How to Replace a Hose Bib Vacuum Breaker

What You'll Need
A pair of pliers
2 screw drivers

A hose bib vacuum breaker (HVB) is a small, but essential part of the standard garden hose. It secures the hose bib, or faucet, onto the hose itself and it is purposely difficult to remove because it prevents water back-flow. Back-flow can be a very dangerous situation and can possibly cause contamination of the entire household water supply. There are many state health and safety regulatory bodies that require the use of vacuum breakers on all commercial and residential hoses. When installed properly and under normal use, vacuum breakers should not need to be replaced for several years, but they should be periodically examined for leaks or other damage and to ensure that it is working correctly. If an HVB needs to be replaced, there are basically two options: Remove just the vacuum breaker piece by gently sawing it off or drilling the screws out of it and replacing it with a new vacuum breaker or turn off the household water supply and replace the entire hose bib.

Step 1 - Shut off the Valve

Use the handle to turn off the plastic valve

Step 2 - Loosen the Breaker Cap

Position the screw drivers on opposite sides of the vacuum breaker cap, place them under the cap to pry it off. This may be a little difficult at first because they are very strongly sealed to keep the main water supply secure from contamination.

Step 3 - Remove Faucet

Once the breaker cap is loosened, you can now remove the old faucet, or bonnet, with the pliers.

Step 4 - Remove the Old Parts

Remove all of the old HVB parts. Take care to only remove the parts that are included in the new kit. As you remove the parts, note how they are attached so you can replicate the set-up.

Step 5 - Assemble the New Parts

Assemble the new vacuum breaker plunger, taking care to make sure that the plastic center pin and rubber seal are facing up.

Step 6 - Attach the Bonnet

Use the pliers to firmly attach the new bonnet assembly. Make sure that is is not overly tightened.

Step 7 - Secure the Bonnet

Firmly press the new plastic cap down onto the new bonnet.