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Thread: Frost proof faucet problem

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member Dglas's Avatar
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    Default Frost proof faucet problem

    I had an American Valve frost proof faucet installed last year and it worked fine. Now when I turn it on water comes out of a hole in the stem. The hole appears to be part of the design. I removed the stem and tried to figure out how water gets into the stem. I find that the end with the washer is a spring loaded devise that opens when the faucet is turned on thereby allowing water to enter the stem. The stem appears to be manufactured this way so what holds the water out of the stem?

    Does this mean I have a defective stem?

  2. #2
    DIY Junior Member Dglas's Avatar
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    I can find no one who knows how this works so will call the company tomorrow.

  3. #3
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    I have never heard of a frost free hose tap that uses the stem to deliver water. As far as what you described, the spring loaded piece on the end acts as an anti-siphoning device. The entire barrel surrounding the stem is where the water travels out the tap. When you close the tap, the barrel empties on its own. The water is actually being stopped where the washer is (as you may of figured out already).

  4. #4
    DIY Junior Member Dglas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krow View Post
    I have never heard of a frost free hose tap that uses the stem to deliver water. As far as what you described, the spring loaded piece on the end acts as an anti-siphoning device. The entire barrel surrounding the stem is where the water travels out the tap. When you close the tap, the barrel empties on its own. The water is actually being stopped where the washer is (as you may of figured out already).
    I apparently didn't explain very well. I understand how a frost proof faucet works and am well aware that the water is not delivered thru the stem but in this case that is the problem . When you turn on the water it flows thru the barrel to the faucet but some of it comes thru the stem and out a small hole placed in the stem just ahead of the handle - and squirts you in the eye. The spring loaded piece holds the washer and has nothing to do with the anti-siphoning devise which is on top of the faucet. When the faucet is turned on by backing the washer away from the seat it also can/does spring out and apparently this is the spot that allows water into the stem. At least I can find no other way that water can get into the stem. I went to Lowes and looked at a new one and it is built exactly the same way. I can't figure it out but maybe American Valve can enlighten me.

  5. #5
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dglas View Post
    The spring loaded piece holds the washer and has nothing to do with the anti-siphoning devise which is on top of the faucet. .
    It has everything to do with the antisiphon. The piece ahead of the handle is interconnected to the spring load end of the stem.

    pull it apart again and see if any sediment or particles are blocking around the spring and double check the knob above the handle is free af any debris

  6. #6
    DIY Junior Member Dglas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by krow View Post
    It has everything to do with the antisiphon. The piece ahead of the
    handle is interconnected to the spring load end of the stem.

    pull it apart again and see if any sediment or particles are blocking around the spring and double check the knob above the handle is free af any debris
    The piece ahead of the handle is the stem. The handle is connected to one end and the spring loaded washer assembly is connected to the opposite end. The anti-siphon devise is not in any way connected to the stem but maybe the operation is somehow dependent on the spring loaded end of the stem. I will check for debris.

  7. #7
    Plumber krow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dglas View Post
    . The anti-siphon devise is not in any way connected to the stem but maybe the operation is somehow dependent on the spring loaded end of the stem. .
    Precisely. You may find a pin hole under the antisiphone cap. (its supposed to be there)

  8. #8
    DIY Junior Member AnchorPoint's Avatar
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    I am having this exact problem, where water is pouring out of the hole in the stem, on an American Valve frost proof faucet.
    It had been working great for a year, then my wife was closing it and water started spraying.

    This is the only thread I can seem to find on this issue.
    Were you able to find a solution when you contacted them, Dglas?

  9. #9
    DIY Junior Member Sam Patel's Avatar
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    The problem is explained perfectly. I am having the exact same issue. The spring loaded end has some sort of thin rubber/cloth type washer on top of which is the copper seat where the replacement shutoff washer (Standard) goes. I now have stopped the spigot from leaking when shut off. But when I use it I get water coming out of the hole just before the handle. HELP! is there a solution.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member paulgrass's Avatar
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    Has anyone figured this out. I have the same problem. (See images)The first image is the water shooting out the hole, the second image is showing the hole after I shut the water off inside. Name:  American_Valve_01.jpg
Views: 680
Size:  53.2 KBName:  American_Valve_02.jpg
Views: 683
Size:  50.3 KB
    Last edited by paulgrass; 05-05-2013 at 10:09 AM.

  11. #11
    DIY Junior Member 1cr_xxx's Avatar
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    I have the same problem. went to lowes, and the employee called American valve for me and they sent me a replacement. Put in the replacement parts, and I still have the same problem. Really would like to know how to fix this seeing as how everyone has this problem.

  12. #12
    DIY Junior Member 1cr_xxx's Avatar
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    Just sent a message to th company with a link to this thread. Hopefully we will get some answers.

  13. #13
    DIY Junior Member hamijohn's Avatar
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    Check the hollow stem for a hairline crack. If you get an early hard freeze with the garden hose still attached, the thin walls of the stem will crack before the thicker outer wall cracks, and the remaining water will have a place to drain (out the little holes in the stem near the handle). Next Spring when you turn the water on, the pressure will be enough to force water through the hairline crack in the hollow stem and you will have the fountain shown above. A temp fix is to wrap the crack with teflon tape then use waterproof cement to coat. For $15 you can buy a new stem. And remember to disconnect the hose in September!

  14. #14
    DIY Junior Member hamlet_jones's Avatar
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    Same valve, same problem. Tenant left hose hooked up all winter, and the next thing you know, water is coming out the stem. Replaced, but next time, I'm putting in a waste and drain valve inside the garage, and locking it for winter.

  15. #15
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    FWIW, Woodford makes some that will drain, even if you leave a hose on. Cost a little more, but if it saves one service call, it's more than paid for itself.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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