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Plmqwk, Master Plumber
Category: Plumbing
Satisfied Customers: 920
Experience:  20+ years in plumbing field. Licensed master plumber, commercial plumbing inspector
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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?

Welcome to Just Answer. I will do my best to fully answer your question(s).


Yes that should do it once you close the supply valves and open up the outdoor faucet to release pressure the water should drain down out of the exterior piping.


HOWEVER, if you have any piping that goes to the exterior faucet that creates a trap then that water will not drain out completely. A trap is created when water supply piping rises vertically, turns horizontally, then turns vertically DOWNWARDS before heading in a horizontal direction, once again. If you have this situation with your piping in the wall supplying the faucet then you need to remove that as well. This arrangement is common practice when piping needs to get around an obstacle in a wall and cannot be plumbed in any other matter.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK, a little the fall I do shutoff the inside hot and cold pipes to the outside shower, then open the outdoor shower valve. This does not seem to work as the plastic internal facet parts located outside are split come the spring. I think I need to get the water out of this outside facet?

I am confirming that the solution you suggest (installing drain valves at the elbows in the basement will drain out the water) IF there is no water that can be trapped in the piping. It will only get trapped IF the situation I listed in my earlier post is present in the water supply piping rising up to the faucet.


If the piping goes only vertically up and directly into the faucet then all water will drain out just fine.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

ok, got it. I bought 2 drains, they look like a standard outside water facets. The two copper pipes comes down in an "L" like shape. Any tips/tricks in cutting the pipes and soldering? Which way should the valves face? Where should I cut the pipe? (at the elbow or just above/below?)

Face the drain so the outlet is located at the lowest point possible. Cut piping with enough room to solder coouplings in place
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

so on the "L", put the drain on the horizontal, (bottom part of the "L)? And then which way to face the drain?

Sorry about the delay, had an unexpected plumbing service call. Place the drain (outlet direction) to the lowest point possible.