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Thread: Leaking anti-siphon (vacuum breaker) sill cock

  1. #1
    DIY Junior Member
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    Default Leaking anti-siphon (vacuum breaker) sill cock

    Yesterday I discovered that one of our outdoor faucets is now leaking through the anti siphon (vacuum breaker assembly) and spraying out under the plastic cap when the faucet is turned on. I assume that this is repairable by replacing the seals in the vacuum breaker assembly or, if necessary, the entire assembly. The sillcock is made by Woodford.

    I haven't shut off the water and disassembled anything yet, but am wondering if this type of leak is usually due to a failed seal/washer or if itís usually a failed plunger, where the entire assembly needs to be replaced. Just wondering if I can try to replace the seals first or if I should just go ahead and try to find a new vaccum breaker assembly (assuming I can find one compatible with the Woodford sillcock.) Anyone know if replacements are available for Woodford sillcocks? If not, any recommendations when purchasing a replacement sillcock?

    Thanks in advance,
    Mark

  2. #2
    Engineer chassis's Avatar
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    I just replaced a sillcock that froze. Thought they weren't supposed to do that, but it did.

    Easy replacement and worth the effort. Go with a 1/4 turn unit. My old one was multi-turn. New unit is much much better. If you can't find the exact length of your old sillcock, go with one as long as possible, given your plumbing constraints wherever your pipes are in the house. The longer the sillcock, the more is "inside" the house, and less chance of freezing.

    My recommendation is don't bother with the vaccum thingie, just replace the whole thing. $20 well spent.

  3. #3
    Plumber Cass's Avatar
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    They will freeze and burst if the hose is left on.

  4. #4
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Talking vaccuum breaker

    the guy is right about changeing it unless its a mean one


    you can get that vaccuum breaker part at any supply house

    or jsut buy anoter hose and take the part off of it

    its pretty easy

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Everything that man makes will eventually fail, but with frostproof faucets, the most common failure is caused by leaving the hose attached during the winter. This prevents the faucet from draining, and the ensuing freeze will break the faucet. (Been there! ) I'd just replace the whole unit unless it is really a b***h to get to on the inside.

  6. #6
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    I'm thinking that at some point during one of the warm spells in our area during this mild winter that the hose was left on by myself or the wife and it subsequently froze.

    The sillcock is not in a very good place to get to from the inside of the house -- it can be done, but it will be a bit of a pain.

    If I just pull the vacuum breaker assembly out of a new sillcock, rather than replace the whole thing, I wonder what the liklihood is that there is another leak/crack in the sillcock somewhere inside the wall. I would guess that the sillcock is designed so that the weak point is in the anti-siphon valve and hopefully if the water froze it only affected that portion of the sillcock. If so, it is certainly much easier to replace the vacuum breaker assembly than to open the inside wall and install a new sillcock.

    With such a mild winter I don't think that any water left in the sillcock would freeze very far inside the wall, if at all. The anti-siphon is outside so it makes sense that it would freeze there. Anyone have any experience with this situation and know whether the leak is typically limited to the failed anti-siphon valve or if there is a fairly high probability that the sillcock will have additional leaks inside the wall??

  7. #7

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    Most often when a hose is left on a sillcock and freezes,I find that what freezes and breaks is the actual casting that holds the vacuum breaker.Very often you can clearly see a crack in this housing.Of course since this casting is external to the house,the leak will be outside as well.
    To answer your other question,yes Woodford supplies replacement parts for their hydrants.Just get your model number and look here:
    http://www.woodfordmfg.com/Woodford/CatalogSheets.htm
    Last edited by Lancaster; 04-06-2006 at 03:49 PM.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the info, Lancaster. I haven't popped off the plastic cap to take a close look at the casting hidden by the cap, but will do so. Checked the rest of the faucet which is exposed and have found no cracks. Thanks also for the link -- made it easy to find the right model number and the spec sheet with part #'s for our model. Thanks.

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