frost-free sillcock leaking - repair vs. replace

homeboundMarch 21, 2011

What's the better solution from the handyman point of view for dealing with a leaky Quarter Master frost-free sillcock...the one with the plastic handle. It's leaking out of the top cap. Ceiling inside is finished (no access....as of yet), pex supplies everywhere so I shut off the local supply at the manifold.

Would you replace the entire sillock (cutting the ceiling inside to hold it), or pull out the cartridge and try to match it? Length of the sillcock is not yet determined.

Thanks much.

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homebound

I ordered a new cartridge kit from the mfr. Should take 5-7 days to arrive.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2011 at 1:19PM
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brickeyee

Most f the 'frost free' faucets do not have anything approaching a cartridge.

They are just a conventional valve with a long stem so the valve seat is back in heated space.

They are normally painfully easy to fix by replacing the faucet washer.

I still see plenty of frozen ones though.

If you leave a hose hooked up to the faucet water can be trapped after the valve seat in the body of the valve and split them when it freezes.

Sometimes they are installed incorrectly also.
They need to pitch down to drain when the valve is closed and the hose removed.

I always install them by screwing them into a 90 degree fitting in the wall.

That way the entire unit can be removed from outside (and a new one screwed back in) for replacement.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 10:39AM
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homebound

This particular one (Quarter Master, quarter turn frost-free, 14" or so) has a cartridge on the deep end of the stem, so presumably there are plenty more around. It's made by Mueller (like most of the others). When you remove the stem, there's a conical washer and spring, followed by the cartridge which holds onto the stem with a side set screw. This cartridge appears to have a ceramic part within, though others apparently do not. Mueller is sending out a replacement cartridge kit, free of charge, since they have a lifetime replacement warrantee.

You're right about neglecting to disconnect the hose in the winter. That was the likely cause.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 2:43PM
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brickeyee

"You're right about neglecting to disconnect the hose in the winter. That was the likely cause."

The outer casing of the valve may very well be damaged and a while new valve will be needed.

A quarter turn hose bib is not a very useful thing.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 3:23PM
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stash-hdy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7HwiaP2VO5M

Video on how to replace the Stem

    Bookmark   March 23, 2011 at 6:48PM
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