By installing a freeze-proof sillcock, you will prevent pipe damage in cold climates, says the most referred Littleton plumber. By turning off the water inside the wall where the temperature is above freezing, the pipe to the outside never has water in it and can’t break when the temperature falls below freezing.
The repair process is similar to that for other faucets, except that the packing nut on a freeze-proof sillcock sometimes has left-hand threads. This is usually marked on the faucet body. If it isn’t and you cannot loosen the nut by turning it counterclockwise, try turning it clockwise.
The frost-proof sillcock can stay active all winter because the stem washer turns off the water in the warm interior of the house. The shaft needs to be pitched slightly down toward the outside to allow water to drain from the shaft. This supply pipe is connected to the threaded adapter with a compression fitting, which is secured to the pipe with two wrenches.
The following are common scenarios where the installation of a frost-proof sillcock will NOT work unless you contact a qualified plumber to update the existing plumbing:
- Your pipes are made from steel instead of copper;
- The length of the pipe from the sillcock to where you can comfortably work on it is greater than 12-inches;
- The pipe has a valve or change of direction fitting within ten inches of the existing sillcock;
- The existing supply pipe is 5/8-inch outside diameter as measured with an adjustable wrench, and you are unable to make the hole in the wall bigger to accommodate the thicker shaft of the frost-proof sillcock.
NOTE: Purchase a sillcock that has the same diameter male-threaded end as your existing pipe (either 1/2- or 3/4-inch). You will also need a tube to FIP (female iron pipe) compression fitting sized for your pipe.