How to Install a Sillcock

A sillcock is the best protection for your water pipes against exploding, due to freezing temperatures. While professional frost-free sillcock installation is costly, you can install a sillcock by following these simple steps within an hour or so.

Tools and Materials Needed:

  • Hacksaw
  • Bucket
  • Measuring tape
  • Sillcock Kit
  • Copper pipe
  • Steel wool
  • Soldering agent
  • Copper sleeve
  • Wire solder
  • Sealing tape
  • Propane torch
  • Cloth piece
  • Wrench

Step 1: Initial Steps

Locate the position of the main shut off valve in the pipe connected to the sillcock. Turn the sillcock on to let the water get purged. Place the bucket so that the remaining water accumulates there if the pipe is cut off.

Step 2: Measurements

You will see that there is a flange that holds the old sillcock in place. Using a screw driver, loosen the two flange screws. Take the saw and position it 3 inches behind the shut off valve. Cut the pipe at this place. Carefully pull off the existing sillcock. Measure the space between the area on the pipe where it has been cut and the outer wall face. Add 1 inch to the reading you get, to calculate the length of the new pipe for the new sillcock to be installed.

Step 3: Assembling

Assemble the various parts of the sillcock. It has a spigot, an attaching flange to set up to the outer wall, and a short pipe inserted in a coupling at the distant end. For making an extension, a coupling must be attached to a small pipe about 4 inches less than the measurement of the new pipe. Another copper sleeve of 2-inch diameter must be fitted tightly over the copper pipe and the pipe that shall drain water away from the shut off valve.

Step 4: Removing Rust

Use the steel wool to roughly wipe the outside end of the small copper pipe that is the outlet from the shut off valve. This is necessary to remove layers of oxide or rust formed over time. You must also wipe the other pipe attached to the second coupling and the inner areas of the sleeve attached.

Step 5: Soldering

Take some soldering agent, that is, flux and smear it all over the outer surface of the pipe inserted into the second coupling. Put in ½ inch of the sleeve at the end. Heat up the place where this forms a joint by lighting a propane torch. The pipe must become red hot and the soldering flux must form bubbles. Keep moving the torch and put in wire solder into the position of joint from the other end till it forms a liquid like state and starts flowing through the joint area. Now put out the torch and use a cloth that has been made wet to wipe off the extra solder. Leave this fitting undisturbed for a while so that it cools down. Wear gloves when applying solder. Make sure you have put on safety goggles too.

Step 6: Sealing

Use the tape to seal the place where the threads of the first coupling leads away from the spigot assembled. The tape should be stretched to the extent that the thread profile is seen prominently. Keep stretching the tape till it breaks and attach the end onto the thread. Screw the second coupling of the small pipe onto the thread of the first coupling by inserting screws in the holes present. Take the end of wrenches to tightly fit the couplings.

Step 7: Installation

Now insert the spigot pipe in the wall hole where the spigot was previously present. Smear ample flux onto the pipe leading away from the shut off valve into your house. Put the copper coupling on the pipe and pull in the assembly in the inner direction till the flange is near the siding and the sleeve hides at least ½ inch of the shut off valve. The spigot must be downward facing before you finally solder. Now apply the flux to the sleeve and the pipe that was cut in the second step.

Step 8: Final Steps

Leave the sillcock open and simultaneously open the shut off valve. Close the sillcock now to check that there are no seepages or leaks. Install the loose flange meant to be inserted inside, over the surface of the flush pipe. Finally, screw the flange halves using the screws in the kit. Your new sillcock is completely installed.