe. Every spring the internal plastic parts of the outdoor shower are broke. I attribute this to water being trapped in the outdoor facet that freezes come winter. ( I live in the Northeast). I think I can fix this yearly problem if I drain the water from the outdoor facet.? Yes? On the inside, I have 2 (hot and cold) copper pipes going vertically down to 90 elbows that travels horizontally to a shutoff before reaching the washer. If I were to cut the elbow and install a valve to drain the water from the shower, would this fix my issue?

Rick :

Welcome, my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will do my best to help with your issue.

Rick :

If you install a drain plug at the lowest point outside then drain the water before winter this should solve the problem. You would have to open the shower valve to be sure all the water is drained out. The drain plug can also be installed inside

Customer:

hey Rick, thanks. OK, where would I cut the pipe, ie above the elbow(vertically) or below the elbow(horizontally)? And which way should the drain valves face?

Rick :

It really doen't matter which way it faces or where the drain is located as long as it's at a point in the piping that either lower than the piping outside or is at the low point

Rick :

The TEE branch facing down is a bit better but not critical

Customer:

ok, got it, so then what are your thoughts on soldering this.....I am thinking it would be better to make the cut just below the elbow, and install the facet horizontally so I can get the water out before soldering, as opposed to installing it above the elbow where I can't get the water out

Rick :

I like your thinking on this. Make your cut where the water is most likely to all drain out. This will make soldering easier and will also insure the pipes will drain out when you prepare for winter

Rick :

Also leave the shower valve open after you drain the pipes. Also best to leave the drain valves open too

Customer:

Great thanks, XXXXX XXXXX rate you now

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Rick....one more thought on this....as I am not a soder expert, would I be able to use like an icemaker line to drain each pipe? My understanding is that it is just like a clamp that punctures the copper line?

That's not a reliable way to drain the line. You could try using push lock fittings (brass would be best since these are copper lines). All you have to do to make the connection is to push the pipe into the fitting and it locks in place. The pipe just has to be cut clean with no burrs or solder residue (that would make the pipe diameter bigger). Go to Home Depot or Lowes and talk to a clerk there about your specifics and what they can offer. If they don't have brass push locks then you can try a local plumbing supply house.
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