Leak at exterior wall

Anyone ever seen this before? No leaks on interior walls just at the exterior. Owner says he saw it only after the freeze. I’m thinking the spigots line behind the brick.

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Spigot itself could be cracked leading to exterior leaking. I’ve seen the same issue w/o internal intrusion…


What is on that side of the wall? Kitchen, bath? Yes, could easily be the spigot, shut the water off to it and see if the meter is still spinning.


Sorry about that. Duh should’ve mentioned it. The inside of these walls is a spacious living room. No plumbing on the interior these walls.

Looks like a pipe burst from here in GA. Simon’s on point. I foresee a call to a plumber.


Not yet at least…

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That is not a proper freeze proof hose faucet, so frozen pipe just there at the brick is my thought.


Better turn the water off ASAP and remove that faucet. It’s not a frost proof faucet and you can’t put a frost proof faucet in that wall unless there is a partition wall behind. The valve needs to be on the warm side of the wall.

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The OP appears to be in San Antonio, TX. Here in North Texas Winter design temps are set at 32 Degrees and we always see improper hose bibbs installed or improperly installed. See it so much I have a canned phrase in every report template for them.

I’m in an area where we see very few no-freeze faucets used. (St George UT). We have palm trees yes, but it does freeze. I have an outside faucet that will freeze and will discharge water from a time similar to what you see in the OP pic. I normally will put the foam faucet covers over them and that usually will do the trick. I forgot to do this and had this exact thing happen a couple days ago. I’d say only about 50% of the homes in my area have no-freeze type spigots. I call them out with a generic canned statement to advice that they need to be aware and protect as needed.


Yes. Weeping.
Shortly after I inspected a flip my client called me to say I missed something. He assumed I missed a leaking supply plumbing pipe in the kitchen, and asked would I mind dropping by to take a look.
I went to the home to see masonry veneer walls weep. That’s what masonry veneer walls do to disperse condensate from within the midwall assembly.

MTI article “Weep Now or Weep Later”

Observation: Suspect: Weeping on the foundation wall, just below the brick veneer.
Recommend: A licensed masonry contractor-specialist, further evaluate the condition of the brick veneer and poured concrete brick shelf, when weeping conditions avail, and create a moisture management plan.
Act upon any recommendations offered.
Limitations: Exterior/Interior Wall coverings.

That’s what masonry veneer walls do to disperse condensate from within the midwall assembly.

In looking at the photo closer, I don’t see any weep holes, weep vents or thru wall flashing. I doubt that is “condensation” coming out of the wall and I suspect that it’s more likely to be a burst pipe. Of course we all don’t know what the source of the moisture until a little invasive probing behind the wall is performed. I’d much rather recommend a plumber to eliminate the possibility of a burst pipe then to recommend a masonry contractor.

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Oscar should have been vigilant and looked for weep holes.

I do not concur with your observation, and will say this, how could water travel along just the brick shelf for ><15’ feet.
I found 3 posible weep holes.

The wet concrete on the landing under the hose.
The hose is detached. Not hooked up to the hose bib/spigot. So unless siphonage took place at the lowest point and happened directly after the hose was detached from the spigot, after the hose detached after being used I find that theory hard to digest.
As well, a sensible homeowner would notice any spray issues at the hose bib connection when the water is turned on. You get sprayed!

1: This appears a newer building likely energy efficient.
A: Flashing is required. Just because you can not see it does not mean it is not there.
B: Just like WRB or Weather Resistive Barrier, House Wrap, is behind the siding, flashing is there atop the foundation shelf.

I am not saying it can not happen bt I operated hose bibs a good part of 40 years. The leak occurs at the hose connection. The last thing you want is to be sprayed by water when it is cold.
Owner says he saw it only after the freeze. That make perfect sense. Dew point conditions were there, there was frost.
From the Weather Almanac: As a rule of thumb, don’t worry about a frost if the dew point (the temperature at which the air is no longer able to ‘hold’ all the moisture within it) is above 45°F on the evening weather report .

Plumbing Pipes, both supply and waste water, are not allowed to be run on exterior walls. If a pipe leaked, it would be visible from the interior.
:thinking:If a pipe burst, the family would require a canoe to get to an egress in the basement and the insurance company would be notified I suspect.

supply and waste water, are not allowed to be run on exterior walls
Maybe in Canada no plumbing is allowed on exterior walls, but this home is in Texas and IRC allows for protected plumbing in exterior walls. I seriously doubt it has a basement, so the plumbing to the hose bib most likely is in the exterior wall.

If a pipe leaked, it would be visible from the interior.
Not necessarily, if the leak is from the exterior side of the sheathing (between sheathing and brick), the moisture may not work its way back through the wall cavity.

Right now we are all speculating. You could be correct, or it could be a burst pipe. Who knows? I still think from a homeowner standpoint, it would make more sense to rule out plumbing than to bring in a mason.

It would be great if the OP would could find out from the owner the source of the moisture and share in this forum then we all could learn from this.

Oscar should have been vigilant and looked for weep holes.
I stand corrected. I see the weep hole to the left of the hose bib, the one to the right is hard for me to see from PA.

You are exactly right! … This event has nothing to do with condensation behind the brick in the drain plane IMO.

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From Ohio I can see that the hose bib is impropertly installed.

From the amount of water on the foundation walls and on the porch slab, it would be my guess that there is a burst pipe behind the wall, and I would write it up as “due to conditions viewed, suspected burst pipe behind the wall.”

If the current owner is your client I would ask him to turn the water off and call a plumber, if your client is the current owner and a friend, I would have them turn the water off and open the inside wall for a peek inside.

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When you zoom in on the hose bib it looks like galvanized steel (from my computer anyway) was installed. This appears to be a newer house so why the steel? Homeowner repair?

Depends on the jurisdiction. We run water lines on the exterior walls here.

In the United States drain lines are installed on exterior walls regardless of what state you live in. I assume that’s what you meant by waste water, I never heard that before.