Leaking Outdoor Faucet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by RoughDobermann, May 13, 2009.

  1. RoughDobermann

    RoughDobermann New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Yet another issue with our new house...

    We have an outdoor faucet that gushes water around the handle (the stem?) when turning the water on. However, it stops once the valve is turned on full. Is this cause for concern? Some kind of back-flow prevention?

    According to the old owners, this faucet was replaced due to it freezing which flooded the basement (which is finished), so I understandably want to be sure. It really is the wife saying, "I don't think that it should do that/I don't want to get wet every time I want to water my flowers."

    Thanks!
  2. jwilson

    jwilson New Member

    Messages:
    16
    It depends on the type of faucet but this might work for you.
    If it's just dripping you could try to just tighten down the bonnet but that's going to last a little while and if it's gushing that probably won't work.

    Shut off the water that goes to the outdoor faucet using the stop valve in the house. Take off the handle. Take off the bonnet (the part that goes over the stem). Remove the old packing or grafoil(graphite). Replace with teflon rope or new grafoil cartridge - a square donut of graphoil . You can get either at any hardware store. While you have it apart it's a good time to replace the sealing washer and the screw that holds it on, but you don't have too. It's just good preventive maintenance. Replace the bonnet and stem handle.
  3. RoughDobermann

    RoughDobermann New Member

    Messages:
    9
    The faucet doesn't drip when the valve is fully open or fully closed. It gushes water from around the stem when opening or closing it, however. So, it's only an issue when we use the faucet. The rest of the time, it's fine.
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,300
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    The symptoms you describe don't exactly fit what I am going to describe, but maybe it will help. Frost free valves are about 12" long and connect to the water supply inside the house, usually in a basement or crawlspace that is heated enough in the winter to prevent freezing. The faucet handle is connected to a rod the goes through this 12" tube to the actual shut off part of the valve. When the water is turned off, the tube drains to the outside and since the tube is now dry and the end of the valve that is connect to the water is in an above freezing location, you have a frost free valve or faucet. What sometimes happens is the homeowner forgets or just doesn't know to disconnect hoses from these valves in the fall. This prevents the normal draining process from occurring an the water in the tube freezes and breaks the tube. But, since the faucet is turned off, there is no leak until spring and the faucet is turned on. This maybe what has happened. If so, the only thing you can do is replace the whole faucet. If the faucet is screwed into a copper supply line replacement is relatively easy. It requires access to the where the faucet connects to the water supply, two wrenches, pipe dope or Teflon tape. Use 2 wrenches to prevent twisting the supply line. I understand from others that this could be a soldered joint and that required soldering know how. If it is connected to PEX, you will have to determine how it connected and deal with it. I'm not a PEX person, so :confused:
  5. jwilson

    jwilson New Member

    Messages:
    16
    It could be what RoughDoberman is saying and it could be what I'm saying. If you can post a picture of the valve then we can probably tell the type. It could still be an old globe type and fit the symptoms.

    It doesn't leak when it's closed because the water is stopped by the seat and isn't reaching the stem.

    It doesn't leak when it's fully opened because the stem is unscrewing in the body and the back of the seat holder - connected to the stem is compressing the packing from the side opposite the bonnet. It would leak if it was half way opened. I'll look for a diagram online and see if that helps you.
  6. kingsotall

    kingsotall Plunger/TurdPuncher

    How do we diagnose if we don't even know what model we are talking about¿ Legend valves have cartridges.
  7. jwilson

    jwilson New Member

    Messages:
    16
    I didn't find a section view online but the frost free ones come straight out of the wall. The globe style come out and turn up a bit. Look at these pics
  8. RoughDobermann

    RoughDobermann New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Thanks for the suggestions guys. Here's a picture:

    Attached Files:

  9. jwilson

    jwilson New Member

    Messages:
    16
    That's the frost free type - not a globe type, so you can ignore what I said earlier. It looks though like you might still be able to fix it in a similar manner. Shut off the water, take of the handle, unscrew the nut behind the handle and that's where the stem packing should be. Replace as mentioned earlier - new cartridge or teflon cord.

    let us know how it works out.

    See this cross section drawing.
    Last edited: May 14, 2009
  10. RoughDobermann

    RoughDobermann New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Excellent! Thanks very much. I have no idea where the shut-off to this faucet is, as the basement is finished. I guess I can just shut the whole house off, right?
  11. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,802
    Location:
    New England
    You can shut off the water to the whole house, but if you end up with a problem while you have it apart, you have the water to the whole house shut off until you can resolve the problem. If there is a shutoff, there should be an access panel, or door somewhere nearby.
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