Trying to remove a backflow preventer from a spigot but running into problems? Our team of experts is here to show you how to remove a backflow preventer from a spigot or outdoor faucet in just a few minutes using tools from your garage!
Keep reading to find out how the pro’s remove a backflow prevention device or valve from outdoor water lines.
What is a Spigot Backflow Preventer?
A spigot backflow preventor s a small device that is attached to the outside of the water spigot. It is a one way valve that is designed to wall water into the garden hose – but not back up into the city water lines. Not every city requires them but some areas require them on every faucet, even if it is attached to a garden hose.
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Backflow preventers are similar to a check valve – but more dependable since they are protecting a drinkable water supply.
A handdrill – For removing the Set Screw
A wrench – For removing the valve
Spigot adapter or leak hose bib – A hose bib is used to attach the garden hose to the outdoor faucet.
Step by Step Instructions
1. Locate the Set Screw
Look at the base of the spigot where the valve connects and check for a small set screw. Not all valves have them and they should be broken off when installed to make the valve impossible to remove. It can be removed using PB blaster and a handdrill.
2. Try to remove the valve with a wrench
In some cases it will be possible to remove the valve with a little elbow grease and a wrench. Try to twist the base and see if it wiggles. If you are able to move the valve keep going until it has been removed from the faucet.
3. Use a Drill Bit
In some cases if valve will not unscrew from the faucet – especially if it is a larger arrowhead spigot. If the vavle won’t turn any further use a small drill bit to drill it out the rest of the way.
All you need is a small bit, some WD-40 and pressure on the set screw. After drilling out the screw the valve should detach from the hose spigot.
4. Attach New Hose Bib
In order to convert your outdoor spigot back into a normal faucet that can use a hose you will need to install a new valve called a hose bib to replace the preventer.
They are simple to install and should allow your garden to hose to form a water-tight attachment when the water is turned on. Make sure to test out the new valve!
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Common Problems Caused by Spigot Backflow Devices
A Backflow valve tends to cause as many problems as it solves. Unless they are required by law in your area or you are using the hose to fill unsanitary water supplies under pressure and need to protect potable water they are not necessary.
Leaks water outside: The most common problem with these valves is leaks. Both ends are prone to leaking. In some cases the will be a small drip while other times it will be spraying water out the side. Both types of leaks decrease pressure in the garden hose and waste water into the ground.
Funny sounds through house lines: One-way valves are known to cause a funny noise in the water pipes inside the home. It has been described as a vibration or hum that can be heard throughout the home while the water is turned on.
Hose connection is not water tight: Not all valves are manufactured to form a water tight seal when a water hose is attached. This can cause unforeseen problems with leaking water and a decrease in flowrate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are spigot backflow preventers ever needed?
The only time a garden hose backflow preventer is needed is if the hose is kept under pressure and attached to a potable water supply.