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Old 05-30-2020, 09:06 AM   #1
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Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


Hi All,


One of the outdoor faucets is leaking. I watched a youtube vid, have a good idea of what to do to replace the washers. House is 65 years old, vid said older faucets will have 2 washers, so I know I have 2 washers to replace. I have a neighbor coming this afternoon (after lunch) to help, to lend the muscle power; pretty sure I can't loosen the packing nut on my own, so he will do that for me. Thought I'd do what I can to prepare. Got the tools, the washers, the seal tape for putting it all together again ready on a little table out there.



Stuck at step 1: turn off water to the faucet.


In the cellar, I shut the valve to that faucet. That feeds this faucet in the front of the house, and another outdoor faucet at the back of the house. In theory, this should close water to the one I need to fix. Maybe just need the water from the line to the back faucet to drain, I was prepared for that. It's a small ranch house, what they call a starter home, so seems that should drain quickly. While the pressure has reduced a LOT, the flow is steady and continuous, after almost 10 minutes. So that didn't work.



After a few trips down cellar with no change, I went to the water meter and shut that off. Again, just trying to be ready for when neighbor comes over. I notice that valve is orange. Is it by any chance a reverse thread? Because I turned it all the way to the left, and I still have water at the one outdoor faucet. Do I turn it all the way the other way?


Yes, I could just try that. But I've been down cellar 6 times already, I'm now tired, it is time for a coffee break, feeling a little stressed, decided I'd check in and see what folks have to say.


BTW it is a single story, ranch, I don't "think" I need to drain the whole house out of this one faucet but maybe that is what is happening? I haven't tried any of the other taps inside (bath, kitchen sinks, for example).



Once I figure out how to stop water running the outdoor faucet, I can proceed to step 2. From there it is all outdoor work, and I could wait for my neighbor. And once I figure out HOW to shut the water, I may need to turn it back on, for me, until it is time for the neighbor to come over. But first I want to know how the heck I do it.


Thank you.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:16 AM   #2
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


If you have one valve for both outside it may want to take some time to drain the line that goes across the house, try opening both.
The valve inside may need a washer too.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:31 AM   #3
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


OK. Just went to wash my coffee cup; water at kitchen sink. So that valve at the meter MUST be reverse thread.



Going to open front and back faucets, see what happens.
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:42 AM   #4
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


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Is it by any chance a reverse thread? Because I turned it all the way to the left, and I still have water at the one outdoor faucet. Do I turn it all the way the other way?
If the valve handle is circular, turn clockwise to shut.

Chris
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Old 05-30-2020, 09:50 AM   #5
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


@Nealtw that is working, front and back open and down to a trickle. Almost there. Thank you.

@Chris616 , thanks. Looks like I was too impatient, seems I have the water almost off now. I did turn the valve at the meter the wrong way, so that is completely open now. I think the valve specific to the faucet IS working, so I won't touch that one again for now. Thanks for clarifying that for me.


Another few minutes and I will be ready for step 2: screwdriver to remove faucet handle.
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Old 05-30-2020, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


I will call a plumber on Monday to deal with the faucet.


I spent from about 8 AM to 1 PM trying to drain the line. Once I closed water to the entire house, from the water meter, that helped, still a slow trickle.



Next I tried to undo the screw for the faucet handle. That is not going to budge. I used some mineral spirits to try and loosen the paint, that did nothing. I am known for stripping screws so I did not try too much, as I know someone has to remove it.


Neighbor never showed up.


By this time it was 3 PM. Most of a Saturday and nothing accomplished. Time to let the pro deal with it. I suspect they will want to swap this original faucet for the newer no freeze style. I seem to recall being told that the structure of the house means those don't fit, but I will let the pro make the decision (I'll mention it; things may have changed since I was told that). They will also want to remove lots of original copper pipe and put in plastic junk.



Thanks for the assist, everyone. I'm glad I tried. Just wasn't meant to be a DIY job.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:02 PM   #7
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


You've done a good job if this will educate you to the 3 minimum utilities a homeowner or tenant need to know where and how to shut off. Water, electric and ( if applicable ) gas. We wish you well.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:09 PM   #8
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


I had to change a washer at our FL place and the main valve wouldn’t turn off completely. I left the kitchen sink running while I did the outside repair partially live as fast as I could.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:14 PM   #9
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


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You've done a good job if this will educate you to the 3 minimum utilities a homeowner or tenant need to know where and how to shut off. Water, electric and ( if applicable ) gas. We wish you well.

Thanks. My folks built this house before I was born. My Dad made sure we knew quite a bit about it. Beneath the Certainteed Cedar Impressions siding it is 5x8's, not plywood. Lots of things Dad made sure they did during construction, and he would talk about that, over the years. I really believe if he were still alive, he would have got this faucet fixed, lol. So I'm disappointed I couldn't manage it myself. No gas on this street. Water and electric, and the boiler shut off, yep, know where all those are, known that since I was about 12 or 14. I get so disappointed with myself, when I hit something I can't solve on my own. I tried so hard to learn everything I could from him. And I try hard to follow along with guidance given by folks on here. Sometimes, DIY just isn't going to work, for me.
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Old 05-30-2020, 06:56 PM   #10
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


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Thanks. My folks built this house before I was born. My Dad made sure we knew quite a bit about it. Beneath the Certainteed Cedar Impressions siding it is 5x8's, not plywood. Lots of things Dad made sure they did during construction, and he would talk about that, over the years. I really believe if he were still alive, he would have got this faucet fixed, lol. So I'm disappointed I couldn't manage it myself. No gas on this street. Water and electric, and the boiler shut off, yep, know where all those are, known that since I was about 12 or 14. I get so disappointed with myself, when I hit something I can't solve on my own. I tried so hard to learn everything I could from him. And I try hard to follow along with guidance given by folks on here. Sometimes, DIY just isn't going to work, for me.
This reminds me of sometime back a few months when our young grand daughter was attempting a task that wasn't going in her favor. My words to her were - " you did your best and that's all we can ask of ourselves-". It made her feel so relieved it could just be seen on her precious little face.
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Old 06-02-2020, 07:51 AM   #11
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Re: Dripping outdoor faucet - stuck at step 1


Plumber just left. New outside faucet with the vacuum knob on the top (new code since house was built 65 years ago, ha haa), NOT the frost free sort as the shut off is easily accessible, right there close to it, he said. New inside shut off, the lever type.



First place I called was twice the price, would only come out if I agreed to a frost free sort, they won't do the work otherwise. This without even seeing the job.



Ready to move on. Hooray!
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