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Thread: Leaky Sillcock: Soldered or Threaded???

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member mtngoatjoe's Avatar
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    Default Leaky Sillcock: Soldered or Threaded???

    I've heard you guys are the experts, so here I am.

    My mother has a leaky sillcock. It is protruding from the garage, but the garage was converted to an apartment and there is no access from the inside.

    She paid someone to fix it, but it started leaking again within a couple of months.

    So, I'm thinking it needs to be replaced, but I can't tell if her faucet is soldered or threaded. I removed the screws and tried to pull it from the wall, but I didn't want to pull too hard. The little bit I could see looked just like the metal on the outside.

    Can anybody help me out? If it's threaded, can I just grab a wrench and start turning?

    Thanks,
    -Joe


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    Last edited by mtngoatjoe; 02-25-2013 at 08:20 AM.

  2. #2
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    There's no easy way to tell how it's attached. Just grabbing it with a wrench might break things off inside the wall. That appears to be a frost-free silcock, and if you can identify the brand, they usually have rebuild kits available. A frost free silcock generally doesn't work if there's a hose attached, and it's possible the valve has split inside if it was there when it got below freezing for awhile. You may need to tear into the wall or ceiling to get a proper view in order to replace it.
    Jim DeBruycker
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    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    That is a "frostproof" sillcock and has a "long" extension going back to where it connects to the pipes. It makes no difference which it is because even if it is threaded, unless the pipe is "well fastened", you will break something if you try to unscrew it.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Junior Member mtngoatjoe's Avatar
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    Hmmm. I had my doubts this would be easy. If this a frost free type, it couldn't be very long. Maybe 4 inches. The wall isn't thick enough to handle much more. The faucet has been there since before my mom bought the house, so at least 12 years. Have frost free sillcocks been around that long?

    Anyway, I guess it doesn't matter if it's frost free or not. It looks like I'm gonna have to open the wall and look inside (I was really hoping to avoid that!) to see if it's soldered or threaded.

    Actually, I doubt it's soldered. It would be really awkward to solder that since the wall panel would have to be installed before the soldering could be done since the sillcock itself goes at least a quarter inch into the wall (I didn't want to pull any harder).

    How hard is it to remove those panels on the wall? I'm a pretty poor handyman, so I don't want to get in over my head.

    Thanks,
    -Joe

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    There is access. It may not be easy access, it may require some demo and reconstruction, but somehow you can access it. If it is screwed into the supply line, then two wrenches will be required to prevent damage to the supply line. You must use the two wrenches to install the new faucet as well. It may be possible to rebuild the old faucet in place.

  6. #6
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    To work, a frost-free silcock must put the working parts far enough inside so that it gets enough heat from the home to not freeze. But, as I said, the pipe from the recessed valve buried in there to the outside can retain water if you leave a hose one it, and that CAN freeze. If it does, that can both damage the valve and the extension part leading to outside. If it's split, you have no choice but to replace it. If it's leaking because of wear, if you can identify the brand, you can usually rebuilt it to as good as new without removing it.
    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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    Moderator & Master Plumber hj's Avatar
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    quote; If this a frost free type, it couldn't be very long. Maybe 4 inches.

    The valve is NOT going into an inside partition? I have never seen that design in a NON frostproof valve, but they are usually 8"-12" long. There would not be enough room inside a 4" wall to even get the mechanism plus an elbow to change its connection direction.
    Last edited by hj; 02-26-2013 at 06:16 AM.
    Licensed residential and commercial plumber

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    DIY Senior Member asktom's Avatar
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    The valve was made by Arrowhead Brass, if you want to fix what you have you can can buy parts directly from them online. If you change the stem you should measure its length and contact them to be sure you are ordering the correct part.

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    DIY Junior Member mtngoatjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hj View Post
    quote; If this a frost free type, it couldn't be very long. Maybe 4 inches.

    The valve is NOT going into an inside partition? I have never seen that design in a NON frostproof valve, but they are usually 8"-12" long. There would not be enough room inside a 4" wall to even get the mechanism plus an elbow to change its connection direction.
    I'm not entirely sure what you're saying, so please let me know if I'm not addressing your question.

    There isn't a sink, faucet, or bathroom inside the apartment anywhere near this outside sillcock. My guess is that the sillcock was installed before the garage was converted to an apartment.

    I'll have to measure how thick the wall is, but I can't imagine it's more than 7 inches total: 2x6" stud plus drywall on the inside and wood panels on the outside (it could be a 2x4 stud, but I'll have to check). So I just can't imagine the sillcock being more than 4 inches long. But then again, I'm no expert.

  10. #10
    DIY Junior Member mtngoatjoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by asktom View Post
    The valve was made by Arrowhead Brass, if you want to fix what you have you can can buy parts directly from them online. If you change the stem you should measure its length and contact them to be sure you are ordering the correct part.
    I've been reluctant to try and repair the sillcock myself since the handyman tried and failed. But I'm thinking I should try to repair it before I start tearing the wall appart.

    Thanks for the help!

  11. #11
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
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    Frost-free silcocks come in different lengths to accommodate different temperatures and wall construction...but, on any of them, to function properly, it must be long enough to go into conditioned space so that the water in the pipe is protected...and, I don't remember any of them being as short as 4" depth (which would make it 6-7" long overall). Depending on the height, it may go into the joist bay, and not the wall.

    If you don't use OEM parts, a repair may not be successful, or if you don't perform the procedure properly or install them correctly. But, most of the time, they can be rebuilt.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  12. #12
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Maybe you should spend a few minutes in a plumbing supply store and examine frost-free hose bibs. I don't think you grasp how they are made and what makes the frost-free.

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