How to Replace a Frost-Proof Sillcock (2023)

If your frost-free faucet won’t shut off or turn on properly, then you’re probably wondering how to replace a frost-free sillcock outdoor faucet.

These types of faucets can be extremely handy since they prevent pipe freeze in the wintertime. Many newer models also have anti-siphoning technology that prevents any contaminants or harmful chemicals from entering your home from a garden hose or outdoor source.

They are the latest thing in outdoor faucet technology and a great update to the old garden hose spigot of yesteryear.

Sometimes a frost free faucet won’t turn on or will have other malfunctions. If these problems become a recurring problem, it’s probably time to replace the entire unit.

Often you can tell if a sillcock valve needs replacing when the water pressure is low even after all cartridges and washers on the spigot have been cleaned and replaced.

Whether you need to remove or replace an old outdoor faucet, this guide will help you with your frost free faucet repair.

Table of Contents

(Video) How to Replace an Outdoor Faucet with a Frost-Proof Sillcock | This Old House

6 Steps to Replace a Frost-Free Sillcock Outdoor Faucet:

Materials Needed:

  • Two pipe wrenches
  • Regular nut wrench
  • Hand saw or portable electric saw
  • Towels or rags
  • Pipe crimper

Step One: Cut Hole in Wall Cavity

Take your hand saw or electric saw and cut a small hole in the wall cavity surrounding the sillcock valve. This hole should be large enough for you to see if any leaks are happening and to fit your hand inside if necessary.

While this may seem like a drastic first step, being able to see inside your wall will save headaches later.

Because a sillcock valve travels through the wall, leaks may occur within the wall cavity when you disconnect it from the pipe.

Sometimes this kind of leaking or dripping can lead to water damage or mold. It’s best to cut a hole so you can if any drips or leaks happen and wipe them up and dry them out immediately.

Step Two: Evaluate How the Valve Connects to Pipes

Many sillcock valves are soldered into place when first installed. That means disconnecting them can be a little tougher than simply unscrewing them.

Take a look to see if your sillcock valve is soldered or only screwed and tightened into place. If no soldering has happened, you can simply unscrew the valve and move on to replacement.

(Video) How Pro Plumbers Replace Frost Proof Faucets

However, if your sillcock is soldered, it’s time to get out the pipe wrenches.

Step Three: Disconnect the Sillcock Valve from Pipe

To disconnect a soldered pipe, take a pipe wrench and place one end on the sillcock’s threaded end. Place another smaller wrench at the back of the sillcock’s head.

Turn these wrenches a quarter turn, being careful to not crimp or twist the copper pipes. They should unscrew with additional pressure from the wrenches. If all else fails, take your soldering iron and loosen the connections to the copper pipe. When soft, cut these pipes.

For unsoldered pipes, unscrew the damaged sillcock from the interior pipe assembly. Sometimes a regular wrench is needed on these nuts or pipe connectors if these parts are connected tightly. Clean up any spilled water that may have been lying within the line.

Step Four: Crimp Lines if Necessary

Sometimes when pipes are soldered together, they will need to be crimped when separated. Depending on how much water lies within the pipe after the water is turned off, you may need to crimp the end of the main pipe to prevent any leakage before a replacement can be installed.

If your main pipe requires crimping, use your pipe crimper to squeeze the copper end shut. This does not need to be airtight, since you will need to re-form the main pipe end to solder on the replacement sillcock valve.

Step Five: Unscrew the Sillcock Spigot on the Outside

Now it’s time to go outside and detach the outer assembly. Using your regular wrench, place pressure on the threaded portion behind the handle. This part should be nearest the building or wall. Turn the wrench to the left slightly to loosen the nut.

When the threaded portion loosens, unscrew it carefully. When it is fully unattached from the wall, pull the spigot straight out from the wall. Try to not tilt it, as any water that might have been left over inside the spigot could spill out within the wall cavity.

(Video) How To Fix A Leaking Outdoor Faucet | Easy DIY Fix!

Final Step: Clean Area and Have a Replacement Valve Ready

Clean up any debris or water that has accumulated during the removal process. This is especially important since your wall cavity is exposed to dust and water while open.

After sufficient cleaning, replace the removed sillcock immediately so that you are not left without water. Do not turn on the water again until this part has been replaced.

Steps to Install a Frost-Free Sillcock Outdoor Faucet:

Materials Required:

  • Soldering iron
  • Washers
  • Pipe connectors
  • Pipe wrenches
  • Regular wrench
  • Drill
  • Silicone putty

Note: Since sillcocks can vary from brand to brand, always consult the instructions that accompany your particular unit.

Step One: Attach the New Sillcock on the Exterior Wall

From the exterior of your home, thread the new valve through the hole where your old sillcock went. Place a bead of silicone putty around the area where the spigot head meets the wall.

After your putty has been placed, drill the anchoring screws into the brick or concrete that surrounds the hole. Use at least two screws. Place another bead of silicone around this area to ensure full waterproof coverage.

Step Two: Connect the Valve to Existing Pipes

If you have just removed a sillcock valve, you can simply thread the valve to the existing copper pipe attachment and secure with a pipe fitting and wrench.

If you need to extend the main water pipe to meet the sillcock valve, use copper pipe. Solder this pipe to the main pipe and use a pipe adapter to create watertight seals. Use a pipe wrench to secure these fittings.

(Video) Outdoor Spigot Replacement | Sharkbite Frost Free

If you have PVC pipes and not metal pipes, shop for the appropriate PVC pipe fitting that will attach to the copper sillcock valve. Use female adapters to tighten this connection.

Step Three: Use Pipe Tape to Seal Connections

Use Teflon or other secure pipe tape and wrap around all pipe connections. This is especially important where the sillcock valve meets the interior pipe.

Final Step: Turn on Water Supply and Check for Leaks

After turning on the water from the main supply, have someone outside turn on the sillcock spigot so you can check the connections in the interior. Make sure there are no drips or leaks.

If you had opened the wall cavity, close that up now and seal it off to prevent any moisture from entering your home.


When you need to replace an exterior faucet, the process does not have to be difficult if you take it step by step. Knowing how to replace an outdoor faucet with a frost-Proof sillcock can be valuable knowledge.

Remember to always turn the water off first at the mainline. Keep an eye on the inner wall cavity where your valve penetrates the wall so as to prevent or clean up leaks or drips.

If you need to take special measures to disconnect your old sillcock faucet valve, take your time and do not rush it. Too much wrenching or pulling can twist copper pipes or cause weak points that can lead to leaks down the road.

When installing a new sillcock faucet, don’t cut corners. Use quality copper pipes if you need to and fittings that are tight and snug.

(Video) How To Fix a Leaking Frost Proof Faucet | DIY Plumbing

Make sure all the parts work properly before turning the main water supply back on. The last thing you should do is close up the wall cavity so no air leaks or drafts can get inside your home, and enjoy your new sillcock faucet. Though this type of spigot is a little more work, the rewards are immeasurable.


How to Replace a Frost-Proof Sillcock? ›

A sillcock is an outdoor faucet as well. Unlike a hose bib, which solely resides on the exterior, a sillcock has a longer rod that extends into the wall of the house. The water valve for a sillcock is generally located at the end of this long rod where it connects to the piping within the wall.

How much does it cost to replace a Sillcock? ›

Loose-Key Hose Bibb
Faucet TypeCost
Traditional spigot, hose bibb, sillcock, or outdoor faucet$5 – $170
Frost-free faucet$35 – $200+
Anti-siphon faucet$45 – $300+
Yard hydrants$800
2 more rows
Jan 20, 2022

What is the difference between a hose bib and a sillcock? ›

A sillcock is an outdoor faucet as well. Unlike a hose bib, which solely resides on the exterior, a sillcock has a longer rod that extends into the wall of the house. The water valve for a sillcock is generally located at the end of this long rod where it connects to the piping within the wall.

Why is my outdoor frost free faucet leaking from the top? ›

If you find that the faucet starts leaking again after a short time, the valve seat is worn and you should replace the entire frostproof faucet. If the faucet is attached with threads, you can simply turn off the water, unscrew the faucet and replace it with one that's the same length.

How much does a plumber charge to replace an outdoor spigot? ›

Spigot installation typically ranges between $150 and $500, with $325 being the median cost. The two most common types of outdoor spigots are the hose bib and the ball valve, which both cost between $150 and $300.

Can a handyman replace an outdoor faucet? ›

As you can see, replacing an outdoor faucet is a serious plumbing task, not just a quick handyman job. It's a good idea to hire a licensed, bonded and insured plumber for the work, which will take an average of one to two hours unless there are complications.

What is the most common size sillcock? ›

Built to last and backed by the Husky lifetime warranty. Fits most common sillcock sizes: 1/4 in., 9/32 in., 5/16 in., and 11/32 in.

What is another name for sillcock? ›

And if that's not confusing, a sillcock also goes by the names “spigot,” “outdoor faucet,” “wall hydrant,” “outdoor tap,” and “male hose faucet.” Heck, there are probably more but I can't think of them right now.

Why is my outside faucet leaking when I turn off the water? ›

If you notice that your outdoor faucet leaks from the spout when the water is turned off, then the washer is likely the problem and needs to be tightened or replaced. If the faucet is leaking from around the handle while it's turned on, then it may be the stem packing that's leaking.

Why is my outside faucet leaking after freezing? ›

A cracked vacuum breaker cap can cause the frost free faucet to leak water supply. If the vacuum breaker cap is damaged, it will not form a water tight seal, which can allow water to escape the hose bib. To fix the leaky outdoor faucet, this component can typically be replaced.

Do frost proof faucets freeze? ›

The product cannot freeze because there is no water in the faucet. When the valve is turned off, all of the water in front of the valve drains from the faucet leaving the tube empty.

Do you need to turn off water to frost-free spigot? ›

Frost-free faucets involve a simpler winterization process. All you need to do is turn off the shutoff valve supplying water to your outdoor tap. Any water left over in the pipe will drain automatically. Just remember to remove and drain the hose that connects to the faucet.

How much does a frost-free spigot cost? ›

Outdoor Shower
Faucet StyleCost
Hose bib$100 – $200
Frost-free faucet$150 – $500
Anti-siphon spigot$200 – $500
Yard hydrant$500 – $3,000
3 more rows
Jun 24, 2022

Should you cover frost-free spigots? ›

Frost-free spigots should still be covered as well—although they are resistant to freezing, they are not completely frost-proof in the coldest weather. There are rubber gaskets and washers inside the frost-free spigots that will benefit from the extra protection from the cold.

What is the difference between a spigot and a hose bib? ›

A spigot and a hose bib technically refer to the same thing. They are mechanisms that control water flow outside your home. But in some cases, people refer to spigots as outdoor valves connected to pipes, while hose bibs as valves attached to small hoses.

Why would an outdoor spigot stop working? ›

If you are still having issues with your outdoor faucet, you may need to call a plumber to investigate the issue further. If the faucet has no water, the issue could be the aerator or the spout inside the faucet. At the bottom of the faucet spout, rubble may get into the filter.

Do I need a plumber to replace an outdoor tap? ›

To replace your outside tap, you'll need to work with your home's water supply and make the right pipe connections – so we recommend asking a qualified plumber to help. Your plumber will do a quick assessment of your current pipework, connections and isolation valves.

How long does it take to change a spigot? ›

Replacing a leaky or outdated faucet isn't as difficult as you might think. You can tackle the project with a basin wrench and a few other common tools. It should usually take no more than about an hour.

How much does it cost to replace a frost free hose bib? ›

Assuming there's no pipe damage, installing a new hose bibb costs $165 to $275 (CAD 225 to CAD 380) on average.

How long is the life expectancy of an outdoor faucet? ›

You can expect the outdoor faucet to last anywhere from 15-25 years, or 20 on average, depending on the use and whether you are draining it right before the harsh winter freeze.

Can you change outdoor faucet handle without turning off water? ›

Yes, you can change a faucet without turning off the water. However, your likelihood of success will depend on your ability to work quickly as well as the water pressure levels at the fixture location.

Is an outdoor spigot the same as a faucet? ›

A faucet and a spigot are both valves used to control the flow of water. The main difference between a faucet and a spigot is that a faucet is usually attached to a sink or tub and is operated by a valve handle, while a spigot is usually connected to a pipe outside and is operated by a lever or wheel.

How do you measure sillcock? ›

Measure the inside stem from tip to tip without the handle or silver nut attached to it.

How long is a frost-free Sillcock? ›

✅MEASUREMENT- The frost-free sillcock measures 4 inches in length and is equipped with a 1/2 inch Male Inlet Pipe (MIP) x 1/2 inch Sweat connection.

How do you measure frost-free sillcock stem? ›

How to measure a frost-proof stem: 1- Measure overall (tip to tip) length of the stem assembly, with the check assembly pushed in. 2- Subtract 4”. Standard Frost-Free Wall Hydrant.

What is a frost proof sillcock? ›

An outdoor freeze-proof faucet is a type of tap, sillcock, or spigot that is resistant to freezing. To stop the problem of freezing water pipes, the shut-off valve or compression valve for the faucet is situated further back into the interior of your home, where the inside temperature is higher.

Is there a separate shut-off valve for outside faucet? ›

Exterior faucets should have a separate shutoff valve inside the house, but not all of them do. In older homes, these valves are typically located at the ceiling somewhere close to the outside faucet. In newer homes, the valves are typically located right next to the main water valve, and they're also usually labeled.

What are the different types of Bibcock taps? ›

In terms of structure, we can divide it into three types. Those are one way, two way, and long body. Moreover, bibcocks can be divided into functionalities, compressor/washer type, and slide type.

Do you need to winterize a frost-free hose bib? ›

Known as frost-free sillcocks, or frost-proof hose bibs, these outdoor faucets make winterizing a snap. The only thing you really have to do to winterize a frost-free spigot is to disconnect the hose!

Why does my frost-free hose bib leak? ›

As with indoor faucets, the most common reason for leaking is a worn-out stem washer or cartridge. The symptom of this kind of leak is when closing the handle fails to stop the flow of water, which usually continues to drip or flow in a slow trickle.

Why does my outdoor spigot only leak when hose attached? ›

You'll know you have a loose packing nut if water spews out from under the faucet handle only when the hose bib is turned on. If you have this problem, all you have to do is take a pair of pliers and tighten the packing nut by turning it counterclockwise. As the seal tightens, you should see the spigot stop leaking.

Should outside water faucets be left open? ›

Please be sure to open the exterior spigot to allow it to drain after closing the inside valve and reclose it to keep the cold air out of the pipes (this last bit might be superstition, but it can't hurt).

How do you fix a leaking outdoor faucet in the winter? ›

You can fix a leaky spigot yourself
  1. Begin the process by turning off your leaky spigot's main water supply.
  2. Next, carefully unscrew the nut that sits under the faucet's handle.
  3. Locate the valve stem and remove it from the spigot.
  4. Remove and replace the washer located at the end of the valve stem.
Oct 25, 2021

What happens if you don't winterize outdoor faucet? ›

What Happens if you Don't Winterize Outdoor Plumbing. Pipes don't burst at the point where they freeze. The rupture downstream from the freeze, where the pressure is powerful. If a problem occurs with an outdoor spigot attached to your home, a pipe could bust inside the walls of your house.

When I turn on my spigot it leaks in the wall? ›

If the spigot is leaking around the valve stem when the water is turned on, it can usually be fixed by tightening the packing nut behind the handle 1/8 to 1/4 turn. If the faucet still leaks after tightening the packing nut, the washer on the end of the valve stem needs to be replaced.

Are there outdoor faucets that don't freeze? ›

A freeze-proof outdoor faucet, also known as a frost-proof outdoor faucet, is the answer. It's basically a compression-style spigot with an extra-long barrel. It's designed for installation on the side of the house. You should also replace each of your garden spigots with a freeze-proof yard hydrant.

Can you use a frost-free spigot in the winter? ›

Frost-free Hose Bibs: Best Choice for Cold Winters

Frost-free hose bibs (also known as spigots, taps, faucets, etc.) are a great choice for homes which experience freezing winter temperatures. They are designed to prevent the tap and adjoining pipes from freezing even though they are mounted outside.

Why is my frost free faucet leaking from the hole in the stem? ›

This cause of this condition is typically from a failed check assembly or o-ring on that assembly. This will require repair of the O-ring on the assembly, a replacement check assembly or replacement of the whole stem. If it is an older or cheaply made sillcock total replacement may be warranted.

Why does my outside spigot leak when I turn it on? ›

Outdoor spigot leaks are often due to worn-out washers. Besides wear and tear of the washers and packing around the handle, other causes of outdoor faucet leaks can include damaged, frozen or clogged pipes. Pipes can become clogged over time due to mineral deposits and other buildup.

Can frost-free faucets be repaired? ›

A leaking frost-proof faucet can waste a lot of water, but fixes are simple, whether the problem is the faucet stem washer assembly, the vacuum breaker, or just a loose retaining nut. Start with the retaining nut, then look for other problems. Tighten retaining nut.

How much does it cost to replace an outdoor spigot? ›

Spigot installation typically ranges between $150 and $500, with $325 being the median cost. The two most common types of outdoor spigots are the hose bib and the ball valve, which both cost between $150 and $300.

Is it better to leave outside spigot open or closed? ›

Please be sure to open the exterior spigot to allow it to drain after closing the inside valve and reclose it to keep the cold air out of the pipes (this last bit might be superstition, but it can't hurt).

Should I cover my outside water spigot? ›

Cover the outdoor faucets before the temperature dips below freezing. Especially when the temperature dips below 28 degrees and you think that your outdoor faucet will not be able to survive such freezing temperature, then it's best to cover them fully with recommended faucet covers.

How do I identify my Woodford hose bib model? ›

A: On the "rim" of the faucet, under the handle, there should be a model number.... You have to stand on your head and have a flashlight to read it usually...but it should be there. Helpful? Thank you for your feedback!

How long of a frost-free sillcock do I need? ›

A frost-free hose sillcock or hose bib has a stem that is 6 to 12 inches long. It prevents cold weather from freezing your pipes because the stem washer & seat valve reside inside your house.

Do I need a frost-free sillcock? ›

Ultimately, it's up to you. In areas where temperatures consistently dip well below freezing, a frost-free hose bid gives you an extra layer of protection. If you're a person who isn't good about staying on top of winterizing your house, consider the benefit of a frost-free outdoor spigot.


1. How to Replace an Outdoor Faucet with a Frost-Proof Sillcock | GOT2LEARN
2. How to repair/replace an outdoor frost-free faucet
(DIY and SAVE)
3. How to Install a Frost-Proof Faucet with PEX Piping | This Old House
(This Old House)
4. Outdoor Faucet Replacement (Frost-Proof Sillcock) | Easy DIY Job!
(Bevan Farm)
5. How to Install a Frost-Proof Faucet | This Old House
(This Old House)
6. Outside spigot (sillcock) replacement
(Pete B: East Texas Homesteading)


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