Not all washed up…

Well, one of my projects for this weekend was to replace the water faucet on the side of the house for the umteenth year in a row.   Due to the unpredictable weather fluxuations here, and other circumstances no mater how hard I have tried to keep the hose off the faucet when the weather starts turning cold, I fail.  This failure results in the first frost of the year doing fatal damage to the backflow preventer.  Once this happens you can’t use the hose w/o water spraying out all over the side of the house, and greatly reduced waterpressure in the hose.

Once again I started to replace the bib, this time when I began to cut the caulk out from around the faucet part of the anti siphon device popped off. I’ve tried in the past to dismmantle these things, becasue I know they are not very complicated devices.  Being the geek that I am, I couldn’t leave well enough alone now that I had access to the guts.  After a few seconds of tinkering I discovered that all that has been happeneing is that the frozen water has been unseating a washer, and forcing it into what appears to be a back pressure relief vent.  The process of doing that actually seizes the back flow valve into and open state and causes the valve to spew water out the relief port.

I took a small screw and used it to reseat the washer. Once I did that, the valve dropped back into place.  I then went back in and turned on the water, and to my shock no more leak.    I just wish I would have discovered this trick years ago, it would have saved me quite a lot of time, and money on repairs.