How To Install A Frost Free Sillcock

Below is a video on how to install or replace an outdoor facet or sillcock valve.

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Today we will be showing you how to install or replace an outdoor facet or sillcock valve. The first thing you will want to do is see look at the valve you are replacing and determine if it is already a frost free valve. If it is you will want to locate the inside of the valve and look at it and see if they installed it by sweating it onto the ½ copper pipe or if they used a ½ sweat by ½ female thread adapter. If they used the adapter you will be able to shut the water off going to the outdoor facet and then just unthread your old valve. Once out you can measure your old valve and get a new valve that’s the same size put some teflon tape on it and thread the new one in.

You measure the valve by measuring from the flat plate where you screw or mount the valve to where the copper and brass meet. We are using a 4″ valve. They do make them in 6”, 8” 10” and so on. So make sure you order or get the right size for your application.
To replace a non-frost free valve we will first start by shutting the water off to the outdoor facet. Next well open the outdoor facet to ensure that it is off and to drain the water out of the pipe. With the water shut off to the valve we can take a pipe cutter and cut the old valve and the unwanted plumbing out of the way.
Once we have the old valve and unwanted plumbing removed we can open the new valve. They do make the new valves in full turn and quarter turn. You will also notice that they give you a tapered piece of plastic. This plastic goes onto the valve with the thicker part facing up and the thinner part towards the bottom of the valve. That way when the valve is mounted it will pitch the new valve so it will drain.


Next we can slide the new valve in and take a drill and two stainless or outdoor screws and mount the new valve. You may need to use a hole saw and enlarge the hole that way the new valve will fit. Once the new valve is mounted we can come back inside and grab some 45’s, 90’s and a new ball valve and some ½ copper pipe and figure out our new layout and dry fit everything.


Once you have your layout figured out and dry fitted together. We can now take it back apart and clean all the joints. We will use plumbers mesh to clean the pipe. We will use a 1/2 copper wire brush to clean the inside of the fittings and valves. Once every fitting is cleaned we can apply some soldering paste or flux to all the joints and reassemble it.


A few key points to a good soldiering joint is to make sure the pipe is really clean and to make sure you use enough flux or soldiering paste. You also want to make sure you have no water in the pipe. If you are soldering any kind of valve you want to make sure that the valve is open or part way open.


With everything reassembled and all the joints fluxed we can now soldier the joints one by one. Making sure that the valves are open and that the valve is pitched so it will drain. If you are soldiering near insulation or wood you may want to use a soldiering blanket.


Once we have all the joints soldiered you will want to make sure that the ball valve is still able to move. You will also want to take a damp cloth and wipe down the pipe removing the soldiering paste or flux as if it is left on it will corroded the pipe and turn it green fairly quickly.


Next we will shut the ball valve and then turn the water back on. Once the water is back on we can check all the new joints up to that side of our ball valve. With no leaks on that side of the ball valve we can now close the new sillcock valve and then turn on the ball valve and check those joints for leaks. With no leaks we can now go outside and test the new outdoor facet.


You may notice it will drip a couple times as it drains the water from the pipe after it is shut off. For added winter protection you could also install a faucet sock faucet cover. With the outdoor facet functioning properly that’s it you have just replaced or installed an outdoor facet or sillcock.






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