How to Replace a Spigot and Buried Pipe

Dig up the broken section and swap it out with these step-by-step instructions.

If the outdoor pipe leading to a spigot is broken, uncover the problem by turning off the water at the main and digging where the ground is wet. Here’s what to do from there:

Materials and Tools:

wire brush
pipe wrenches
adjustable wrench
penetrating oil
hose bibb
band clamps
plastic pipe
joint compound
slice of bread for soaking up water




1. Dig in the wet area until you find the pipe and the break. Cut off broken connector with a hacksaw.

2. Use pipe wrenches to loosen and remove the T-joint.

3. Clean the ends of the riser so you can reuse it. Use a hacksaw and a wire brush to gently remove any built-up corrosion from the threads at the underground end of the riser, and apply penetrating oil.



4. Remove the old spigot and clean the other end of the riser.

5. Cut off the ends of the underground plastic pipes and clean with sandpaper. Cut replacement length if necessary, and join to existing pipe using a coupler. Install a new T-connector between the extension and the other end of the pipe. Snug down all connections with band clamps.

6. Apply joint compound to the bottom of the riser and attach the coupler with a pipe wrench. Remove as much water as possible from the underground T-connector and rub joint compound on the threads. Stuff bread into the T-connector to soak up water.



7. Attach the riser and coupler to the T-connector and tighten with a pipe wrench.

8. Rub joint compound on the threads at the top of the riser and attach a new top bibb or spigot. Turn water back on and open the new spigot to test the flow and flush out the bread.

9. Bail water from the hole with a cup. Hammer a length of pressure-treated 2-by-4-inch wood into the ground next to the riser to serve as a support.



10. Fill hole halfway with dirt and tie the riser to the support with safety wire. Trim off the ends of the wire with nippers.

11. Fill in the rest of the hole and tamp the soil.

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