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homehelp123 07-02-2010 09:55 PM

replacing outdoor faucet
We are planning to replace an outdoor faucet. The current one has leaked from the handle for years while the water was running and was too rusted to try to replace the washer. Now it drips slowly even when the faucet is turned off. After years of dripping it has caused some siding damage which we plan to repair when we fix the faucet. My husband does have some minor plumbing experience with soldering, etc. The problem is the crawlspace in this area is inaccessible for him to work on from under the house. Is it reasonable that when we remove the siding to cut the pipe and repair it that way and then replace the plywood and siding afterward?

kok328 07-03-2010 04:00 AM

Not likely. This is probably a "frost free" faucet in which case the valve stem is 12 inches back from the siding. If you cut the pipe at the point of the siding, you'll end up cutting into the stem for the shut off valve.

homehelp123 07-03-2010 09:23 AM

Thanks for replying! What I meant we plan to do is to cut an actual hole in the siding, so it's exposed. Then cut the pipe coming up, resolder a new one and then attach a frost free faucet. The other option is going in from a bedroom that shares a common wall and cutting open the drywall.
Do either of these options sound like they'd work?

kok328 07-03-2010 09:51 AM

Not totally sure what your dealing with. I thought you had a faucet plumbed from the crawlspace to the exterior of the home. This faucet will most likely be frost free and wrapped with insulation to prevent freezing. If what your saying is you want to cut the faucet off at siding point and then pull back the existing pipe to sweat on new pipe, then yes that will work but, I don't see the need for the extra step. I'd unsweat the existing, pull it out of the siding and install the new one.

homehelp123 07-03-2010 01:25 PM

Well we ended up going through the drywall only to find that the only pipes the previous owners didn't change to copper is this one going to the outside faucet. We are now trying to figure out what the next best step is. Our house is 40 years old.

Redwood 07-03-2010 03:08 PM

Have fun in the crawlspace....:eek:

Nestor_Kelebay 07-03-2010 04:27 PM

I would cut open the drywall as mentioned in a previous post.

That way you can see exactly what you're dealing with (iron or copper piping) first before you shut off the water and decide on your gameplan.

Also, if you don't know what pipe in your basement or crawlspace supplies water to this hydrant, it might be a good idea to install an access door on the wall and have a shut off valve upstream of the hydrant which you can use the shut off the water supply to the hydrant for repairs.

Mifab makes a line of access doors and they can be ordered from any plumbing wholesaler for anywhere from $20 to $200, depending on what you need. They make access doors to fit stud spacing of both 16 and 24 inches, both with and without locks. A simple access panel to cover the hole shouldn't cost any more than $40.

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homehelp123 07-03-2010 09:32 PM

Thanks everyone for your help and input. We decided we didn't want to mess with 40 year old galvanized pipe and risk crushing it and then really having a big problem. My husband was able to remove the stem and replace the "gasket" or whatever that's called. He took it to a hardware store to see if they could remove the screw holding on the handle so we could replace that gasket as well. Unfortunately they broke the screw off inside the stem. At least now the faucet doesn't leak when it's turned off, but still leaks when the water is running. At some point we'll see if we can get the broken screw out so the handle stays on better. If anyone has advice how to remove a very small broken screw that would be great.

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