Garden hose thru brick wall.
July 18, 2011 2:15 PM   Subscribe

What's the best/least expensive way to run a garden hose from my cellar thru a brick wall to the front of my house?

I need to run a garden hose from my cellar thru a masonry wall or break out a glass block from a existing window. Those are the closest options to have a hose in the front of the house. I know glass blocks have a dryer vent block but couldn't find one that would allow a garden hose to go in and out.. The masonry is a triple row of bricks at the thinnest point. Suggestions?
posted by boby to Home & Garden (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
They do make long masonry drill bits that will go through that much brick, and it takes a pretty decent drill to run them (most likely something with two handles and plugs into the wall, even better if it has internal hammers).

However is there any other options? LIke an adapter for the kitchen faucet that you can screw a hose into or some kind of outside water line you could hook a valve into? you are making a permanent hole in your house and that is usually a bad thing unless you have a good reason.
posted by bartonlong at 2:30 PM on July 18, 2011

We had the same problem, and at the end of the day we found it was worth the $120 the plumber charged us to extend the water line into the back yard. Now we have a spigot on the back of the house.

What I was going to do: Buy a huge masonry bit and just drill a hole in the wall until I saw daylight. I had a hard time finding a bit that was large enough to accommodate the hose comfortably. I thought about tapping a length of pipe into my hole to use as a conduit, but I ran into the same problem -- couldn't find a bit big enough or a masonry "hole saw." Of course, I have no idea what I'm doing...
posted by Buffaload at 2:32 PM on July 18, 2011

Response by poster: The smallest size hole that will allow a garden hose coupler fit thru the wall is 3/4 of an inch. Masonry bits to drill a hole that size need a 3/8 inch shaft opening on the drill. All I have is 1/4 inch one. My kitchen and plumbing is at the opposite end of the house. Running a hose thru the hallway isn't an option.
Punching out a glass block seems easy enough but I want to secure the opening to prevent weather and critters from getting into the house.
posted by boby at 3:01 PM on July 18, 2011

Rent a hammer drill for an hour or two. You will likely spend more time driving there/back than drilling. If you rent a big bit too, just make sure it is sharpish. Otherwise it might be worth buying a bit.
posted by misterbrandt at 3:17 PM on July 18, 2011

Measure carefully your target from both sides and drill from each side to the center. Hold the drill square and level. This will prevent a large ugly bust out and make sealing back around the hose much easier.
posted by scottymac at 3:44 PM on July 18, 2011

You don't need a hole big enough to fit a coupler, because you can remove the coupler from the hose before poking it through the hole and refit it afterwards.

You probably don't even need a hole big enough for a garden hose. Drill a half inch hole, put a foot of half-inch copper pipe through that, push two inches of bare hose over each end of the copper pipe and tighten it down with hose clamps.
posted by flabdablet at 4:40 PM on July 18, 2011

Hire a plumber. A plumber will tap into your line, run the pipe/hose to the back, install a shutoff valve inside, drill through the masonry and patch it up with mortar when done. These are all things that should be done (and probably a few others that I don't know since I'm not a plumber) so that the job doesn't scream "home owner" and will last for decades instead of a few years.
posted by plinth at 5:01 PM on July 18, 2011 [3 favorites]

I hate to ask this, but is there any reason you aren't putting in a normal hose bib? I suspect this is against code in almost every municipality that has plumbing codes to concern themselves with.
posted by Kyol at 5:02 PM on July 18, 2011

The best/least expensive way is to hire a plumber and get it done right. At least get someone out to give you a quote - that's free!
posted by amanda at 5:20 PM on July 18, 2011

We moved into a house last year with the kind of jury-rigged system that you're describing and one of the first things we did was have a plumber run an actual water line outside with a faucet, shut-off valve for the winter, etc. It cost somewhere on the order of $200-300 (in NYC), which was honestly less than I was expecting. And most definitely worth the convenience of having a hose in our backyard!

So yes, get an estimate -- you might be pleasantly surprised.
posted by queensb at 7:35 PM on July 18, 2011

I'm making some assumptions here. You have a faucet in the cellar that is near a laundry sink or some such fixture. You are talking about the foundation/cellar wall that you want to get through. You need to use a hose directly on the other side of the wall.

Here's what I would do: First, remove the faucet and install a tee in the line. Run pipe to the point in the wall that you want to go through. Rent a 1/2" drill and buy a bit that will extend through 2/3 of the thickness of the wall and is slightly larger than the outside diameter of the pipe. Drill, insert pipe and then connect a faucet to the pipe on the outside. Use a good silicone sealer to seal the hole that the pipe goes through. Now you won't have to go down to the cellar every time you want to turn the water on and off.
posted by Old Geezer at 9:06 PM on July 18, 2011

I'd get an estimate from a plumber. Like queensb says, you might be pleasantly surprised. Most are good natured enough that even if you don't hire him, he may tell you some keey bits of info on how to do it (almost)right.

Whatever you do, make sure you have a proper backflow preventer installed at the right place!

Another note is that hoses will, over time, especially when kept under pressure, burst. It will take longer without having the UV damage of one kept outside, but it will happen, probably when you are not watching. If you must use hose, buy the beefiest most durable hose you can find(i.e. research first). And mark on your calendar to inspect it thoroughly every six months. Running PVC pipe is a better way to go* and will most likely be on par or cheaper than buying a top 'o' the line hose.

I'm also guessing you could trench and run a line of pipe around your house to the front for a fraction of the cost. It would depend on you water pressure, length of hows etc, but could be doable.

*Since you seem determined to do it yourself: If you are adverse or unable to drop the 500-1000$ it might take to install a properly plumbed spigot into the front from the basement, the ugly truth is that as a homeowner, you'll need to acquire some solid(enough) plumbing skills. Aside from complex situations, health & safety intensive applications etc, most plumbing is a lot like tinker toys(with consequences). Go to your library and find a well regarded book on plumbing and double check yourself at every step. If you don't have x-dollars, then hopefully you have 1/10x to hire someone qualified to consult with you. Some of us in the trades actually really enjoy consultations. You pay us, we talk and guide you through it. It's easy for us and generally super helpful for the DIYer.

Caveat - I am not a plumber, there may be liability issues, actual or perceived, so YMMV.
posted by a_green_man at 11:28 PM on July 18, 2011

Response by poster: Thanks for all the suggestions. Plumbers in Boston charge for just coming out to your house. I do have a spigot in the cellar about 10 feet from the wall I want a hose to go thru. I currently drag a hose thru the alley to reach the front of the house. I was thinking that a quick fix would solve this problem but will have to do more research on this subject.
posted by boby at 2:30 AM on July 19, 2011

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