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Outdoor Spigot Packing Nut


GlockSpock

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I have an outdoor frost-proof spigot that rarely has been used but I'm going to start using it more. It's always leaked around the stem when in use but it up until now hasn't been an issue. Today I decided to tighten the packing nut to see if I could get it to stop. I think I did eventually get it to stop but now I worry that I tightened it too much.

A) Is it possible to tighten the packing nut too much?

B) If so, what's the worst that could happen? Someone at work seemed to think that it may leak on the other side (as in, the crawlspace). I'm not sure whether this would be possible, is it?

If that worst that happens is essentially I'll have to repack it at some point, I could care less. If the issue is more serious, then that's different.

Note: Not that it is an issue, but the faucet is noticeably more difficult to turn whereas it was very easily spinning (thus the problem).

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You can tighten it so much that you can't turn the faucet on.  If you keep tightening, you can bend the internal parts and potentially make it leak internally, but that would be a major Bubba thing to do. 

 

FH01MAR_PLUMBV_01.JPG

1672s.jpg

Edited by peejman
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3 hours ago, peejman said:

You can tighten it so much that you can't turn the faucet on.  If you keep tightening, you can bend the internal parts and potentially make it leak internally, but that would be a major Bubba thing to do. 

 

FH01MAR_PLUMBV_01.JPG

1672s.jpg

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That's more inline with what I have, but it doesn't have the vacuum breaker. The packing nut is still right beneath the handle.

 

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6 minutes ago, GlockSpock said:

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That's more inline with what I have, but it doesn't have the vacuum breaker. The packing nut is still right beneath the handle.

 

And, I personally do not see how tightening a packing nut in the above photo would cause it to potentially leak on the inside, ever but I'm open to being wrong. I figure...the worst thing that I would foreseeable do would be to destroy the gasket/packing and it would need repacking?

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16 hours ago, gregintenn said:

Hell, I thought they were designed to drip when turned on. I’ve yet to see one that didn’t.

There's a very fine line between not leaking when closed, not leaking when open, and not being able to open. And it varies with the season due to thermal expansion.  

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2 hours ago, peejman said:

There's a very fine line between not leaking when closed, not leaking when open, and not being able to open. And it varies with the season due to thermal expansion.  

Exactly. Mine now does not leak when closed, leaks a drop at 90%, and does not leak at all under 90%. I'd say that'll change within a few months.

But, I think my fears of damaging something have subsided. In a season or two I'll probably repack it.

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This will give you insight into the type of person I am, but I put commercial quarter-turn ball valves on mine when they needed replacing.

I also have shut offs with drains under the house that let me drain those lines come winter.

They don’t leak. 

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2 hours ago, MacGyver said:

This will give you insight into the type of person I am, but I put commercial quarter-turn ball valves on mine when they needed replacing.

I also have shut offs with drains under the house that let me drain those lines come winter.

They don’t leak. 

I think that is referred to as OCD.😀

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23 minutes ago, gregintenn said:

I think that is referred to as OCD.😀

I am what I am.  But my hose bibs sure as heck don’t leak. 

Truthfully, when I needed to replace the existing ones, the price of good freeze proof bibs was enough that two good quarter turn valves was less expensive.  When winter comes around, I can just close the valve under the house and then open the one on the outside and drain that section of pipe.

I’ve got good access to get under my house with basically standing room underneath - so what works for me may not work for someone else. 

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9 minutes ago, MacGyver said:

I am what I am.  But my hose bibs sure as heck don’t leak. 

Truthfully, when I needed to replace the existing ones, the price of good freeze proof bibs was enough that two good quarter turn valves was less expensive.  When winter comes around, I can just close the valve under the house and then open the one on the outside and drain that section of pipe.

I’ve got good access to get under my house with basically standing room underneath - so what works for me may not work for someone else. 

I have a basement, so I can get to them fine. Remembering to turn them off would be my challenge.

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On 4/6/2021 at 6:27 PM, gregintenn said:

Hell, I thought they were designed to drip when turned on. I’ve yet to see one that didn’t.

Actually, they're designed to begin leaking as the plumber drives away ...

2 hours ago, gregintenn said:

I think that is referred to as OCD.😀

Or anal ...

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13 hours ago, MacGyver said:

I am what I am.  But my hose bibs sure as heck don’t leak. 

Truthfully, when I needed to replace the existing ones, the price of good freeze proof bibs was enough that two good quarter turn valves was less expensive.  When winter comes around, I can just close the valve under the house and then open the one on the outside and drain that section of pipe.

I’ve got good access to get under my house with basically standing room underneath - so what works for me may not work for someone else. 

That's on my "if I ever build a house" list. Manifold style plumbing, all 1/4 turn ball valves, ability to isolate and drain zones without shutting off main supply.  

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25 minutes ago, peejman said:

That's on my "if I ever build a house" list. Manifold style plumbing, all 1/4 turn ball valves, ability to isolate and drain zones without shutting off main supply.  

I had a situation one time changing a water heater where I turned the water off at the street, cut into a line, and found out that the water company's valve was broken and wouldn't close all the way.  Water came pouring in - slowly - only about a gallon a minute - but it was a giant headache.

SharkBite made a permanent customer out of me that day with their slip couplings.

And, from that day forward, there's not a place in my house that can't be isolated and drained if the need arises.

It probably cost a couple hundred bucks and an afternoon to retrofit.  But, the goodwill it's saved me over the course of my marriage was totally worth it.

 

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3 hours ago, peejman said:

That's on my "if I ever build a house" list. Manifold style plumbing, all 1/4 turn ball valves, ability to isolate and drain zones without shutting off main supply.  

When we built, i put cut off valves on every sink, toilet, and water heater, as well as one coming into the house. About the only thing I can’t isolate are the showers and outside faucets. Probably should have done that as well.

I like your idea better.

Edited by gregintenn
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1 hour ago, gregintenn said:

When we built, i put cut off valves on every sink, toilet, and water heater, as well as one coming into the house. About the only thing I can’t isolate are the showers and outside faucets. Probably should have done that as well.

I like your idea better.

I'd also put berms around or floor drains under the major water appliances.  If your water heater or clothes washer springs a leak when you're not home, there's no reason it should flood half the house. An ounce of prevention.... 

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