One of the faucets to the hoses of our washing machine started
leaking. I thought I would be able to simply remove it and replace
it. It is a metal faucet in a plastic pipe, and I can't get it to
budge with an adjustable wrench. It is a metal faucet in a plastic
pipe. I'm afraid that if I put too much force on it, the pipe will
break. Is there a trick to getting this kind of faucet off the pipe?
You may be forced into a major repair. Prepare in advance by rounding
up the parts needed (a quarter turn faucet is a must), plastic pipe
coupling, pipe nipple of appropriate length, threaded el, etc. Then
turn off the supply valve and start the repair. You might get lucky
and the valve will back out, but from here it the best guess is that
it was installed with a thread locking sealant because of leakage
often found in molded threads in plastic fittings. Plan ahead and good
If I can't simply take the faucet off and replace it, it is beyond
what I can do. I turned off the water, let it drain, and tried both
faucets and neither would budge at all at the force I applied, trying
to be careful not to break it. Since they wouldn't come off easily,
it sounds like it is more than I can do. I replaced one of these
outside, but it was metal on metal and came off easily.
I'm assuming that when you say "faucets to the hoses" you mean the
If there is a shut-off prior to this one (I doubt it) turn it off. If
not, turn off the house main.
Once that's done "Go for it"! If something breaks, you'll know what
you need to buy to fix it.
I suggest you start this in the morning so you have all day to chase
down parts. Worst case is you might have to cap off the pipe leading
to the shutoff so you can turn the water back on.
If they are plumbed with CPVC instead of PVC pipe you are in luck. You
can get a very good connector called Sharkbite. Yuo just make a square
cut on the pipe and push the connector on the pipe. This make doing
simple plumbing super eaasy. Jud I know you can do this. Just google
sharkbite and check out their website I am sure this will give you an
idea of how to fix the plumbing if you havent gotten it fixed
You should learn a new skill or two, how to sweat copper pipe, how to
make PVC glued connections. Both are easy to do. Instructions are
plentiful on the internet. Learning something new is always fun.
Yes, it is some sort of PVC pipe. If I break that trying to get the
thing off, there would be no way I can fix it, so I'd have to have the
whole house w/o water until I could get a plumber. So I don't want to
risk breaking it.
Repair with new pipe and glue would probably be simpler than sweating
copper. Plumbing is not rocket science but I often say that the
difference between me and a plumber is that the plumber has a truck full
of parts while I'll be running back and forth to the store.
Neighbor's son told me he broke a section of his fathers CPVC pipe
crawling under sink hanging onto pipe. Said it was quite brittle.
On Mon, 6 Jul 2009 10:26:10 -0700 (PDT), Eric in North TX
I thought it would be simpler to replace it, but that doesn't seem
easy. Repairing it may be more than I can do. I've repaired kitchen
and bathroom faucets, but they were designed to be repairable.
It is the hot water spigot that is leaking. When it is off it doesn't
leak. When it is on it leaks about three drops per second, out of the
shaft. For the last couple of days we've had it off and have been
The only repair that seems possible is if it's leaking at the handle
stem. Then, on a metal faucet there is usually a six-sided part that
unscrews and you can repack the packing that keeps the water from
Crescent wrenches, adjustable wrenches are great for bicycles, but
they're always getting loose for a lot of other things and rounding
off corners or slipping. Except maybe the ones with gimmicks to keep
them at one setting. I used to have a set of Craftsman combination
open/box end wrenches but I lost them and now have a cheap set. So far
they've worked fine and been strong enough.
That's what I meant by stem. I hadn't read this far.
I hear you can do that. The new soaps must be a lot better in the
last 30 years. Really dirty things that would never come clean before
come out perfectly clean in warm/cold. Haven't tried cold/cold much.
I didnt' believe they had enzymes in the detergent until I read that
there was a safety issue at the factory bnecause of enzymes. They
must really work.
If you could locate a faucet of the same design & hopefully
manufacturer, you could just swap out the innards by backing out the
packing nut, winding out the stem, & reverse the procedure for the new
Based on what you wrote, you appear to have it almost fixed.
The nut that you tightened on the top compresses some paking that is around
the shaft and underneath the nut. Compressing that packing seals the leak.
You could try loosening the nut all the way and looking at what is
underneath the nut. You can buy teflon "valve stem thread" or "valve stem
packing" (I forget exactly what it is called) at any hardware store etc. --
in the plumbing repair area. Then, loosen the nut, wrap a little of the
packing thread around the shaft under the nut, then tighten the nut. That
should stop the leak completely.
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