There are many reasons why your outdoor frost-free faucet could be leaking. Finding the reason can help you decide how to fix it. However, the basic guide on how to fix a leaky outdoor frost-free faucet is kind of same anyway. You will need to disassemble it and then get to know what’s creating the problem to later fix it.
If you are lucky enough, then maybe you’ll be able to avoid a replacement. But if there’s an absolute need, don’t sidestep replacing. Let’s get into the whole talk below.
Here’s How to Fix a Leaky Outdoor Frost Free Faucet.
First, we’ll cover the design of these faucets with frost-free features to better understand possible issues. Then we’ll talk about a few repairs for a few circumstances of leaking. Keep on Reading…
Understanding the Design of These Faucets Can Help
Usually, the frost-free faucets are specially designed. They come with a unique valve mechanism. This works to provide water flow sealing. You’ll be able to locate them right onto back of the housing interior.
They can be full 12 inches or so. The part should be far from exposed exterior segment. There are older models available too. These come with a long valve stem. The part works to operate a rubber washer. The washer is there to compress down against a valve seat. You’ll find this seat inside the house. It stays inside without being able to freeze due to too warm.
The standing water inside pipe will drain out after you shut off faucet. And this will avoid any freezing, expansion, or rupture problem. There are self-draining features available with newer faucet models.
However, you’ll get to see a valve cartridge in place of a rubber compression washer. This part is nowadays commonly seen in all indoor sink faucets. The newer models also come with a vacuum breaker mechanism integrated. So that there’s no chance of siphoning.
Handle Stem Leaking
This problem can be seen in many older models of faucets. You should find a compression washer with these. A packing cord wrapped with a handle stem should be there below the mounting nut. Can you see any seeping near threads of mounting nut in the handle? Then probably we’re good with identifying the problem.
Make sure to shut the water off. You can do this through the indoor shut off valve. Or try simply turning the whole house’s water line off. On the spigot get rid of handle. There should be a single screw attaching the handle to valve stem end part. Around the faucet, simply unscrew packing nut.
Get rid of the old packing cord. Then get your new packing cord and wrap quite a few layers around the stem end. You should be able to find these within the faucet rebuilt kit. Simply reassemble the packing nut. And then you can attach the handle back to its place to find problem disappear.
Anti-Syphon Fitting Leaks
In some cases, the problematic area of frost-free faucet is anti-siphoned part of valve. With constant use, this part can become worn out and need replacement. If that’s the case you should buy a new anti-siphon rebuild kit.
Depending on the brand of your faucet, you need to get a suitable kit. There are available kits online and in local hardware stores. However, for a few brand faucets, it could be difficult to find one. You’ll need to buy the whole faucet in such a case. Before trying the kit, make sure to turn off water completely.
Leaking Due to Damaged Stem Washer or Cartridge
One of the major common reasons behind faucets showing leak problems is due to worn-out washers or cartridges. You will get to see this problem when turning the faucet off cannot stop water flow. And so, there are continuous drips or even slow trickle flow.
You will need to replace the stem end located washer. With the older models, it’s long valve stem end located compression washer that needs replacement.
Turn the water off using the shut off valve or simply whole house’s water line. Then you need to detach the screw for removing handle from spigot. The mounting nut of faucet needs unscrewing as well. Then extract the whole stem out from body of faucet.
You can spend a good while testing the O-rings or washer at the faucet stem end. If it needs replacement due to a sign of wearing out, go for it. There should be a brass screw for securing the water that you need to detach for it. Once replacement is done, reassemble faucet and you can turn water on to check if the leak still exists.
If it’s a new faucet that comes with a cartridge mechanism, the process is still same for dissembling it. However, you’ll need to find an exact duplicate cartridge for the old one and then replace it on valve stem end, where it’s supposed to locate
Leaking Due to Valve Body Error
Sometimes the problem is a hidden leak in valve body. If you can see signs of reduced water pressure, then probably this is the case.
Check the other fixtures to ensure water pressure is normal with those. If only the frost-free spigot is having trouble then probably there’s a leak in its faucet body. This can happen due to a tiny amount of water being unable to siphon out of the faucet.
And once it froze, there was a tiny spill created in the brass body resulting in an invisible leak. The only solution for this case is replacing entire frost-free faucet, unfortunately.
And those were some solutions on how to fix a leaky outdoor frost free faucet. The leak is definitely something you need to repair as soon as possible. Since this can lead to many other types of problems later, possibly require a complete faucet replacement at some point. So, the best thing to do is figuring out what is causing issue and fix it quickly.