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Thread: Outside Sillcock, I messed it up, please help.

  1. #1

    Default Outside Sillcock, I messed it up, please help.

    In the front of my house I have always had a Spigot (what I called em) with the water pressure dial knocked off long ago.. So I just didn't use it much. It leaked profusely so I had bought a small attachment with a lever for turning it off.. Without leaks.. That seemed to work for years.

    Today I was wanting to fix it right.. So I went to Home Depot.. Described it as above, and ended up leaving with a Sillcock replacement, a tube of Pipe Joint Compound, and a main key for turning off my main water while I did this fix.

    It all made sense as described at the Depot, because my existing spigot (Sillcock) was actually coming out of mortar between our rock wall.. Just looking at the new Sillcock, I could tell that I could twist that whole unit right off the pipe.. And put a new one on..

    All this was based on my assumption that the pipe came all the way out of the rock wall and I had a threading on the end of that pipe.

    I loosened it.. Completely took it off I think, but quickly realized the existing Sillcock was permanently connected to a pipe that must have turned with the unit as I was loosening it.

    I think I've basically disconnected a pipe within my interior wall.. I turned the main on a little bit and hear water in the wall

    What am I looking at with this kind of mistake? I have left the main water supply off for now.. But need to get if fixed pronto.

    Please let me know what kind of things will have to be done.. Will they have to cut into the interior wall now?

    Thanks in advance,
    Barry

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Default

    Were you able to remove the old silcock? What was on the end?

    Once a threaded connection is taken apart, often unless new pipe dope or teflon tape is applied to the connection, it won't seal properly, even if you tighten it up enough.

    If you got the old one out, you could try applying a good coat of pipe dope to the threads, then tightening it down and it MIGHT seal, but the only way you'll probably know for sure is to open the ceiling or wall and look.

    If you can't get the old one out, then you'll need to open the wall or ceiling to figure out what's going on.

    Is this an area where it gets below freezing? If so, then it's a good idea to use a frost-free silcock. This has the guts of the valve inside, and when you shut it off, the part from there to the outside drains out. Do NOT leave a hose connected on this type of valve, since it can't drain, and therefore it will likely freeze and ruin the valve.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #3
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Open up the wall where itmay be broke off cap it off some how.
    Is it a frostproof hose faucet?It may have been soldered directly.
    Last edited by cwhyu2; 10-07-2007 at 04:07 PM.

  4. #4

    Default

    Thanks for responses.

    I was not able to remove the old sillcock.. The sillcock, in this case, has about 8 inches of pipe as part of the unit.. What happened was I turned it till it seemed to get real easy with a wrench.. Then I started manually and noticed the unexpected piping as a part of the sillcock itself that I could begin to pull out of the external wall.. I pulled it.. It comes out about 4 inches.. But I think there is something keeping it from coming all the way out of the the small space in the mortar around the pipe..

    It really seems like there was an actual fitting that I unscrewed.. Maybe a foot or less in the wall.. I know when I turned the water on to make sure I heard the water in the wall but didn't see anything coming out of the half-removed old sillcock.

    The new Sillcock I bought was a B&K Mueller.. 8 bucks.. It doesn't mention that it's frostproof and the area definitely does get below freezing right outside the rock wall of my house (Arkansas here so it won't be for a while).

    The thought of opening a wall is frightening.. I'm not sure I know how to do that without needing my wall fixed as well. But I might try yet tonight.

  5. #5

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    One more note to cwhyu2's response. It does appear to be soldered to the pipe.. So I'm not sure what I actually did to the workings inside the wall.. It was pretty resistant to me turning the sillcock at first.. But I muscled it loose.

  6. #6
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    It sounds like you twisted off the 1/2" copper pipe to which the outdoor faucet was soldered. Someone is going to have to get inside the wall and make up the connection.

    If you pull the faucet out of the wall it will probably have a piece of twisted copper pipe on the end. If by some miracle it has a pipe thread, you may be able to replace it without tearing up the wall.

  7. #7

    Default

    Yea I've found some other online descriptions that sound similar to my setup.. I'm not sure I turned it hard enough to snap a copper pipe.. But I disengaged it somehow for sure.

    Any tips on opening the wall? Never done that before. Mildly thinking of attempting it, but may opt for the plumber in morning.

  8. #8

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    Is this a slab house or do you have a crawlspace?

  9. #9
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bchase
    Yea I've found some other online descriptions that sound similar to my setup.. I'm not sure I turned it hard enough to snap a copper pipe.. But I disengaged it somehow for sure.

    Any tips on opening the wall? Never done that before. Mildly thinking of attempting it, but may opt for the plumber in morning.
    Hammer time only way to get to problem

  10. #10
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    You might want to attack the interior wall opposite the sill cock. Interior wall repairs are usually easier than exterior wall repairs.

    It is not hard to twist off thin copper pipe. It is fairly strong until you buckle it; then it is very weak until you completely twist it off.

  11. #11
    DIY Member JeffH's Avatar
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    Default What did the end look like?

    if threaded, you might be able to screw a new piece in. If not threaded, then it's soldered. You'll have to locate and expose where THAT piece of pipe/tube connected. You will prob want to go into the wall on the interior side. Once exposed take digital pictures and go to a dedicated plumbing supply house (not HD). Show them the picture and explain what happened.

    Most thread joints will have at least 1 or 2 threads showing. A soldered joint will obviously have NO threads. If soldered, purchase some 3/4 inch copper pipe, a some fittings and practice your soldering. Maybe buy a plumbing book that shows how to repair existing copper pipe. It's not extremely difficult to do, and even sloppy soldering will hold well. After soldering, look at the solder joint. Make sure there are NO VOID areas. If this seems to daunting, contact a plumber to do the work.

    Copper pipe
    Fittings
    Pipe cutter
    Solder
    Flux
    Sand paper
    Fire guard fabric or thin sheet metal to protect wood from heat
    Torch
    Mapp gas
    Fire extinguisher/Spray bottle of water (no burning of the house)

    When adding up the cost of DIY, it's sometimes easier to call a pro. They have the expertise and tools to do the job right the first time.

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