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Matt Risinger Rookie Builder Mistakes

rockies63 | Posted in General Questions on

This is an excellent video focusing on the common mistakes Matt sees builders make with regard to wall penetrations and his recommended products that do a much better job.

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  1. rockies63 | | #1

    In this video from NS Builders they installed a piece of PVC pipe in the exterior wall before they installed the hose bib so that the bib can be more easily removed and replaced in the future (They caulk the pipe to the sheathing and the bib to the pipe) Minute 3:30

    They also do something similar for electrical penetrations through the wall (minute 5:05).

    1. Expert Member
      DCcontrarian | | #2

      The PVC pipe is a nice touch.

      What I like to do is use a hose bib with a PEX crimp fitting. That way the shaft of the hose bib is the biggest part of the assembly, it's bigger than the PEX tubing even with the crimp ring on. I put about 6" of PEX on, and then a SharkBite* to connect to the copper plumbing. That way when it's time to replace the hose bib all you have to do is use a SharkBite removal tool to disconnect it. If the replacement hose bib isn't exactly the same length -- and they never are -- it isn't a big deal to adjust the length of the piece of PEX.

      *(If the location works I'll put a SharkBite shutoff valve right there and it does double duty as the shutoff and a quick release when it's time for replacement. )

    2. Expert Member
      BILL WICHERS | | #3

      I would oversize the PVC pipe a bit, then fill it with canned foam. If you need to replace the hose bib down the road, it's easy enough to crack it out of the canned foam, ream enough out to fit the new one, then inject some more canned foam to reseal everything. That seems easier to me than caulking.

      My preference for these things has always been to use a threaded fitting with a union right next to it. That way, you can just replace the hose bib by loosening the union, and unscrewing the threaded fitting. You can reuse the threaded fitting and the union when installed the new hose bib.

      BTW, I don't like the new style unions the box stores have that have copper on both sides and a brass nut. The older ones made from all brass were better, because they had machined surfaces that were much less prone to leaking. You can still get the good unions, you just have to either order them or go to a mechanical supply house.


      1. Expert Member
        DCcontrarian | | #4

        SharkBites are the 21st century version of unions.

        1. mikesmcp | | #5

          For what its worth, I just installed (4) 3/4" unions that I bought from Webb, about $24 each thinking they would be the best bet. All 4 gave me trouble leaking. After lubricating the threads and applying more force than I ever have had to, 3 stopped and I still have a slow drip in one. I am starting to think my soldering skills I learned 30 years ago are obsolete. Probably everything about me is obsolete. Maybe I will look into these shark bite things.

        2. Expert Member
          MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #6


          I like your idea of combining the connection and shut-off in one for easy replacement. Good timing, as that's what I'm supposed to be doing in the next week or so. Shark-bites are great, but still can't bring myself to bury them in walls. I'll probably get over it in time, but they would be the only coupling that relies on gaskets that aren't exposed on the pressurized plumbing.

          1. Expert Member
            DCcontrarian | | #7

            Yeah, I would only do this in an exposed location. Since the shutoff needs to be exposed anyway it can be a good opportunity, although sometimes the shutoff goes far away or even on a different floor.

            The SharkBite also makes the initial install easier, it can be a pain to get the length of the pipe right if you're trying to meet existing plumbing and working on a stepladder under the rim joist. With the PEX pigtail you can cut it long, put it all together and measure how much the faucet sticks out. Then take it apart, cut the PEX by that amount and put it all back together again.

  2. jberks | | #8

    Usually I'm burying the pipe in the wall that's not accessible from the inside, so I do what I call the risinger loop. Put a loop of uponor in a stud bay, so I can pull the hose bib out from the exterior and replace it.

    I have a uponor-threaded fitting and just thread the hose bib to it. Makes replacement just a threaded connection.

    The PVC pipe is a nice touch, I've done it for other penetrations, in concrete usually, but never thought to do it for hose bibs in a wood wall.

    1. Expert Member
      MALCOLM TAYLOR | | #9


      I do the same with wiring by leaving a courtesy loop above each outlet and switch. The problem though it that (like the Risinger loop) if you do need to use it, you both disrupt the insulation and the air-seal.

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