How do I Repair an Aging Outdoor Faucet?

Old 12-22-13, 12:55 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: USA
Posts: 2
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
How do I Repair an Aging Outdoor Faucet?

I have an older home (circa 1960). It is bi-level and has a lower level patio with a very nice rock (basalt, no mortar) wall. A very convenient outdoor faucet (the ~18 in long no-freeze type) is located about two feet above the patio coming through the rock wall.

Problem: the faucet leaks, the gasket needs replacing. It has leaked very slowly for several years. I can easily control/stop the leak in the summer with a second hose-bib valve connected to the leaking valve. In the winter, to prevent freezing, I remove the second valve, let it leak and just channel the slowly dripping water to nearby shrubs and trees. I also place lots of insulation (a foam cap and bags of fall leaves or shredded paper) around the faucet itself.

I have been unable to locate a shut-off valve for this line except for the valve at the main city water connection. I always use Teflon sealant for my plumbing projects, but I suspect the old pipe seal paste was used on the threads in ~1960; the type which dries rock hard. In the past I have turned off the water at the main and cautiously applied reasonable pipe wrench pressure to the leaky valve but it didn't loosen. I have also been unable to identify the brand of the valve, so pre-selecting a new replacement gasket is a guess, even if the valve did come loose. The valve connection to the water pipe is on the other side of the wall under ~six feet of earth.

The leak rate has been increasing over the past 3 years, so I think I will probably have to repair or replace the valve this coming spring. HOWEVER, I also think the potential for breaking the 50+ year old pipe behind the wall is very high.

To re-state the Problem: The valve connection is virtually inaccessible behind the base of an 8 foot high stone wall, and, if it breaks, I lose all water to our house until it is repaired.

HELP: What is the best way to approach this problem? Any/All suggestions will be greatly appreciated and seriously considered.
Old 12-22-13, 04:20 AM
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 48,241
Received 427 Votes on 382 Posts
It sounds to me like you need to replace the washer. You'd unscrew the top of the hose bib and pull that part out - you'll see the washer, it's easy to replace. One of the plumbers should be along later with probably better instructions
Old 12-22-13, 04:40 AM
Norm201's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: United States
Posts: 10,203
Received 372 Votes on 337 Posts
Marksr is correct, in that most likely the washer needs replacement. And that is a fairly simple procedure, but the water supply must be turned off to do it.

See this video on a how to

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Your question will be posted in: