It’s a common problem. You turn on your outside faucet and notice water pouring out from under the siding below it. This is really typical at the start of spring when you begin watering your plants and lawn. Everything is fine with the outside faucet turned off but as soon as you turn it on, whoosh-a flood! So, what is happening? The frost proof hose bibb froze and broke during the winter. This usually happens because somebody left the hose with a spray nozzle on the end connected to the outside faucet during freezing weather. When you turn this type of faucet off without a hose connected to it, water left inside the barrel of the faucet will drain out thus preventing freeze-ups. Changing the faucet is not usually difficult but gaining access to it can be.
Locate the connection
- Your faucet may be installed above the floor level. If so, the plumbing that serves the faucet will be in an interior wall adjacent to the outside wall where the faucet is located.
- The plumbing may also be in a cupboard, kitchen sink cabinet, or near another plumbing fixture like a laundry tray in a garage or laundry room.
- If your faucet is installed below the floor level, the plumbing that serves it will be located in the crawlspace or the basement.
Remove the old faucet
- Turn off the water at your water shutoff. If you do not have a shutoff in or under your house, you will need to shut the water off at the street. Look for a curb box or a curb stop under a round plate set in the sidewalk or grass. You may need a special tool to remove the access plate. If so, you can call your local municipality water department and they will come out and shut it off for you.
- If the plumbing that serves your faucet is in the wall, you will have to cut open the sheetrock to gain access to the water line.
- Make a neat rectangular or square hole so you can repair it easily.
- Open the faucet and let all the remaining water drain out.
- Make sure you have the proper fittings for the water line material. Use Sharkbite or Tectite push fittings for copper, Aquapex, or cpvc tubing. These are usually available at your home retail center or hardware store.
- Cut the water line inside the wall with the proper tubing cutter.
- Remove the screws that hold the faucet to the siding.
- Pull the broken faucet out of the outside wall. If may not come out easily because the tubing forming the body of the faucet may have swollen when it froze and broke.
Install the new faucet
- Using pipe joint compound, prepare the threads on the inner end of the new faucet.
- Push the new faucet through the original hole in the outside wall.
- Inside the house, connect the end of the new faucet into the existing pipe work.
- Anchor the new faucet to the siding. Use the proper length screws so that they reach through the siding into the sheathing underneath.
- Turn the water back on.
- Test the faucet and the connections inside the wall for leaks.
- Repair the sheetrock.
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