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View Full Version : How do I clear a blockage on my outside water line?



jwattvo
Feb 14, 2011, 08:07 AM
I have a number of 'frost free' faucets outside my ranch. Recently two of them stopped working and they are fed from the same line. I'm thinking there may be a blockage in the line as there are no signs of a leak or broken line. How can I clear the blockage and / or flush the line? Piping is PVC.

Main line is on the North side of the house and the frost free on the North and West side work. Frost free faucet on the South and East side are NOT working. Water supply to the house and outside taps connected to the house work. First I thought portion of water line may be frozen but have had moderate weather over the last two days and have been opening up taps that aren't working in the AM and leaving them open all day.

Thanks for any help / suggestions with this issue.

massplumber2008
Feb 14, 2011, 09:19 AM
Hi Jwatto...

I doubt a blockage at both outside faucets, but I do think you could have broken stem assemblies or parts that have seized and are causing your issue.

Here, I would shut the water off to each valve and then remove the handles and disassemble each outside faucet. Here, take two pair of pliers and use one pair of pliers to hold the valve body while using the other pair of pliers to loosen the nut/stem assembly. Also note, that I am not talking about removing the stem nut but the entire valve stem assembly from the valve (bigger nut behind the smaller nut).

When you remove the "guts" to each valve turn the water on and see if water flows... probably will or at a minimum, it will blow the stuck part out of the valve and then you can decide if you need to repair or replace the entire valve(s).

More questions? Let me know, OK?

Mark

jwattvo
Feb 14, 2011, 09:49 AM
Hi Mark:

Thanks for your reply. I agree it's doubtful that both of the faucets are blocked, that's why I assumed there was a blockage in the underground line that feeds them. My reasoning is that the line that feeds them travels East towards one of the faucets but also T's South toward the other faucet. I have shut off values both at the faucets as well as one about 50 yards from the East faucet and another one on the South side about 30 yards from that faucet. I also know that when these lines were installed they weren't to code ( I live in Utah) - meaning that some of the lines aren't more than two feet below ground. On numerous occasions I've had to dig out and replace broken pipes.

So if I were to try your suggestion, I'm not 100 % clear on what part of the faucet you would want me to remove, so I've attached a picture of my faucets.


http://www.merrillmfg.com/about/installation/products/01-YardHydrants/images/HydrantServicing-01.jpg

http://www.merrillmfg.com/about/installation/products/01-YardHydrants/images/HydrantServicing-03.jpg

Thanks again for your help.

Best,

Jason

jwattvo
Feb 14, 2011, 10:19 AM
Hi Mark:

Thanks for your reply. I agree it's doubtful that both of the faucets are blocked, that's why I assumed there was a blockage in the underground line that feeds them. My reasoning is that the line that feeds them travels East towards one of the faucets but also T's South toward the other faucet. I have shut off values both at the faucets as well as one about 50 yards from the East faucet and another one on the South side about 30 yards from that faucet. I also know that when these lines were installed they weren't to code ( I live in Utah) - meaning that some of the lines aren't more than two feet below ground. On numerous occasions I've had to dig out and replace broken pipes.

So if I were to try your suggestion, I'm not 100 % clear on what part of the faucet you would want me to remove, so I've attached a picture of my faucets.