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Thread: Replacing outdoor frost-free faucet

  1. #1

    Default Replacing outdoor frost-free faucet

    I posted a thread a long while back about fixing a leaking outdoor faucet. I tried to replace the washer at the end of the stem and it didn't fix the badly leaking faucet. Apparently either the seat is really bad or the mechanism just isn't properly sealing.

    So, it looks like I'm going to have to replace the whole thing. I was in a home depot last night for another project and decided to check out the frost-free faucets. I noticed that they all look to be threaded to simply screw into a pipe.

    I have the water turned off to mine from the inside valve in the basement and I just don't use it. My basement is finished so I have a tough time getting to the valve and to pipes that are near the outside wall of the house. The framing gets in the way.

    My question is this... Is is safe for me to try to unscrew the entire faucet out from the rest of the plumbing from the outside? It seems that if I could just turn the whole thing from the outside that it should unscrew it. And I'm assuming that the shutoff valve that I have off would prevent any water from spewing into the basement.

    If this is OK, could I then just put some teflon tape around the new faucet and screw it in the same way?

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. #2
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Do not assume you is threaded on, even if it was it could be frozen into what its threaded into. I have been called out on to jobs where someone tried to unscrew the sillcock and turned the piping it was attached to into a pretzel.

    The sillcocks have outside threads to be threaded into piping as well as the ability to sweat a pipe into that fitting.

  3. #3
    Illinois Licensed Plumber SewerRatz's Avatar
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    Have a read on this gentleman's little experience with sillcocks. http://www.terrylove.com/wwwboard/messages/11108.html

  4. #4

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    Thanks for the warning. I have the same setup on the other side of my house so I'll inspect it to see what's up. It's on the unfinished side of the basement and much more accessible. If it's more than just threaded in I'll call a pro to replace the other one.

    Just checked out the other side. The faucet stem is the larger part of the connection so the smaller inlet pipe is inside it. Would this be threaded in or soldered? There was a bunch of corrosion around the connection. Thanks again. Looks like a job where I'm going to have to call a pro, again...
    Last edited by Festivus; 06-11-2009 at 06:55 PM.

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Removing and replacing a frost free faucet has to be done inside where the faucet attaches to the supply line. You need two wrenches. One to hold the adapter on the supply line and one to unscrew the faucet. Reverse the process to install. Often one of the hard parts of the job is accessing the pipes under the house. They are seldom in an easy place to get to and to work. There are arrows on the faucet to orient them up and down, but it can be helpful to have someone outside to report when the handle is vertical. Usually there's not much a second person can do under the house because of the cramped space. If there is open access, this is a very simple job.

  6. #6

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    As fate would have it, the one that is easily accessible on the unfinished side of the basement works fine. The broken one is on the finished side where I can barely get my hand between the framing and the joists/subfloor to turn the shutoff valve. It's an arm-bruising process. Getting wrenches in there between the shut off valve and the foundation is going to be next to impossible. I can picture myself dropping wrenches behind the wall.

    I think I'll be calling a plumber...

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