Skip to Content

Can Plumbing Be on Exterior Wall? (Quick Answers)

Plumbing is an integral part of building and for many works you have to put pipe works inside many walls of the house. Somehow you may want to install pipes and fittings on the walls adjacent to the kitchen and bathroom.

But you also have to install connectivity pipes that supply water and you may find plumbing in the exterior wall would be a solution. Let’s explore if you can plumb on the exterior wall.

Can plumbing be on exterior wall?

Exterior isn’t an ideal place where plumbing should be done. There are several reasons why exterior walls should be avoided for plumbing. However, if someone wishes to plumb on an exterior wall, they must install cavity insulation beneath the pipes. Exterior walls aren’t ideal for plumbing. 

Exterior walls have a defined role in building construction- to defend the house from rain, sun, and other unwanted natural elements. Thus, these walls are built with utmost care and the most durable materials. 

Besides, they support the structures so any potential damage can lead to a much-extended loss.

However, if you plumb onto a wall, there creates the possibility of leakage and other plumbing problems, which would not only damage your property, but also the health and longevity of your house would be at stake. 

Also, we tend to paint weather coating on our exterior walls, those can miserably fail in times of inside damage. Additionally, plumbing can make the walls structurally weak.

Additionally, the cold weather puts a heavy toll on people due to keeping the house and water supply warm and running. 

The case for exterior walls is that they are more exposed to cold temperatures than other walls, so when the temperature gets low, they face the change more compared to other walls. 

So, if you put plumbing on an exterior wall, there are more chances it would frequently freeze, and for that reason, you have to pay more as electricity bill compared to other cases.

Shower plumbing: 

Not at all. You should avoid exterior walls for shower plumbing. There are other walls and you can rely on those instead of the exterior wall. Not only would this damage the property, but it can also be difficult to renovate.

Bathroom plumbing: 

In case you have no other wall where you can conduct plumbing you may choose an exterior wall. Otherwise, it is haram to plumb on exterior walls. 

During winter when outside temperature would be freezing cold, and you wish to take hot water, any plumbing on the exterior wall will cause heat loss and potentially cooler water supply.

Laundry plumbing: 

Despite the need for locating nearby an outside wall for water discharge, you would be advised to avoid exterior wall for plumbing related to laundry and washing machines. 

One key reason would be the high energy cost of water supply through these walls as they require more electricity to heat compared to elsewhere.

Sink plumbing: 

It is not mandatory to put skink plumbing on exterior walls, you can choose any other walls. But if you must, we would suggest you not to. 

It will put an additional burden on heating during cold weather and leakage-related issues will put a heavy financial burden on renovation.

Plumbing on exterior wall – Can these plumbing parts be on the exterior walls? 

Plumbing is an essential part that fulfills your home. It ensures water supply, venting system, installment of pipes, valves, sanitary materials, etc. But it has to be done to maintain the basics of plumbing. you already got an idea of how plumbing on exterior walls should be avoided.

But now to clear your doubts you might ask whether these plumbing parts are on the exterior wall. We’ll answer these for you:

Plumbing vent: 

Plumbing vent is possible but maintaining a few rules. Vents must face the sky so it’s advised to set them above the roof line. That means it must be installed vertically. 

Plumbing drain: 

It’s not wise to have a plumbing drain on exterior walls. Drainage systems deal with water and in colder areas, water pipes can freeze or burst if kept outside. 

So plumbing drain on exterior walls should be avoided for the safety of the drainage system.

Plumbing fixtures: 

Plumbing fixtures such as showers, bathtubs, kitchen sinks, tapware, urinals, or flush toilets can be done on exterior walls. These fixtures don’t get affected by low or high temperatures so there’s no risk of freezing or damage. 

Where should plumbing be? 

Plumbing is essential for showers, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry. So, obviously, plumbing should be done near those places. But it doesn’t mean you can do it on any wall without any prior investigation if that wall is suitable for plumbing.  

Winter in some areas can be very acute and the temperature can be freezing. Ideally, during such weather, it is difficult for pipes to be kept out of getting frozen. To avoid that, house owners install water heaters and so many other things.  

If water inside pipes gets frozen, due to their natural properties, ice expands and leads to pipes flare up. This will further lead to damage to the walls. So, you have to plumb where walls do not get exposed to acute weather conditions.  

Interior walls are the most suitable, and also the places where temperature can be controlled fully are where plumbing should be.

What happens when plumbing on the exterior walls? 

Plumbing is a must to enjoy all the facilities at home. It’s a step that’s done in the first stage of building a house, so while doing the plumbing work you must know a few things. For instance, what can wrong plumbing work cost you?  

Plumbing on the exterior walls is never encouraged or advised. But if in some circumstances one does plumbing on the exterior walls that can result in some damage to the pipe.

Let’s see what happens when plumbing on the exterior walls: 

The pipes can freeze: 

Plumbing on exterior walls can be hazardous for both the plumbing facilities and the fixtures. Because in winter a lot of areas face very low temperatures that freezes everything. 

If there’s plumbing done on your exterior walls and those are not even insulated well, the cold temperature will freeze the pipes and lines. 

This situation will interrupt the facilities such as the sanitary system, water supply, vents, drains, as well as interior facilities. 

The pipes can blow: 

It’s the nature of liquids to expand as they get colder at low temperature and turn into ice. 

In winter due to cold weather exterior plumbing installments such as water pipes, and sanitary lines freeze the water inside becomes ice due to much pressure at a point, and these lines can burst or create leakage. 

Wall structure can damage: 

Plumbing includes water pipes and sanitary lines that will go through the walls. But as we’ve already mentioned, temperature in the winter can really harm the pipes by freezing them. 

If the cold temperature isn’t handled the pipes can burst too and that can hamper your structure. The walls can get damp and there can be a risk of water leakage and flood inside the house. 

How to keep plumbing pipes on outside wall from freezing? 

Often we aren’t left with any option but plumbing on exterior walls. If you too have done the same then your pipes need to be protected to prevent freezing outside. 

We’ve shown some steps here explaining how you can keep plumbing pipes outside the wall from freezing. Take a look – 

Keep the house heated: 

The first step is to ensure a warmer environment inside: Even if you’re not in the house try to keep your heating system on. The house heat will prevent the pipes from freezing by keeping them warm. 

Repair holes and cracks: 

Don’t leave any holes and cracks on pipes unattended. Cover and seal every hole around the exterior pipes. Make sure your exterior plumbing is done following proper insulation. 

Allow water to drip from the faucet: 

Let the faucet drip a bit by opening the taps slightly. Thus there’ll be no pressure inside the pipes as the water will flow and they will not burst due to cold.  

Keep the garage or basement door closed: 

Basements or garages usually have low temperatures. So when not in use, keep the doors closed so the pipes installed there don’t get in touch with low temperatures.

Final Thoughts 

Plumbing shouldn’t be on exterior walls as it can be destructive. In winter the pipes installed on the outside walls can freeze and blow due to severe cold. Thus it will interrupt all the facilities and can damage the structure. Exterior plumbing should follow proper insulation if ever done.