Outdoor faucet leak behind wall

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by JulieK, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. JulieK

    JulieK New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle
    Hi everyone,

    I have an outdoor faucet on the side of my house that leaks water from behind the wall somewhere when I turn it on. The water spews out from somewhere. Must have frozen (?). I don't understand where it could be broken that it only leaks when turned on, and don't know what it will take to fix it.

    Any thoughts before I start taking it apart and possibly make a big mess?

    Thanks!
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,013
    Location:
    New England
    Frost-free silcocks have the control way inside, so that the part that goes through the wall can drain. Most versions won't do that unless you remove the hose. So, the only solution is to replace the whole thing, as it is likely split. If it leaked all the time, it might be rebuilt, as it would be the valve, but only leaking when on is a big flag that it is split. An alternative replacement is maybe a Woodford Model 30, which will drain, even if a hose is inadvertently left on it.
  3. JulieK

    JulieK New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle
    I see, thanks Jim. Will I be able to replace it from outside without removing my siding or worse? Any special tools involved?

    Thanks again
  4. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,349
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    You have to have access to where the faucet is attached to the water supply inside the house. The faucet is about 12" long and is usually screwed into a threaded fitting in the supply line, and you have to use two wrenches on the connection point. One to hold the fitting to prevent it from twisting as you apply the other to unscrew the faucet. A couple of good sized Crescent style wrenches work best. It is possible the joint is soldered which is a totally different can of worms, but you have to get to it to tell for sure. I would look for a way to access the area from inside. Pulling siding would be a very last resort and would seldom be necessary, but without being there, not much way to tell and be 100% certain. The hard part of the job is getting to the connection spot. After that it's Tinker Toys. Whatever you do, do not try to twist the faucet with one wrench from the outside. You will twist and rupture the connection and have a flood. If you want to get a visual of this, go to a hardware or plumbing store and look at frost free faucets. Oh yeah, be sure you turn off the water supply before trying to take the faucet apart. Duh!
  5. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Hopefully you have access in either a basement or crawlspace or somehow else to the back end of it,,,

    Also when Gary state it would screw into a fitting that is if your plumber was a nice guy many are sweated to a copper pipe..

    in the picture below the valve shuts off and is attached at the point labeled C the leak is at the point labeled B

    Typically leaving a hose attached over winter makes them freeze and burst.

    [​IMG]
  6. JulieK

    JulieK New Member

    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    Seattle
    Thanks folks. I really appreciate the picture. Unfortunately, the faucet sits just outside my living room, so I'll be making yet another mess.
  7. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,013
    Location:
    New England
    The length of the silcock will depend on the thickness of the wall (or which one they happened to buy), so it could be anywhere from 6" or so, to more than twice that. the goal is to get the working part inside the house where it won't freeze. If you are lucky, you can find the connection from the basement, in the ceiling, or in a crawl space. I could be in the wall, but that should be fairly easy to tell by some careful measuring.
  8. MACPLUMB 777

    MACPLUMB 777 TROJAN WORLDWIDE SALES RP

    Messages:
    679
    Location:
    Houston, Texas, United States

    if is behind your living room wall then that has to cut opened to make a faucet change out
    then get the wall repaired
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