Outside faucet (spigot) problem

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  #1  
Old 03-24-01, 11:02 AM
wombatcat
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I am a complete and total plumbing beginner, so forgive me if I include too much or not enough information....I live in MN, house was built in 1917, water is dripping out of the pipe that the spigot is attached to (so far I only see water on the OUTSIDE of the house). I'm pretty sure that it's not the washer, because the water isn't coming out of the place where it should be. I tried the shut-off (at least that's what I hope it is) on the inside of the house and I can't get it to turn at all, even using a screwdriver as leverage. To my untrained eyes it looks like water is coming out of the wall right around where the pipe comes out of the wall....can someone please give me total beginners instructions on how to solve my problem (starting with the shut-off valve, if possible)?
I can't afford a plumber at all right now. Thanks for any help you can give me!
 
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Old 03-24-01, 12:53 PM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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First, do you know if your outside spigot is a regular spigot, or a so-called freeze-proof (fp)spigot?
Since you're in MN, my guess is that it's a fp.
If it is, it may well just be the washer.
A freeze-proof usually has a drain hole on the barrel behind the spigot, and if the washer is leaking, then that's where the water is going to leak from. Very easy to fix.
A fp spigot will have the stem handle sticking straight out, and a regular spigot handle will be at an angle or up.
If your main cut-off valve is hard to turn, use a pair of channel-lock pliers on the stem for leverage to start it, and turn it clockwise to close it.
To replace the washer on the fp, unscrew the cap that the stem is in (adjustable wrench or channel-locks) and pull out the cap and stem.
The washer will be on the end of stem. Replace it with the exact same kind.
Should solve the problem.
If you need any help, just come back on this same thread and ask.
Good Luck!
Mike
 
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Old 03-24-01, 10:44 PM
wombatcat
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Talking I'm REALLY a beginner....

Thanks for the info, with your help I was able to get the water shut off....and your advice about the washer, I think this is something I can do!!!! But can you tell me,

When you say,
"A fp spigot will have the stem handle sticking straight out, and a regular spigot handle will be at an angle or up." is the stem handle the part that I turn to turn the hose on? And when you say "straight out", does that mean that it is at an angle with the wall? or parallel to the wall? Mine is at an angle to the wall.

"To replace the washer on the fp, unscrew the cap that the stem is in (adjustable wrench or channel-locks) and pull out the cap and stem." Where is this located? Is this inside the place where the water comes out?

I think that if you can help me with these things, and I do have a FP spigot, then this is a repair that I will be able to make!!! I'm already excited. Thanks very much for your help!
 
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Old 03-25-01, 03:59 AM
Mike Swearingen's Avatar
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These are freeze-proof spigots.
The blue handle is on the stem (that sticks straight out from the wall and runs the length of the barrel). As you can see, the handle itself actually would be parallel with the wall.
The washer is on the opposite end of the stem inside the barrel (pipe part) of the spigot. Since the water flow is shut off by the washer at the far right end of the spigot (as it is shown here), no water can freeze in the spigot.
The stem cap is directly to the right of the blue handle, and the stem sticks out through the middle of it.
If your spigot handle is at an angle (not parallel) to the wall, then you do not have a freeze-proof, and you may have a burst water line.
What type of pipe is your spigot on (galvanized [gray] steel, copper, or white plastic PVC)?
Mike
 
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