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Archive for Monday, May 7, 2012

Fix It Chick: Replace a frost-free outdoor spigot

May 7, 2012

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Replacing a frost-free outdoor spigot can be as easy as unscrewing it from the wall, but chances are it will be a little more complicated than that.

Step 1: Turn the water supply off and open the spigot to let any residual water drain out.

Step 2: Remove the two screws holding the spigot in place on the exterior wall.

Step 3: Go inside and locate the backside of the outdoor spigot. For finished basements, this may mean cutting a hole into the existing drywall.

Step 4: Examine the point at which the outdoor spigot meets the indoor plumbing. If you are lucky, the outdoor spigot is simply screwed into a female pipe fitting; otherwise, it is probably soldered into place.

Step 5: For spigots that are screwed into place, use two pairs of locking pliers or adjustable wrenches. Hold the female pipe fitting in place with one wrench while you carefully turn the end of the outdoor spigot counterclockwise until the two pieces are disconnected. For spigots that are soldered to copper tubing, use emery cloth to clean the copper tubing an inch or two from the end of the spigot. Then use a tubing cutter to cut the copper tubing in half.

Step 6: Once the spigot is disconnected from the pipe or tubing, go back outside and carefully pull the old spigot out through the wall.

Step 7: Insert the new spigot into the existing hole.

Step 8: For applications where copper tubing has been cut, solder a female pipe adapter onto the exposed end of the copper tubing. If soldering is not a good option, a compression fitting or a Sharkbite-type female adapter may be used instead.

Step 9: Wrap the end of the new outdoor spigot with three layers of Teflon tape, or coat the pipe threads with pipe thread seal.

Step 10: Use the two pairs of locking pliers or adjustable wrenches to attach the new spigot to the female pipe fitting by turning the spigot clockwise.

Step 11: Once the spigot is securely attached, turn the water supply back on to test for leaks.

Step 12: Turn the water supply off, open the spigot to drain any residual water and tighten the pipe thread connection until all leaks have stopped.

Step 13: Return outside and secure the new spigot into place using rustproof screws.

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