Copper Sillcock Broke off inside Brick Wall- How to remove?

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum' started by amodoko, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. Nov 29, 2012 #1

    amodoko

    amodoko

    amodoko

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    Hey guys, replacing some old frost proof sillcocks simply because they are leaking/are hard to find replacement parts for/and have their handles rusted on. Basically felt it would be easier and take me less time to just replace them.

    I replaced 2 out of 3 of them already, the last one is giving me some problems though. It was cemented into the house (house is brick), almost looks like it was put in during the initial construction of the home 30-35 years ago when the mortar was still wet. I already replaced one that was cemented into this house, and it wasn't a problem, just wacked the old sillcock with a hammer and got it out. This one, however, was very difficult to get out. While I was hammering both from the outside of the house and the inside of the house (moving it back and forth), it cracked a bit and part of it eventually broke off. So I just grabbed whatever tools I had around and wedged it in the hole and started hammering that in to push it in and out. It was working fine, but after some time, it seems like that copper sillcock is staying in there. It won't budge past a certain point in the brick wall and I can't get it out.

    My questions are:

    1) How can I correct my mistake and get this copper sillcock out of the wall so I can put a new one in? It seems like hammering is no longer working since the copper is just getting mashed up inside the wall.

    2) If you suggest somehow drilling the copper out within that hole, what tools/supplies do I need to do this?

    3) Should I just cement up the holes from the outside and close up the holes on the inside of the house and create a new hole to put the new sillcock through? If you think this is the best choice ,what tools will I need to create the new hole through the brick house?

    Thanks for the help, much appreciated
     
  2. Nov 29, 2012 #2

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    I would drill a new hole , you can rent a hammer drill with a bit just bigger than the new tap and get the smaller bit for the screws to hold it in place.
     
  3. Nov 29, 2012 #3

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Try torqueing the stuck piece or try pulling it with a comealong or pushing it with a scissor/bottle jack or drill so many small holes through it that it no longer has the will to fight.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2012
  4. Nov 30, 2012 #4

    amodoko

    amodoko

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    Thanks for the replies guys, we'll see what ends up working. Like nealtw said, I may have to drill a new hole. But I'll try the things wuzzat said first.

    I don't think I'll use the comealong though, it may come off the copper pipe and swing back out at me. I don't think I could use a jack either since I would have to secure it somewhere to avoid the push back and I'm not quite sure how I would secure it. I didn't quite understand what you meant by drilling holes in it though. It is lodged in the wall, so I don't really understand how drilling holes into the pipe will help it budge out. Could you maybe elaborate on the drilling holes method?
     
  5. Nov 30, 2012 #5

    itiswhatitis1

    itiswhatitis1

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  6. Nov 30, 2012 #6

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    Drill many holes through the mash to weaken it.
     
  7. Nov 30, 2012 #7

    amodoko

    amodoko

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    Thanks guys, I ended up using an old sillcock and used that to punch it out. I had to wack the crap out of it, but it finally popped out after several tries. Thanks for the help and ideas, now I have other options in case I run into this issue again.
     
  8. Nov 30, 2012 #8

    nealtw

    nealtw

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    They never leak a little, they leak when they are turned on likely because the hose was left attached over the winter.
     
  9. Nov 30, 2012 #9

    amodoko

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    It's my parents' house, so I'm not so sure if they've used proper care when dealing with hoses and sillcocks, but I can tell you what I found to be the problem with all 3 frost proof sillcocks just for kicks based on the immediate symptoms each had.

    First off, two sillcocks are a little over 30 years old (came with their house) and one was 10 years old. The first one I replaced was just dripping a little bit when shut off. It just needed a new washer I believe, so in that case it was leaking just a little but due to a bad washer which I believe went bad over time as washers do. It had some cheap plastic handle on it that was screwed in and it was rusted bad. I tried to get the screw out with tapping it with a hammer, penetrating oil, etc. It wouldn't budge. I couldn't torch the screw to get it loose either because then the handle and internals would melt since many parts were plastic or rubber. I was going to just drill the screw out then decided it would be easier to just replace the whole sillcock since it would be hard to find exact fitting replacement parts unless I went to a specialty store. I tried replacement parts from Lowes and they wouldn't fit perfect anyways, plus they cost about the same as a new sillcock so I thought it would be best to replace it. After replacing this sillcock, I checked the old sillcock's washer and it was very hard and appeared to have lost it's pliability over time (due to minerals in the water system) and thus, sealing ability, and is my guess as to the reason of this drip.

    Second sillcock was installed improperly by a handyman about 10 years ago. It failed very quick, within a year based on what my parents said. It developed a leak in the actual copper pipe portion of the sillcock itself. After removing it and examining it, the sillcock had burst from freezing due to being installed with it angled downwards into the house, so that water would not drain properly. In addition, the handyman had used what looked to be thinset mortar to hold the sillcock in place and that had broken off and created a large opening for air to pass into the house and thus freeze the nearby reservoir of water in the sillcock causing it to burst. So that one needed to be replaced for sure since I don't trust patching a burst pipe.

    Last sillcock would not stop leaking from the handle when shut off. I'm not sure of the exact cause of this because I can't remember the exact conditions, but I believe it was a combination of a bad seat washer and a bad seal in the handle. I know for sure it would leak when a hose was attached, but I also think it was leaking from the handle without a hose attached (just can't remember for sure but it doesn't make sense why it would leak from the handle and not the spout when the hose was removed, so I can't remember the exact conditions of this one). Even though I could replace it for about the same cost as parts, I wanted to try fixing it with parts for fun by buying a kit from Lowes and a handle from HD. I did end up fixing the leak with parts (just replaced the seat washer and another rubber seal near the handle and that stopped the leak from the handle. Also installed a new handle and used plumber's grease on some of the rubber internals), but my Mother had difficulty turning the new handle since she is older and the handle didn't fit perfectly well with the whole set up. The old handle had to be cut off since it could not be removed, again, due to a rusty screw and the fact that the handle was plastic and couldn't tolerate a torch. So I ended up returning the parts and decided to solder a new one in so my Mother would be able to use it easier. But the old sillcock worked fine when I replaced some of the rubber internals.

    Sorry I wrote so much, just wanted to say why I chose to replace all the sillcocks.
     
  10. Nov 30, 2012 #10

    nealtw

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    After 30 years changing them out was probably the best choice, I've changed a few of these and usually have to take half the house apart on the inside. A friend of mine won't believe his frooze so when I did the second one I went old school with shut off inside.
     
  11. Dec 1, 2012 #11

    amodoko

    amodoko

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    you're absolutely right. When replacing frost proof sillcocks you do have to do a lot of crap on the inside of the house since they go into the house. For me, this time 2 out of 3 of them were in horribly cramped locations and I had to be careful soldering (didn't want to use a shark bite since I don't trust them for long periods of time) or I had to do a bunch of prep work to make sure soldering would go smoothly in such a tight location.

    Your friends' that froze, was that a frost proof sillcock as well? Or was it just a regular sillcock/hose bib? If it was a frost proof one, I'm assuming it was due to a bad drain angle or a hose was attached, correct?

    And all 3 of the sillcocks I replaced do have shut offs, they just were never used since my parents trusted the frost proof sillcocks from not freezing. I ended up replacing one of the shut offs with a quarter turn ball valve, and the other two I left since they were working (although I should have probably replaced them too since they were so old... probably going to have to replace them in a few years now, lol).
     
  12. Dec 3, 2012 #12

    nealtw

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    Ya he keeps leaving the hose hooked up, but now if it freezes it leaks outside and he knows it. With the frost proof ones, you don't know it until you used it.
     

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