Need advice on how to replace a Watts Series 8 Model 8A non-removable vacuum breaker.

enter image description here

3 Answers 3


There is a repair kit available for that part. Since it is designed to be non- removable, I would assume you can repair it in place.

Your other option, depending on what's wrong with the first one, could be to just screw another vacuum breaker onto the existing one without removing it.

If all else fails, I think you're going to be cutting it off with an angle grinder, dremel, or similar.

  • Seems like a repair is worth trying. Their website lists the parts but doesn't have instructions I can download. Safe to say the o-ring replacement comes in from the top and the diaphragm and gasket washer from the bottom? If all else fails I'll need to cut it off (and hopefully not eat into the threads). Mar 17, 2020 at 16:50
  • @tmcallaghan, well unfortunately I haven't tried to repair one, so I'm not sure about the process. It does seem like the main O-ring would not be replaceable, but it seems like the diaphragm and other parts would have to be replaced while installed. I guess the worst case is that the repair kit is made for all of the 8 series but can't be used on the 8A because it's not removable.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 17, 2020 at 16:58
  • 1
    The good news is that the threads on a water hose connector don't do anything to seal the connection. The seal is made by a rubber washer, so you can mess up the threads quite a bit and still not really harm the faucet (if you have to cut it off).
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 17, 2020 at 17:01
  • Here comes the Dremel! Thanks for your help. Mar 17, 2020 at 18:38
  • I agree jphi1618 when I get close the slot breaks through a sharp smack with a chisel and they break or turn.
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 17, 2020 at 18:43

You do know the meaning of non-removable, right? That being said, you'll need to replace the spigot. Those fittings have a brake-away threading system that allows you to tighten them for installation but breaks away the sleeve from the threads if you try to turn it counterclockwise. Something like the safety caps on pill bottles. Now, I have removed them with a Dremel drill with a cutoff wheel and carefully cut the breaker off of the spigot but it was a slow process so I wouldn't damage the threads on the spigot. the next time I came across one that had to be removed, i just replaced the spigot and added a new breaker.

  • I have cut several off also when I have a slot I smack it with a chisel and it usually breaks them.+
    – Ed Beal
    Mar 17, 2020 at 18:39

This vacuum breaker is titled "non-removable" for good reason.
The unit is secured by a set screw that is snapped off through tightening. If you need to remove it the only way I see to do it is to completely drill out the set screw with a metal drill bit. I believe the only other option is to replace the entire spigot.
I would try drilling it first.

  • 1
    This particular model (the 8A) has a special non-reversible thread. It doesn't use a set screw that snaps off like some other models.
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 17, 2020 at 16:31

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.