Do you need to install Hose bibs or sillcocks outdoor in your dwelling? What are the exterior hose bib code requirements? And what purposes and benefits do they serve us? We come up with this packed guide to clear up any confusion you may have about those questions and more.
Moreover, we will discuss and clarify all that our codes say about setting up exterior hose bibs. In particular, the obligations about the minimum number of hose bibs, their placements, water supply duress, and intentions behind these instructions.
So, stick to the end of the session.
Exterior Hose Bib Code Requirements
We all need to follow the regional building code to construct a new building or reconstruct an old one. In contrast, most of these procedural codes and ordinances for various regions has variations corresponding to varying climates and utility reserve.
However, these laws follow a similar pattern, as the municipalities adopt them from International Building Code (IBC) and International Plumbing Code (IPC). International Code Council (ICC) promulgates them as minimum standards to live sound and safe.
So, along with other requirements, they also set out rules for outdoor hose bibs. So, in the next subsections, we will have a vivid look at them.
The regional ordinances and amendments of IPC, IBC, and IRC (International Residential Code) require you to install at least two exterior sillcocks or hydrants in your house.
While the last IBC and IPC published in 2021 have not mentioned anything regarding the minimum number of exterior faucets a house needs. Nonetheless, it mentions the minimum standards of the external faucets or garden hose bibs, as we commonly call them.
So, it is always safe to assume that those later mentions implicate the necessity of installing them.
We already know that we need to install two exterior hydrants in a dwelling house. Needless to say, one of the hoses needs to be attached to the front surface of your building. The another? On the side or rear of your home, whatever is more convenient for you.
But here is a quick tip for you. Install them closer to warm appliances or the warmest place of your house. It will help you plenty during winter. As for the height of hose bibs, install them lower than your shoulder level for easy access for both your ease of access and emergencies.
The ICC procedural codes don’t include the hose bib height code within the parameter of obligations. However, it will innately deem that you install them at a regular height.
Other than number and placement requirements, hose bibs fixtures in your home accompany a few more duties. We will demonstrate them and their necessities as we proceed:
- Each of the exterior hoses should have stop corks or valves that are within reasonable height so that any adult person can reach them. And, you already know why. Plus, the code requires you to identify and disclose the valve position in times of need.
- You need to attach a vacuum breaker or “rear flow preventer” to prevent the bib water from mixing with any drinking water. There is a list of approved breakers and preventers under the building and plumbing codes. So, reckon with the list and buy a sturdy one.
This extra appendage will safeguard you from water contamination hazards, and it is inexpensive compared to its efficacy. So, consider installing it for your safety.
- The water supply channel to these hose bibbs should have a minimum supply flow of five gallons per minute, and the minimum water pressure at the hose mouth should be eight pounds per square inch.
You must have the distribution channel set according to the code so that the water can subsist, reaching difficult corners of your home and neighborhood during emergencies.
- The standard hose bib size for your home should be a half-inch supply pipe. Without it, you would have difficulty adjusting the minimum pressure and flow rate.
- You need also need to identify and mark your hose connections as a non-potable (undrinkable) water source. You can either put color marking, metal tags, or tape befitting your hose bearing the words “CAUTION, NON-POTABLE WATER: DO NOT DRINK” and a pictograph depicting the prohibition.
- The supply to the hose bib should also contain an atmospheric type or pressure-type vacuum breaker. This is more relevant, necessary, and bounding to the cold prone areas as the water might freeze and collapse the copper duct.
As plumbing is not a task you can manage overnight and climate is becoming unpredictable these days, you may want to install this safety measure even if you reside in a warm area.
Aside from the legal requirements, an exterior hose bib comes in handy in some distinct situations. The legal contraption of installing spigots thus can be a desired boon for you if you know the benefits of having one.
So, have a look at the list below and feast your eyes:
- External faucets help you water the plants in your garden and flowerbeds easily. Instead of walking around with the leaden watering can all around, Hosebibs minimizes our workload.
- You can wash your cars and vehicles effortlessly with it. You can install the frontal faucet by your garage and make it your garage hose bib.
- It will be more convenient for you to fill up your kids’ wading pool in summer.
- It lets us wash before getting in the house, helps all keep a tidy atmosphere during the pandemic.
- It helps bathe our stubborn pets that hate water.
- You can be generous and supply drinking water for wild animals and birds.
- Last but not least, it saves lives! Yes, in dreadful times like fire-outbreak, these sillcocks can be our savior. To be more precise, this is why the codes intended us to have them installed in the first place.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is hose bibb?
A hose bibb is an external faucet or hydrant that every homeowner needs to install as a safety measure to combat flame hazards mainly. It has several other uses and benefits too. Moreover, it’s a legal obligation for many states to have a minimum number of hose bibbs installed on their exterior.
Where should hose bibs be placed?
You have to install one of the hose bibs in front of the house and another at rear or side of the house, whatever your regional code depicts. And in the absence of specific instructions for the second one, wherever it is more convenient to you. Placing them near the warm appliances or corners of your house will appease your winter maintenance.
How many exterior hose bibs are required?
The latest IBC or IPC does not limit the lowest number of hose bibs required. However, the regional codes embody the regulations, and according to them, you should have at least two exterior hose bibs installed at the exterior. As this is a practiced manner for constructing a building, so it is also binding to a court of law.
However dull your procedural building codes and plumbing codes might seem, enforcement authorities mainly intend the exterior hose bib code requirements for your healthy and safe living.
We are glad that you did not underestimate your responsibility as a good citizen and came to clarify your queries.
And, from our part, we tried to explain the codes and ordinances dealing with exterior hose bibs along with the fringe benefits of obeying them.
Still, if you have any doubts, we will be happy to know about it. Thank you for staying with us.
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