Another outdoor faucet question


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Old 04-29-06, 05:39 PM
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Another outdoor faucet question

We bought a house a couple months ago and just tried the outdoor faucet for the first time and it did not work. As far as I know, it is a frost proof faucet w/vacuum breaker since these faucets must be used to be up to code in Massachusetts. Also, I am going to make a guess here but it seems the garden hose was never removed for the winter. We have running water in the house and I followed the pipe to the outdoor faucet and the valve is in the on position and there are no signs of water.
Does it sound like the faucet needs to be repaired (stem) or does the whole silcock have to be replaced? Access to the wall where the faucet is through a very tight crawl space, so I am hoping replacing is not the answer. Not sure if this matters but the make of the faucet is Mueller.
Thanks
 
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Old 04-29-06, 05:45 PM
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Turn the water off, and take the stem out of the column with a wrench. Sometimes the rubber washer on the end disengages from the stem and locks in the closed position, and opening the valve does no good. If, when you pull the stem out, there is no rubber washer on it, that is where it is. Things get complicated here. The washer is 12" from where you are, down a tube 3/4" in diameter. Sometimes in this situation, with the stem out, you can temporarily turn on the water and flush the washer out. And, yes, leaving the hose hooked up, forfeits any advantage of having a frostproof sillcock.
 
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Old 04-29-06, 06:50 PM
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Thanks for the reply. If the washer is there, would that mean the faucet froze and needs to be replaced?
 
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Old 04-29-06, 07:22 PM
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No, what it means is the washer was seated so tight that it stuck to the seat more than it stuck to the shaft, and pulled off the shaft. You will have to buy a new washer, but the fix should be simple once you get the washer out. Commonly, people twist the valve to stop it from leaking. It is normal for these frost proof sillcocks to leak about 5 - 10 seconds after the valve is seated in order to evacuate the water out of the tube. They think it is still running and twist it again. This is where it comes from.
Now, once you get into it, you may very well find the shaft has split from freezing, but you won't be able to tell until you charge it with water.
 
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Old 04-30-06, 05:19 AM
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Thanks again. Could I bother for one more question.. Is the shaft the same as the pipe chamber and there for the whole silcock would need replacing, or can any repair be done if in fact it did freeze and the washer is attached. The crawl space is so small I will need to loose 50lbs to get in there an obviously would want to avoid that and fix the faucet from the outside. Lastly, from 1 to 10 on a do it yourself scale... what would you rate replacing the silcock - with limited plumbing experience.
Thanks for all you help and this site/advice is the 100% best I have ever seen.
 
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Old 04-30-06, 05:47 AM
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If the faucet froze, it may have broke the casing. In this case, the whole thing has to be changed. Problem here is that you do not know if it was soldered in or screwed in. Most frost-frees have the option to do either. The end has male threads plus it is sized so that copper pipe can be inserted inside the male fitting for sweating it. Good luck.
 
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Old 04-30-06, 09:22 AM
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On a scale of 1-10, maybe a 3 if screwed in and 5 if soldered. 6 if you forget to take a tool under the house with you the first time and a full 10 if you get stuck.
 
 

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