Frost-Free Vacuum Breaker Faucet Leaks

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by Upstairs John, Sep 17, 2004.

  1. Upstairs John

    Upstairs John New Member

    New Jersey

    I have a Mueller/BK frost-free, vacuum breaker hose bibb faucet. After several years, it began to leak through the vacuum breaker cap (with hose attached). I replaced the vacuum breaker with a kit. When I turn on the faucet without the hose, water comes out for a few turns, then the faucet and pipes experience shaking (water hammer?) and water again slowly leaks around the vacuum breaker cap. With the hose attached and the sprayer nozzle closed, the water immediately spurts from the vacuum breaker cap with the same shaking.

    I have a ball valve controlling the faucet and a handwheel valve controlling the rest of the house. I've experienced zero water hammer problems in 12 years I've been in the house.

    Please save me a ton of $$$ with a suggestion, because this is a difficult to reach faucet for a plumber from the inside.
  2. e-plumber

    e-plumber DIY Senior Member

    New York
    Some Ideas

    I would suggest removing the stem from the faucet and check for loose parts, (the rattling) replace the bibb washer while it's apart. Also purchase a new vacuum breaker repair kit or a complete vacuum breaker for the hose bibb if the kit that you purchased requires you to reinstall some existing parts.
    Worst case scenario, install a whole new frost free hose bibb and be done with it, sometimes this is the way to go instead of spending time attempting repairs.
  3. Upstairs John

    Upstairs John New Member

    New Jersey
    ePlumber : I installed a new vacuum breaker kit from Mueller/BK because the original unit seemed to be broken. Replacing the entire bibb would be my plan also, but I tried and can't due to the lack of access and tight space. I was hoping to unscrew the entire valve from the connection, but I can't rotate the unit 360 degrees because the faucet won't clear the siding!

    It appears that a plumber is the only solution, but the one that installed it in the first place was never the same and won't return!

    Thanks for the help.

    PS: Why is the vacuum breaker leaking water? If it's coming out so fast, why doesn't it just go out the faucet?
  4. PEW

    PEW DIY Senior Member


    You should be able to find a rebuild kit for the vacuum break, a leak there usually does not require a complete replacement.

    However, I have found that in most cases, if you take it apart carefully, it can be cleaned and reinstalled eliminating the problem.
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2004
  5. timspiro

    timspiro New Member


    I have the same problem as "Upstairs" and same mfg. I live on L.I., NY and can't locate a rebuild kit. Any suggestions?
  6. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

    Bothell, Washington
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