Cost to replace two hose bibs


  #1  
Old 06-07-23, 07:59 AM
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Cost to replace two hose bibs

Hello,

Both of our hose bibs are leaking only when the valve is turned on. It seems to be coming either from where the small "stem" passes through the wider neck, or where the nut meets another part of the bib. Hopefully from the water shown in the pics you can get a better idea of where the water is leaking.

I got one quote and they want $200 per bib. That seems pricey to me, but I'm not a plumber. What would be a reasonable price to replace these two bibs? If it matters at all, we have a sealed crawl space and they're calling for "frost free" bibs. And of course there's a shutoff valve in the crawl space for each bib.

I'm pretty certain these are the original bibs, so they're 22 years old.

Thanks,
Andy








 
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Old 06-07-23, 09:02 AM
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you can try to tighten the nut on the stem yourself to stop that leak. It is probably from worn packing below the nut. if that fails, you can turn off the water at the shutoff and then remove the nut, clean out the old packing and insert some material. It is sold at home centers and hardware stores and it looks like black string.

- Peter
 
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Old 06-07-23, 09:19 AM
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Thanks Peter. I was just reading about graphite valve stem packing. Think I'll go that route first and try to save several hundred dollars.
 
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Old 06-07-23, 09:54 AM
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Plumbers get paid well - that's why it behooves us to diy if we can.
There is probably a rubber washer under that nut that needs to be replaced. They aren't expensive, the trick is getting the right size.
 
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Old 06-07-23, 09:59 AM
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I would try tightening your packing nut. If that doesn't do it add more or replace the packing. The nice thing is you don't have to turn the water off to the house. A very quick and easy repair.

As for the plumbers' cost. $200 is a lot but not out of range. It can be a surprisingly difficult job sometimes just because of the limited access plus their time and travel. Still, it never hurts to check with several to make sure someone isn't trying to fleece you.
 
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Old 06-07-23, 11:10 AM
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Thanks Mark and Pilot Dane. I'll try to tighten a bit first. If that doesn't do it, I'll plan on replacing the packing and possibly the washer.

Lowes and HD both had mixed reviews on their graphite packing material. Is there a brand anyone would recommend, and how do I now what thickness to buy? Looks like there are few different sizes.
 
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Old 06-07-23, 11:39 AM
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To me, $200 to replace one sounds reasonable. However, the plumber is already there on a trip so in my mind the second one should be less.
 
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Old 06-08-23, 06:34 AM
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Well, I feel pretty foolish now. For whatever reason, I didn't really look at the bib that closely and even consider tightening that nut. I might have been thinking it was part of the whole assembly and couldn't be tightened

I just finished tightening the nut on both hose bibs and both no longer leak. Amazing what a loose connection can do I did notice the valve is a bit harder to turn, which I wasn't expecting. Should it be harder to turn now with that nut tightened?

If it ends up failing in the future, how do I determine the thickness of the graphite packing material and could I possibly also need bonnet packing (see link below)?

I just read the compression washer can fail over time. Given the age (22 years old), should I take the time now to replace the packing material, bonnet packing and compression washer and be done with it, or let it ride?

https://www.danco.com/product-catego.../stem-packing/

Thanks for your suggestion Peter! You just saved me roughly $400!
 

Last edited by hikerguy; 06-08-23 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 06-08-23, 07:25 AM
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I'd call it good for now ..... and remember what you've learned when it comes time to address it again.
 
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Old 06-08-23, 08:14 AM
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It is a balancing act with the packing nut. Too loose and it leaks. Too tight and it's hard to turn the knob. So, just tighten enough to stop the water flow and no more.
 
 

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