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The other day I went out to water my yard after seeding. When I was done, I turned the knob on faucet to shut the water off and felt a snap. Water started coming out of where knob goes on. I shut the main water off and removed the valve inside. It appears that the stem busted off just before the the threads that screw the valve into the fitting, leaving the piece that busted off still threaded inside and the rest of the stem I was able to get out. It is 12 inch frost free faucet. I am wondering how to replace faucet. My question is, in most cases does this type of faucet screw onto the fitting inside of wall or are they usually soldered on? I am afraid to try and turn the fitting for fear of it being soldered on and busting it

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Worst case is that you bust a soldered fitting (very difficult) and have to open the wall up, which you would have had to do to replace a soldered fitting anyway. Since your water is already shutoff, give it a hard turn and see what happens.

Personally, I'd open the wall up even if it's threaded and sealed with pipe dope. Because after you replace the faucet, you want to check for leaks. It's much easier to do a little drywall patching and painting than it is to cleanup the water damage from a slow leak that goes unnoticed for days. You can also make sure the insulation is tight around the pipe so that there isn't a chance it will freeze in the winter.

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There are three possibilities:

  1. Faucet has a male connector, pipe in house has a female connector, you can unscrew it.
  2. Faucet has a female connector, pipe in house has a male connector, you can unscrew it.
  3. Faucet is soldered onto a pipe.

Most faucets are sold with a male connector on the outside of the faucet pipe, and a solder connector on the inside. A few are sold with female connector on the inside. I have yet to see one sold with only a solder-connector, though that may, in fact, exist.

So: If you see threads on the outside of the faucet, and the pipe goes inside, assume soldered. If you see a flare on the pipe going over the faucet, assume threaded. If you see a fitting on the pipe that looks like it has a male thread, and it goes into the faucet, and there's no threading on the outside of the faucet, assume threaded.

However, even if your faucet is threaded, you may find it faster to just cut a piece of pipe with the faucet attached off, and replace it with a female fitting and screw the new faucet into that.

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