Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Leaky Nibco frostproof sillcock

In order to fix this leaking around the handle,

you first remove the screw that holds the handle

on to the valve stem. Next, you remove the

packing nut - a large adjustable wrench will work.

Then you need to remove the old packing gasket

material and the brass packing washer.

Clean up the brass packing washer and replace the

packing washer, if you can find one in the size

you need. Look for a flat packing washer in your

hardware store. You can also check with a plumbing

supply jobber. It doesn't have to be the grey

clay-like material that you removed. I searched

many stores without success. I fashioned a new

packing washer out of 1/8" thick rubber, and it

worked fine. Make sure you put some thread dope

on the packing nut threads before you re-install

it. Don't over-tighten the packing nut; stop when

you get resistance. The rubber material will fill

the gap very nicely, and the leaking around the

handle should have stopped competely. There is

nothing wrong with the design of the faucet. The

correct order of re-installing these parts is:

(1) the brass packing washer

(2) the new packing gasket material

(3) the packing nut

(4) the handle

The packing nut needs to be tightened around the stem, if that doesn't do it, the packing needs to be replaced.



  1. I'll bet the leaking comes from where the handle turns, at the stem. If you look at the area just above [in your case according to the photo] the red handle, there is a "stem", the little round rod the handle is attached to. Just after the stem, is a nut. This is called the "packing nut".

    When the stem turns, if some material is not packed around it inside, water would simply pour out when you open the valve. Sometimes the packing is a rubber gasket, sometimes a stringy material imbedded with graphite particles.

    After so long, the packing gets compressed and doesn't hug the stem adequately, which then allows water to seep out. First try using an adjustable pliers to tighten that nut. Often that's all it takes. If the nut doesn't tighten up at all, loosen it a half turn, then tighten it again.

    If THAT doesn't work, you may have to buy "packing" material at the hardware store. I've also used a small "O" ring. In either case you'll have to remove the handle [if the valve is shut you don't have to turn the water off].

    Unscrew the packing nut, and slip the O ring over the stem. Or if you use packing material, cut a piece off, maybe 3 inches, and wrap a few wraps around the stem and push the stuff down with a little screw-driver. Then replace the nut

  2. The packing washer in my leaky Nibco sillcock frostproof faucet is approximately 11/16" OD * 5/16" ID * 1/8" thick. It is backed with a copper washer which is still OK. I have not been able to find this size in local hardware or plumbing supply stores, nor do I have the equipment to fabricate one. If anyone knows where I can procure it, please email era [at] pobox [dot] com . In the meantime I will try jerry-rigging with an O-ring or packing material.

  3. Ed, You need to pickup the stringy material imbeeded with graphite particles as Rodman mentioned. It's made to be used universally and will work well in your situation where a correctly fitting packing can't be found. You just wrap a bunch of this string around the area where your current packing is at, then once it is compressed by the nut, the water will not get around it. My local Home Depot told me about the stuff. I too have a Nibco 90 faucet that is leaking just like yours. I've used an O-ring with some success until now. Hope that helps.

  4. Ed, I first tried Felt Bonnet Packing size 7/8" OD x 9/32" ID x 13/32" thick. That wasn't enough so I added two thick O-rings, a 7/8" OD and a 3/8" ID. It's good now.

  5. Update to my May 22, 2015. The inner O-ring that totally sealed it is #31, 9/16" OD x 5/16" ID x 1/8". My package is Danco #96745.