Leaking silcock


Not knowing how it works...as a new home owner I twisted the knob on the silcock (its the one with a circular plasticky knob that needs to be rotated counterclockwise) a bit too hard and I cracked the knob. Last summer I replaced the knob but now its worse...there is water gushing out from everywhere. My internal shutoff is quite a walk and I need this working properly this summer/spring to water my backyard properly. I hate 'the long walk' and the wastage of water and also that the water spills on my deck that I had stained last fall.
Somewhere on the net I read that I would need a soldering gun if I were to replace the whole assembly and that it would be a mess...I need some guidance/reassurance if it is DIY project or not and is the fix a simple washer and TFE tape or the whole replacement (I prefert this not to be the problem).
Thanks,
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Amol wrote:

the valve stem, all is not lost. Given your apparent level of experience, I would not recommend a replacement as one of your first DIY projects. However, first examine your sillcock as much as possible. You may be lucky and the sillcock is attached to your house plumbing with a screw on fitting (though most are soldered), try removing the valve stem and checking the washer, valve seat and packing and then go to the hardware store and see if they have an identical one in stock, perhaps they have replacement stems. Buy that and swap replacement parts (valve stem and handle). You could get away for less than $10.
But if water is coming from any other location on the valve, call a plumber, it needs replacing and a torch is probably required. A soldering gun capable of doing the job is not cheap. Handling a torch is a learned art, practicing next to the house wall is not a good idea.
--
Grandpa

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I have a rule of thumb on my place, if I have to futz with a valve, I replace it with a ball valve.
Valves with washers always require maintenance futzing with packing and washers is not my idea of fun.
What kind of pipe do you have? And what kind of connection do you have between the sillcock and the pipe?
If you do not know, then perhaps if you make a careful sketch or take a digital photograph of your valve to a good hardware store they can guide you to the best way to fix it.
--

Roger Shoaf

About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
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Thank you Grandpa, mm and Roger for your detailed diagnostics. In no particular order, following are my responses:
1. Water is gushing out only from the spigot and the knob area only....so looks like all is not lost. 2. I live in Chicago, IL so the temps do drop below zero Fahrenheit outside and that is where this tap is (into the backyard on my deck and connected to my master bedroom which is heated... it is not in my basement) 3. Yes, nothing else is cracked. 4. Yes, its a copper pipe when I look at it from the inside and then there is a metal spigot and a plastic knob. 5. The metal spigot is screwed into the siding of my house outside my master bedroom. 6. As far as I can remember (I am not at home right now)...the spigot is screwed into a teflon/plastic base on the siding and the only other screw if the one that holds the knob in place. The knob moves out (in the user's direction) when moved counter-clockwise and the water flow starts.
I need to figure out how to get to the stem, the valve and the seat out. Worst case, I will take a digital photo to the local store...
Thanks for all your help folks.
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Is this a freeze proof sillcock? If it is, it's also possible it was allowed to freeze and bust by leaving a hose attached to it, so it couldn't drain. Would think it hard to wind up with water spewing like this from just tightening up the shut off too much.
Also, check if it's actually soldered on. Many of the freeze proof ones can be installed either by soldering or just screwing it on to a female fitting.
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Amol wrote:

house. Google it and see if it looks like yours. Trader4 is most likely right that they just screw on. In fact, there are several "repair your sillcock" sites that give you step by step instructions. They come in various lengths; depending on brand, they may not be repairable, so consider replacing it. Hardest part is going to be holding the pipe its attached to so that it doesn't twist into a spiral and fracture.
--
Grandpa

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Let me restate my problem and add some solid facts. It is a NIBCO sillcock (frost proof) and yes I cracked the plastic handle by overtightening it. I replaced the plastic knob but the problem is not that it leaks when shut off but it spews water when it is in operation from around the plastic handle and spigot as it does from the actual hose.. It does NOT leak when it is shut off.
Sorry for not clarifying this earlier. Any different diagnosis?
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Amol wrote:

Since I feel you're going to have to replace it anyway, there's no harm is trying to fix it albeit even temporarily. There should be a packing nut that more or less holds the stem in place. You *should* (but remember its a NIBCO) be able to unscrew that and see what kind of packing washer or packing thread was used to seal the nut. Then with the packing nut off, you can unscrew the stem and check the condition of the stem washer that hides inside the valve. Since its a frostfree and nobody I know has fingers thin and long enough to feel the seat, just see if the stem washer face is smooth and firm. You should be able to at least find a stem washer and a packing washer or packing thread to seal up the packing nut at a hardware store's plumbing section. That should seal up the leak around the stem. But remember, I did suggest replacing it first.
As for the spewing water at the spigot, do you have a washer in the hose?
--
Grandpa

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Ignore my messages... I found the following set of instructions for my specific problem... this should do it I think
In order to fix this leaking around the handle, you first remove the screw that holds the handle on to the valve stem. Next, you remove the packing nut - a large adjustable wrench will work. Then you need to remove the old packing gasket material and the brass packing washer. Clean up the brass packing washer and replace the packing washer, if you can find one in the size you need. Look for a flat packing washer in your hardware store. You can also check with a plumbing supply jobber. It doesn't have to be the grey clay-like material that you removed. I searched many stores without success. I fashioned a new packing washer out of 1/8" thick rubber, and it worked fine. Make sure you put some thread dope on the packing nut threads before you re-install it. Don't over-tighten the packing nut; stop when you get resistance. The rubber material will fill the gap very nicely, and the leaking around the handle should have stopped competely. There is nothing wrong with the design of the faucet. The correct order of re-installing these parts is: (1) the brass packing washer (2) the new packing gasket material (3) the packing nut (4) the handle
Thanks for all your support.
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And as I said before, it's hard to figure out how the gushing water is being caused by a packing problem from overtightening the handle. The plastic handle cracking I can see. But I'd be surprised if this is just a packing problem, as that doesn't typically go from being OK to suddenly gushing water.
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