Replace leaky outside faucet

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kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Sat May 02, 2020 5:24 pm

Outside front faucet has been leaking for years. It leaks out of the valve handle when on and drips (actually more of a drizzle) when off. One time I took it apart but could not get the screw out to remove the rubber gasket and that was years ago. I wanted to replace it with a sill cock shutoff which moves the valve inside the heated space so you don't have to shutoff the water in the winter. You do have to remove the hose so the water can drain, and it needs to be installed at an angle so that draining can occur.

Ordered a 1/4 turn one from Lowes
https://www.lowes.com/pd/Legend-Valve-1 ... ck/3506842

Also order two 1/2" elbows because I knew the angle on the old one was actually up hill so I would need to build the pipe up and over to make that work. The other option would have been to drill a hole and install the new one lower than the old one. Not desirable.

This job breaks down into these major steps:
- Cut and remove old faucet
- Fit up new valve for 5 degree downward angle, which required a shim on the siding
- Build pipe adapter and solder

The first two steps took about 2-1/2 hours. The soldering probably took another 2-1/2 hours....

Old, busted valve setup.
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Screws already removed.
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Used my pipe cutter (same one I use for brake lines actually) and cut the pipe. Pulls right out. This is the easy part.
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Before I could even shove the new valve in, I had to enlarge the hole in the siding. So I did that awkwardly with a 1/2" drill bit which was not the right size at all.

New valve just shoved in so I can check out the fitment.
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Here's what it looked like from the outside.
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Things would get a lot trickier from here.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Sat May 02, 2020 6:42 pm

Here's what I came up with for a shim. Cedar clapboard, left over from kitchen work. Basically I just put it upside down to get the angle better on the new faucet. But I cracked my first shim so I had to make another one. I drilled a hole in the center and then holes for the screws so it wouldn't crack again.
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Also I put some silicone caulk on the back side of the shim and also around the faucet. I really took my time to get this right because my expectation is this lasts a long time.

Basically I screwed it into the siding and blocked up the faucet inside to get the right angle. It turns out I am just going to leave those blocks there. They are on some wires....
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I thought I was resourceful on the whole adapter thing because I knew I could reuse lengths of 1/2" pipe from the old faucet that I cut out, so I only had to buy the elbows.

Measuring and cutting wasn't too bad though I had to shorten the pipe on the shutoff side a little more from my first measurement. After some jostling and tugging I managed to get the pipes together. Once it was dry fit I fluxed everything and went for it.

Well, I failed.

It seemed like I was baking the flux out of it and it is also possible there was some water in the bottom that was making steam. I was getting concerned that I was going to overcook the new valve, too. This is an art. So once I thought I was all done, I slowly turned on the water. It was pissing out in at least two places. Grrrr. I tried hastily reflowing some solder to patch but with the water in the pipes that was never going to be productive so instead I got bursts of steam and solder bursting out all over the place. It was a real shit show. I think I forgot to flux the valve (but did the pipe so there was some on there) and water was spraying out of at least one other place anyway...

So I took it all back apart and had to individually melt and brush each mating surface so it would actually go back together. I guess one benefit was the pipes were now tinned but you are not supposed to have to redo soldering...

Anyway that took some time and was annoying, because this is 5 individual solder joints in close proximity to each other. I tried it all again and was careful to flux everything liberally. I was also careful not to overheat and make sure I flow the solder 360 degrees around the pipe even though my expectation was with the flux it would wick into place...

Second time was a charm though I was half expecting it to fail again. Score.

It all works, the valve works fine and doesn't leak, and the 1/4 turn to operate is awesome. Job complete but, yup, it took way longer than it should have. As usual.

Looking back I probably could have done pex or something to adapt to the house side. It would have been considerably faster, like twice as fast. I may only have needed to solder to the house side to get the pex adapter on unless they have O-ring ones. Don't like O-ring stuff though (like the Shark Bite stuff).

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Sun May 03, 2020 10:11 am

kevm14 wrote:
Sat May 02, 2020 6:42 pm
Basically I screwed it into the siding and blocked up the faucet inside to get the right angle. It turns out I am just going to leave those blocks there. They are on some wires....
Just kidding, I'm not leaving it like that. I just need a piece of strapping to straddle underneath and across.

I'll either get the metal or plastic strapping.

https://www.homedepot.com/b/Plumbing-Pl ... 5yc1vZbqjc

Plastic:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-3-4-i ... /301505502

Metal:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Oatey-3-4-i ... /301505499

I think metal wins.

I'll just screw it into each joist on either side. Should do the trick. Really, this is probably the professional method.
Made for securing supply lines, DWV pipe or supporting pipes
I don't know if I need to wrap it around the faucet pipe though. I just need to maintain the 5 degree angle because the rest of the pipe is trying to pull it down and there's no way the mounting screws could possibly hold that.
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One other thing. How did I get the 5 degree slope on the pipe? I used a level app on my phone. It's pretty much right on 5 degrees. I'll try to maintain that when I get the strapping installed. I should be able to install top screws at the approximate tension, and then maybe install screws one hole down on either side to adjust the final tension, if that makes sense.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Sun May 03, 2020 2:00 pm

Installed. Ended up doing the wrap. Removed the blocking.
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kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Mon May 04, 2020 8:07 am

Saw some drops on my water tank yesterday which is below my pipe modifications. Figured it was condensation from watering my grass (well water is cold). But went down just now to check. Still a few drops. I'm like....I'm not resoldering again! But then after I wiped away the fresh drops I noticed staining on the tank. That suggests it has been dripping a while (i.e. before my soldering). I have plenty of experience with old valves leaking from the packing. You just give the packing nut a little tweak to tighten and help seal. Also I think I saw/felt a little wetness on the valve. So I tightened it maybe 45 degrees or even less. Hopefully that is it. I really don't want to redo my work over a few drops!!

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Mon May 04, 2020 2:15 pm

Still dry! Not a drop to be found. Pipe feels dry.

I'll check later and tomorrow. If still dry I'll declare success.

By the way the lesson is...need more pipe soldering. I don't personally like the idea of being afraid of something like that. This was a bit cumbersome given the location in the joist bay in a hard to access position, plus the fact that I had so many joints all next to each other (copper is extremely conductive).

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Tue May 05, 2020 5:39 am

Yay, dry this morning. I think I can relax now.

Bob
Posts: 2431
Joined: Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:36 am

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by Bob » Tue May 05, 2020 7:53 am

You've inspired me to call a plumber for my occasionally leaky outside faucet.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Tue May 05, 2020 3:48 pm

So in the interest of actually helping....here are my suggestions in order of increasing difficulty:

1. If leaking from packing (shaft) maybe you can tighten the packing. This is free.
2. If leaking from the actual outlet, you may be able to replace the sealing gasket. You could remove and take to Home Depot and match up. Mine was too old I guess. I probably could have looked harder but I wanted a 1/4 turn sill cock valve as an upgrade.
3. Just replace with a regular valve that has an extension neck on it. You can use a sill cock even if it isn't at the right angle. You'll just have to shut the water off inside the house if it gets below freezing. Not sure how often that happens for you. You would use a Shark Bite fitting to grab the pipe where you cut it off. These just push on. I don't like O-ring fittings but it could last a very long time as long as you clean the sealing surface on the old pipe. Point is, this is a solder-free connection method.
4. Use Pex to join. I don't know if this is fully solder free or if you'd have to solder one Pex adapter on the old pipe. Significantly less soldering and probably just as permanent as what I did. I just wanted the challenge I guess.

kevm14
Posts: 13935
Joined: Wed Oct 23, 2013 10:28 pm

Re: Replace leaky outside faucet

Post by kevm14 » Sun May 10, 2020 8:43 am

kevm14 wrote:
Tue May 05, 2020 5:39 am
Yay, dry this morning. I think I can relax now.
5 days later, not a drop.

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