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Thread: leaking and now broken old outdoor faucet

  1. #1

    Question leaking and now broken old outdoor faucet

    Hi. Thanks in advance for any help you all can give me.

    I have an old leaking outdoor faucet. In trying to loosen a stubborn packing nut, I enlisted some help from a well-meaning stronger arm. An attempt to steady the faucet in this process ended with the top portion getting sqeezed, making it impossible for that cap to be threaded on now. So, even if the washer replacement might have solved the problem temporarily, I now have a bigger problem. The faucet cannot even just be capped now.

    I tried unscrewing the whole thing but it is looking as though it must be soldered to the pipe, as it didn't budge.?? This is what the repairman I had come out thinks as well... as I guess he tried to unscrew it as well.

    Money is tight, to say the least, and the quote I got to have this faucet replaced is $300... since they have to crawl under my house a ways and do the work from there apparently, and the crawl space is so tight.

    There is possibly a larger opening than the pipe itself, as there is a 7"x7" wood trim box behind the faucet, installed into the siding of the house. I have not removed this yet to see.

    I really don't need this faucet, as there is another one located not that far from this one. I'm wondering what my other options might be. Any ideas?

    Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    There is probably a valve under the house that shuts the valve off.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for your reply! And so quick!!

    Yeah? Mmmmm.... okay.

    I have all of my water off at the moment. Sigh.

    I can see why someone wants to charge a pretty penny for crawling under the house. I know it doesn't look attractive to me.

    Would the valve most likely be near that faucet? Would that be most common?

  4. #4
    Master Plumber Redwood's Avatar
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    It is probably fairly close to the faucet but it doesn't have to be. Find the faucet pipe under the house and follow it back until you find the valve then you can turn your water back on.

  5. #5

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    Okay. Thanks!

    Think I need to find a neighborhood kid to do this for me.

  6. #6
    Plumbing Designer FloridaOrange's Avatar
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    Additionally, if there is no existing valve you could have one put on that line and just keep it closed until you feel like fixing it, that would be cheaper in the short-term. This would only be realistic as long as the line you put the shut off valve on is only serving the outside hose bibb.
    Matt
    Semi-professional plumbing designer
    Enjoying life in SW Florida

  7. #7
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Your best bet at this time, to avoid the expense, would be to get what is called a "shark bite" fitting. All hardware/plumbing shops have them. Get a fitting called a "cap" in the same size as the pipe you have , 1/2" or 3/4". Cut the pipe under the house somewhere, follow directions about smoothing the end of pipe, then just pust the cap on....done deal.

  8. #8
    Plunger/TurdPuncher kingsotall's Avatar
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    The "repairmen" you called could probably handle a sharkbite, but then again if he didn't know how a hose bib is replaced...
    I just post cuz I like to see my avatar.

  9. #9

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    Thanks, FloridaOrange.

    My understanding is that the majority of that $300 quote I got was because of having to crawl under the house and it being such a small crawl space. This quote came from a guy who is not a full service plumber and normally charges less than a plumber would. Maybe it comes down to a lack of motivation to do this job but I'm thinking if there isn't a valve now that it would still cost near as much to install one. Am I wrong?

    Yeah, I won't know what pipe serves that until someone crawls under there to take a look. It is very close to my kitchen sink, so not sure.

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the idea, jimbo. I like it. Sure wish I could do it without crawling under the house though.

  11. #11

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    Hey, kingsotall... thanks. Did I miss something? What makes you say the repairman didn't know how a hose bibb was replaced?

  12. #12

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    Well, I went back out there and tried again to unscrew the whole faucet using a pipe wrench and a little more arm put into it this time.... and was successful!!

    Now, it certainly doesn't appear to me (rookie here) as though it's a frost proof type... or it wouldn't have unscrewed at the point where the faucet goes into the wall, correct?

    Wanted to think the repairman would have tried to do this himself, but I wasn't there to see him take a look at the job.

    Anyway... guess I can take that into the hardware store with me now and see what I can find.

    Anything else I should be sure to pick up, like any grease, sealants, or tape?

  13. #13
    Master plumber Jay Mpls's Avatar
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    I use both thread tape and pipe dope.Might as well do it only once!
    (First the tape!)

  14. #14

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    Thanks, J_Mpls! Your advice will be helpful when I replace the faucet.

    For now, I wanted to give an update and say thanks again....

    I picked up a SharkBite cap and it's working fabulously for now. YAY!!!

    I also figured out (not sure what took me so long, except I've been sick so my brain isn't working so well) that this faucet could not be under the floor of the house because of the location it goes into the outside wall.... which places it just above it.

    I will now simply need to cut a hole in an under-sink cabinet floor to hopefully find where the faucet pipe goes, what it's connected to, and how. Then go from there. Nice to buy some time though. For only $7, I was able to turn my water back on without having a major leak. Love it!
    Last edited by is_there_help_for_me??; 04-26-2009 at 02:36 PM.

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