Why This Hose Bib Shut-Off Valve Replacement Is Incorrect

Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Why this hose bib shut-off valve replacement is incorrect.

Apparently the old hose bib shut-off valve in this house broke and needed replacement.

It's always best to have a professional do such work, or, if one is capable of doing one's own work, at least know what products to use. 

Do you know why this replacement is improper?

The previous valve is one the bottom.  The handle had broken off, likely long ago.

A new lever valve, with the red handle, is on top, and was used to replace the broken valve.  You can see it is in the "off "position. 

Perpendicular is off, parallel is on.

It could be this valve was turned off for the winter and never turned back on.  In this area it is wise to winterize the hose bib to prevent breakage during freezing. 

But even if the red lever valve was turned off the hose bib had not been properly winterized.


See the small button inside the red circle?

That is the bleeder valve.

To winterize the hose bib the water must be turned off indoors.  Then the hose bib valve can be opened outdoors.  The last step is to break the vacuum inside the tubing, which happens when the bleeder valve is opened, or removed.

When opened that valve breaks the vacuum and bleeds off any air left in the pipe.  That allows any water left in the tubing to drain out.  If there is no water inside the pipe when freezing occurs the pipe will not swell and break.

However, the red valve you see in the photo has no bleeder valve, and as such the water inside the pipe cannot be released and proper winterization cannot take place.  The valve you see was installed properly, but it is not the right valve to use for this application.

My recommendation:  proper maintenance requires knowledge, and the right materials.  Professionals know what the right materials are, and have the ability to install them.  Effective home maintenance is only proper when regular and when the right fixtures and materials are in place.


Coming soon:  Jay's Fall and Winter Maintence List.  Be ready for winter!



Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560


Comments (15)

Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thanks for sharing your experience and your advice.

Sep 07, 2017 03:43 AM
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667, kat@thehousekat.com, Broker/REALTOR® - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

As always, I learn something from your posts! I wonder if a professional did that, but it was a professional who didn't know what they were doing!

Sep 07, 2017 03:52 AM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

Been there and done that...we have decided that winterized and hose bibs don't belong in the same sentence....and our insurance company might have the same thought...what a mess !

Sep 07, 2017 03:59 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning Jay. Being a good plumber requires using the right valve! Enjoy your day!

Sep 07, 2017 04:17 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

Great information. We winterize pipes a lot and it's not uncommon to see things screwed up by someone trying to save a buck.

Sep 07, 2017 04:37 AM
Sham Reddy CRS
H E R Realty, Dayton, OH - Dayton, OH

Perpendicular is off, parallel is on.

Its as simple as righty tighty, lefty losey

Sep 07, 2017 05:08 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

In Oklahoma City but even more in Florida, I see people hire the cheapest way out and that usually means an unlicensed person doing the work.

Sep 07, 2017 06:05 AM
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Looks like a Do it yourself project.  It may work but it is not proper.

Sep 07, 2017 06:13 AM
Fred Hernden, CMI
Superior Home Inspections - Greater Albuquerque Area - Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque area Master Inspector

No doubt, using a ball valve in that application is incorrect!

Sep 07, 2017 07:51 AM
Stephen Weakley
Nationwide Mortgage Services - Rockville, MD

I shut off the valve and opened the bleeder screw and it won't stop draining!  How far away is that hose bib?

Sep 07, 2017 01:03 PM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Roy.

Kat - my thoughts would be no to the first clause and possibly to the second!  Some of the "professionals" we are seeing these days are  nothing but.

S&D - if you are talking about the frost-free bibs similar to the one on the right I don't trust them either.  I have seen them pop around here, and I have heard it gets colder where you are!

Wayne - common sense does not always rule in home repairs.


Sep 08, 2017 02:46 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Nathan - if you think a professional is expensive, wait til you hire an amateur.

Thanks for my comment, Sham.

Joe - see comment to Nathan above!  I see it all the time too, and so often it's a mess.

It worked, William, because I tested it, but you are right on.

Sep 08, 2017 02:49 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Fred - there are right valves and wrong valves.  I have seen builders using lever valves more and more on new construction so they are becoming more prevalent.  Also, I bet, if you go to the hardware store, IF, a big IF, you find someone to offer advice they will say the lever valves are the most reliable.

Stephen - I have to hold a glass under one of mine too!  My run is about 20' horizontal and then 5' down to the bib!

Sep 08, 2017 02:51 AM
Dave Halpern
Dave Halpern Real Estate Agent, Inc., Louisville, KY (502) 664-7827 - Louisville, KY
Louisville Short Sale Expert

I would have never noticed it. Always hire a licensed contractor when needed

Nov 12, 2017 01:36 AM
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Thanks Dave.  Glad you found the post.  It's never too late to get good information!

Nov 12, 2017 04:23 AM