Leaking outdorr water faucet

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by finesstan, Apr 30, 2007.

  1. finesstan

    finesstan New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Texas
    Hello, I have a leaking outdoor water faucet. Whenever I turn it on, I noticed that water leaks from behind the faucet. I really can't pin-point where the leakeage is but water comes from behind siding. The outdoor faucet has the frost-free style with a vaccume breaker hose connector. Can anyone tell me if this a washer proplem or if the entire facuet has to be replaced. Thanks D.J.
  2. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Did you leave a hose connected to the faucet during the winter? If so, the pipe in the wall may be split. Frost free faucets do not drain if hoses are left connected, and they will freeze. Your description of the problem makes me wonder if the leak is in the faucet portion or if it is in the pipe.
  3. finesstan

    finesstan New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Texas
    Leaking outdoor water faucet

    Thanks for the quick response. To answere you question. I forgot to do just that. I remebered to unscrew the house after the first winter freeze. Guess I waited too late and the damage was done huh? Water does not leak constantly from behind the faucet only after I turn it on. Once I turn it off eventually the leakage stops. I see no water from inside the house down in the basement. All of the water leakes from outside.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    You've split something, and generally, it is just better to bite the bullet and replace...then, remember to remove the hose when you are done, and especially before any freezing weather.
  5. finesstan

    finesstan New Member

    Messages:
    12
    Location:
    Texas
    Thanks for the input. I'm planning on tackling this myself. Can I replace the whole faucet unit from outside of the house or do I have to gain access from inside the basement. I just finished drywalling my basement and I would hate cut out a hole in the ceiling but if need be I will.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,337
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    If you examine a frost free faucet, you will see that the actual shut off is on the inside end. This means the pipe and valve will drain when the faucet is closed. What happens when you leave a hose on is that the water will not drain, thus the protection is gone. The shut off portions is still working, that's why it doesn't leak until you turn the faucet on and stops when you close the faucet. To replace the faucet, you have to work inside and use two wrenches. One wrench holds the fitting the faucet assembly screws into to prevent it from twisting. The second wrench is used to unscrew the assembly. Reverse the procedure when installing the new faucet. You much make sure the new faucet is oriented right side up. These faucets must have a slight down pitch toward the outside of the house as well to make sure they will drain. Worst part of the job is often the location where you have to work, but there's no way around it, if you try to work from the outside with just one wrench, you're sure to twist the fitting and pipe on the inside.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    Most of them are screwed in, but it is possible yours is soldered in. You won't know until you look
  8. I've done two of these in the past two days, 5 in the past 8 days. The one yesterday was threaded into a copper female adaptor and made the installation a 10 minute switchout.

    The one I did this evening had to beat/pulled/jammed/pounded out of the brick wall as it was set in the brick wall as it was being laid.

    1.25 hours to do the one set in brick. What I like about the difficult ones is I can drill the two new holes to anchor the faucet to the wall without having to deal with the older ones or the fact that those holes are destroyed and don't take a sleeve anchor anymore.

    This makes replacement of the faucet AFTER I've done replacement a cinch since I don't cut corners and makes the next guy....even if it isn't me, a breeze.
  9. rogman49

    rogman49 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    I also have a leak on my outdoor Mansfield frost proof faucet. I had a good size leak coming from the handle when I have it turned on. I repaired with the Mansfield kit. I still have a very small leak from the handle. There were only 3 parts to install. My question is should I leave alone or replace the whole assembly? I can get to the faucet from basement area. It looks to be screwed in. Cost should be around $30. Thanks :confused:
  10. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Leaky Mansfield Hydrant

    Sounds like you used the vacuum breaker repair kit. Try uninstalling those 3 parts and then re-installing them. If that doesn't work, try another kit.
  11. rogman49

    rogman49 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Hi Verdeboy,

    Thank you for the response. I did not use the vacuum repair kit. It is not leaking from that area. It is leaking from the the on / off shutoff knob. The repair kit has many pieces because it can be used for 2 different Mansfield faucets. The illustration shows only 3 pieces need to be changed for that type of leak. That is correct because there were only 3 pieces inside, a brass washer, packing washer, and a left hand threaded piece about one inch long.
  12. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Then, have you tried tightening the packing nut some more?
  13. rogman49

    rogman49 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Hi Verdeboy,

    Thanks again for the response. Yes I snugged up packing washer / nut, but no help. Should I have used teflon tape / dope on plastic left thread nut? I did not think so at the time.
  14. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I would try that, yes.
  15. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,937
    Location:
    New England
    In plumbing, there are the following types of connections (that I can think of right now): compression - uses a ring and a tapered seat to press items together; washer, straight on compression (like in a garden hose to the valve), tapered threaded connection - mechanical fit, but leaks around the threads if you don't seal it, and flared fitting, where the end is flared out and pressed against a specially shaped end (also compression). So, most rely on compression of some sorts - it could be metal to metal, metal to rubber (washer) or interference fit (like in the taperd pipe threads with sealant between).

    Between the faucet stem and the outer housing, it uses packing material, which sort of act like a washer - tighening the nut compresses the material around the stem to create the seal.

    To assess whether pipe dope or teflon tape is required, you need to understand what type of seal is trying to be made. Tape or sealant are designed to fill the gaps on tapered pipe threads. Every other type of fitting relies on a different method to create the seal, so adding anything to it can potentially compromise operations - get in the way and make it so it can't seal. Pipe dope or tape can act like a bandage, but may not ultimately, produce a long-term solution. Basically, unless it is a tapered pipe thread making an interference fit, no, you should not use them - they get in the way, and can make a perfectly good joint leak.
  16. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    Teflon Tape

    My line of thinking is that, since the connection is already leaking, it's worth a try. You can always remove it if it makes matters worse.
  17. rogman49

    rogman49 New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Thanks for the added info Jim! :D
  18. AlexNotAPlumber

    AlexNotAPlumber New Member

    Messages:
    1
    Mansfield? ARRRRRGH!!!

    I, too, have one of those Mansfield "frost free" outdoor faucets. I have had it for 23 years. It has leaked for approximately 22.7 of those years. It has been totally rebuilt no less than 7 and perhaps as many as 9 times. Which lasts sometimes a day or a week.Of course, it is leaking again. Not surprising. It has leaked in every possible way, EXCEPT in or behind the wall (for which I am extremely thankful, since it is inaccessible from the inside).

    My question: What do easygoing, pretty mechanically competent people who have these valves use as a trouble-free replacement for these pieces of cr*p when we finally lose our patience? I am tired of this and will gladly rip out an interior wall and ceiling to get at it if I can finally be rid of it forever...
  19. Verdeboy

    Verdeboy In the Trades

    Messages:
    2,051
    I don't know why it would leak if the packing material and the bibb washer were properly replaced every few years.
  20. Jayhawker

    Jayhawker New Member

    Messages:
    2
    I have 3 Mansfield Antisiphon hose valves (grey plastic knobs). One has stopped opening... I can turn the valve, but no water will come out. There is only one master valve to all 3 outside faucets, so I know that the valve has water supply on.

    Is this a problem that can be repaired by the kits?... the sillcock kit or the antisiphon kit?

    I can access the interior connection and I see that it does have a threaded connection although it is in a place very difficult to get wrenchs into... that's why I'd like to try the kit repair if it will take care of the problem from the outside.

    thanks for any advice...
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