Out door faucet leak causes flooding inside.


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Old 05-14-07, 10:03 PM
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Out door faucet leak causes flooding inside.

I have an outdoor faucet leak problem when I tried to use the faucet for the 1st time after winters.
I hooked up the water hose to the outdoor faucet and started watering plants, suddenly I realized the ground from inside the home where the faucet is installed is flooded with water. I live in a townhome which has no basement, so the flooding was all on the kitchen tiled floor. I immediately shut off the outdoor faucet and there was no leak after that. I removed the garden hose from the outdoor faucet and cleaned up and dried up the kitchen tiled floor without any mess.
Now since the leak stopped after I shut off the outdoor faucet, does that mean the problem is only with the faucet and not the whole pipe connecting it? Also the faucet is connected to the outdoor vinyl siding and I see some kind of glue around the faucet, does that mean I have to cut the siding if I have to change the complete faucet or just take the glue off and it would be able to come out just by unscrewing it off the pipe? Also is it possible to get it fixed just by changing the washer? Another thing I noticed was that I didn't see any leakage from outside where I connected the garden hose. All the leakage was from inside home which caused the flooding. Please suggest how can I solve this problem and start using the outdoor faucet again.
Thanks.
 
  #2  
Old 05-15-07, 01:33 PM
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Most modern outdoor faucets are of a 'frost-proof' variety. Their construction places the shutoff valve in the home wall several inches behind the outside handle (maybe 6 to 14, depending on faucet). In other words, the valve is in the framed wall (where it stays warm) and the handle and spigot is outside in the cold of winter. This design allows the water to drain away from the valve and out the spigot, leaving the valve warm and unfrozen. The problem is when a hose, etc. is left on the faucet in freezing weather. As the water at the spigot freezes, the water that is trapped in the pipe between the spigot and valve gets compressed by the freezing water. Eventually the pipe between valve and spigot splits. That's why you didn't see the leak in your kitchen until you turned the water on outside. The only solution is to replace the entire frostproof faucet assembly, which in your case sounds like the wall will need to be opened up.
 
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Old 05-15-07, 01:40 PM
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spot on

What Formula described is exactly what happened to me at my old house - accidentally left a hose attached, so the water didn't drain out of the pipe during the winter. It froze and the pipe that sits between the recessed valve and the faucet handle split. So no leak appeared until I turned on the faucet, at which point the indoor waterworks began. In my case, that section of pipe was inside a wall and required cutting open the wall to replace the whole pipe + faucet. Fun fun fun...
 
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Old 05-15-07, 04:27 PM
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Another thing. When you install your replacement, it will come with a nylon half circle wedge. Place it on the top half of the flange before you screw it to the house. This will force the spigot to actually point down slightly and completely drain, as designed, and will keep residual water from remaining in the pipe (unless of course you decide to leave a hose connected during the winter!)
 
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Old 05-16-07, 10:50 PM
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I got the idea, and the replies are very useful and explains everything what happened with the out door faucet.
I will surely replace the outdoor faucet soon, what ever it takes and do it myself.
Thanks for all the information.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 12:09 PM
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Unhappy

I'm in the same boat, except my problem is the leak is inside a brick wall. The pipe goes into the crawl space under my house. How screwed am I?
 
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Old 06-07-07, 12:45 PM
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Depends. As a plumber i usually do the demolition and repair the problem and have the homeowner hire someone else to patch it up . So in my case i wouldn't be screwed. if your going to do it all yourself....well.....you could be.

Your going to have to get inside the brick regardless. Only other way is if you can find the pipe in the crawl space and cap off the line going to the hose bib or run a new line and install a new hose bib. Then you may not have to open the wall. I'd have to see your situation to make a good assessment.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 12:54 PM
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CSG, could I turn off the water, cut the pipe, add a couple, new piece of pipe, new hose bib (not sure what that is) new faucet? I can see the pipe coming though the wall and have access to all of it but the 3 or 4 inches in the wall.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 05:33 PM
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answer: yes

hose bib = outside faucet = spigot = thing you hook hose to
 
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Old 06-07-07, 07:29 PM
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I meant to say coupler. Is that a legit fix? I think I could handle that.
 
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Old 06-07-07, 07:44 PM
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Yes that is a legit fix. Buy a new faucet and pipe and coupler. Attach faucet to pipe long enough to get you into the crawlspace to easy working spot. (6 or 8 inches inside.) Attach faucet to wall and couple to old water pipe and you are good to go.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 09:41 AM
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Don't those long "frost-free" faucets screw in? I'll bet there's a threaded connection somewhere back inside the wall, you just can't see it. I'll bet the long part of the faucet between where the washer sits and the outside of the wall is is split (the part that covers the long stem). So the washer still seats properly, but when you turn it on the leak is AFTER the washer, but inside the wall. I'd try wrapping a wrench around the outside part of faucet and try to unscrew it first. The longer the wrench handle, the more leverage you can get. I'd also run a razor blade around the caulk to help free it up, and then you are not trying to break the seal of the caulk AND the thread at the same time. IF it comes out clean, just take it with you to go get a replacement and replace it. If you break it, well, it's already busted....

I just like to try the easy way first.

Tom
 
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Old 06-08-07, 10:43 AM
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Thanks, Tom. I'll try that first. Stupid question, do I need to turn the water off first? I'm a first-time homeowner, so a lot of this not-so-regular maintenance is new to me.
 
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Old 06-08-07, 05:19 PM
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You don't HAVE to, but you will get wet if you don't. Yes, the water should be turned off and the pressure released prior to cutting into the pipes.
 
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Old 05-23-11, 02:49 PM
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After reading the posts I am sorry admit I'm one on the dummies who left the outside hose intact during the winter. I've just finished mopping up the mess in my basement. My home has vinyl siding - and I am wondering if anyone can provide a ballpark estimate on the repair; given a section of the wall may have to be cut out and replaced. Thanks!!!!
 
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Old 05-23-11, 03:30 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Why would your siding need to be replaced? Most likely the water went down and the OSB has dried out. You can check it by removing the siding (unzipping and lifting it off the roofing nails) to see how much damage there is to the OSB. You can let it air out if not too much damage has been done. If replacement of a part of the wall is necessary, unzip enough siding to expose an area at least 32" wide and cut it out and replace it with new OSB, then rehang your siding using the existing siding as a guide.
I've got to go replace one tomorrow where the owner said he was a stickler for removing the hoses for winter time. Got there the other day to inspect and he had left a "Y" attached to the faucet, both closed. You're in good company.
 
 

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