B&K Mueller manufactures the QuarterMaster series of ubiquitous Anti-Siphon Frost-Free Silcocks. I have also seen people call them Frost-Proof Wall Hydrants, outside water faucets, taps, valves and spigots.

Quartermaster silcocks come in lengths from 6" to 14" in 2" increments. When I needed to replace one of my old outside faucets, I decided to use the 12" quartermaster, which was conveniently available from my local Home Depot.

My first quartermaster lasted one season, but when I turned to open it the following spring, it would not fully close again. When I attempted to take the silcock apart, only part of the stem came out, the other part was broken and jammed inside. So, I yanked the whole thing out and replaced it with another QuarterMaster. However the new replacement silcock started leaking again only a couple months later. This time I decided to contact the manufacturer, B&K Mueller.

(B&K Mueller has a lifetime guarantee on these units and a toll free number for customer support: 800-782-2385. When you call the number, you will be transfered to a representative depending on your place of purchase.)

I spoke to B&K Mueller's Home Depot representative, a very nice gentleman, who immediately offered to send me a frost free repair kit for my QuarterMaster free of charge. (He told that they get a substantial number of requests for these frost free repair kits mostly in the spring, because people don't completely drain them over the winter.) About a week later a box arrived. Unfortunately, while the pack slip inside was right, the part did not correspond. I called back and got the right part another week later.

Replacement part did not come with any instructions, but it was rather easy to replace and only took a few minutes. Here is all the tools you will need: #2 Phillips screwdriver, regular pliers and a Crescent wrench.


Here is all you have to do:
1. Shut off water supply to the silcock.
2. Open the silcock to drain water remaining in the line.
3. Detach the handle by unscrewing the Phillips screw with your screwdriver. Save the handle and the screw.
4. Adjust the Crescent wrench and use it to unscrew the outside sleeve. Save the sleeve.
5. Adjust the Crescent wrench and use it to unscrew the nut, which holds the stem. Save the nut.
6. Remove the small brass washer from the end and save it.
7. Use your pliers to carefully pullout the old stem.
8. Carefully slide in the replacement stem (the frost free repair kit, you received from B&K Mueller) and tap on it lightly with your Crescent wrench to get it in place.
9. Put the brass washer that you took off the old stem, back on the end of your new stem.
10. Use the Crescent wrench to screw the nut back on - do not over tighten.
11. Adjust the Crescent wrench and use it to screw the sleeve back on - do not over tighten.
12. Replace the handle and secure it in place with the Phillips screw.
13. Close your silcock.
14. Turn your water supply back on.

Pretty simple, though there is one caveat... You have to be able to get the entire old stem out, before you can get the new one in. If the old stem comes apart completely inside the unit (as my first QuarterMaster did), I doubt that you will be able to get the broken off part of the stem out (see picture). In this case, you will have to call B&K Mueller back up for further instructions, or just run back to Home Depot for a replacement silcock.

Of course, I would you rather have a silcock that you don't have to fix every few months, but B&K Mueller is the only branded manufacturer of the frost-free quarter turn spigots I could find. Any of the off brands are likely manufactured by the same quality Chinese factory and will likely break just as fast. At least with B&K Mueller you can get your replacement parts at no additional cost!

B&K Mueller QuarterMaster frost free silcock detail - broken cartridge

I need to replace the valve stem in my frost free faucet. The length is 10 inches with nothing attached. Is that the length I need to look for to replace?

When you call BK Mueller for the replacement stem they will ask you for the total length of your current housing, which in your case sounds like is 10". They will then ship you the correct size stem.

Please Keep in mind, however, that in most cases the problem is only with the cartridge and the stem does not need to be replaced at all. In these cases, its length is not relevant.

The silcock that is installed only open about a quarter turn to the right is this right?

Yes, you only turn it a quarter turn counterclockwise to open and clockwise to close.

On days like today I love the Internet and people like you who give it great content! Just got off the phone with Mueller and they're sending out parts. No charge. Wow--I thought that kind of thing had gone the way of the Dodo!

I want to replace the stem assembly. I have the old one out and don't know if it is 10 or 12 inch. How do I measure it for replacement?

I am looking for a replacement 16" B & K frost free sillcock. Having trouble finding it online. Can someone help???

After seeing this thread, I too contacted Mueller about my leaky faucet. They answered on the first ring, were extremely pleasant, shipped my parts and I received in about 1 week. Unfortunately, due to my silcock being a bit older, they shipped the wrong parts, but I called them again today and was helped by a service tech who knew exactly was happened and gave me the correct (hopefully) part numbers. They are re-shipping. Mueller has been totally awesome in all of this and really impress me with their customer service. Sure, it's not happening overnight, but it's still absolutely amazing in this day and age.

Thank you to Jake Berzon for the post with all the information that made repairing/replacing my Mueller Quartermaster very simple. I was impressed that the nice lady from Mueller who answered the phone on one ring and had my new cartridges to me in a week. I am not so sure about not needing the beveled washer with the new cartridge. One of my silcocks in my garage leaked after the new cartridge was installed and the beveled washer was broken. I stole the washer from my other silcock and the silcock in the garage stopped leaking. Now the other silcock leaks but it is outside and I can live with that. Interestingly enough I just repaired a friend's Mansfield frost free silcock and it was a bit problematic also. It seem they are all tempormental.

I have one B&K frost free sillcock, and it has worked properly until this year. I hooked up a hose with a spray nozzle on the end (squeeze type - normally closed). When I turned on the water, it started leaking from under the faucet handle. OK, I thought, replace the packing around the stem, and that will solve the problem. Well, it didn't fix it, so I had to take the stem out of the frost free assembly. After taking it apart and looking at the various pieces closely, I finally figured out what was causing the leak. The brass stem handle is hollow, and is attached to a larger diameter piece where the cartridge assembly attaches. Looking carefully at the back side of the larger piece, I found two raised areas, one of which has a small hole through it. The white plastic piece which holds a black cone-shaped washer sits next to this brass piece. A spring holds the white plastic piece against the brass stem, and normally covers the hole in the stem assembly so that no water gets out through the stem. In my case, the rubber washer which is attached to the white plastic piece has a few cracks in it. The black cone washer was torn as well. One or both of these things was letting water leak through the small hole in the back of the stem, and out the stem handle. It looked like it was coming through the packing, but was actually leaking through the vent holes on the sides of the stem near the handle.

Although probably not recommended by the manufacturer, my solution was to plug the small hole in the back of the stem assembly. I hook my swamp cooler line to this faucet, so having the faucet leaking all summer is not an option. I drilled the hole to 5/64", but not all the way through. I wanted a larger diameter hole at the surface, and left the original hole size farther down (a stepped hole, if you will). I mixed up some JB Weld, and let it set. The stepped hole was to keep the water pressure from pushing the epoxy plug through the hole. I don't know whether this will affect the frost-free aspect of the spigot, but I plan to replace the guts or install a new spigot before cold weather sets in again. The spigot seems to drain properly when I turn the water off, and more importantly, it doesn't leak from the handle when the water is on anymore.

Hi, thanks for the good job of posting. I had my septic tank emptied for the first time in the five years that we've had it installed. That went just fine, no complaints there, they can have that compost!!! The problem came when their guy went looking for water. I hadn't turned on the water to my spigots yet since winterizing them. So when he went to turn the water on he must have thought it was a sticky gate valve and gave it the ol' heave ho! You know what happened don't you? They say you can't break a valve by over turning it, but these 1/*4 turn valves break just as easy as they turn. Don't get me wrong, I love 'em, but they can be turned by a child, which means they can be easily broken by a septic tank pumping man... so I googled the problem and here was your video and explanation. I ended up taking the old spigot out and replacing it with a new one I had on hand as a spare. Then I took the old one and fixed it with the replacement part that B&K sent me out for free, just as you said. Easy, breezy, lemon squeezy... I've got a spare spigot again on the shelf!

Thanks for the good work! God bless... Ed

I just wanted to add my thanks to your original post. I called the number for Mueller and they are sending me a replacement cartridge for my defunct faucet. You have saved me a lot of time and hopefully got rid of my headache!
Best regards,
Jim McHugh

In the past 2 years I replaced both outside spigots with new B&K frost-proof quarter turn spigots. When they were new they were great.
Last summer one of them started leaking when turned off. Now this spring I find that the other one will not turn on - well at least when turning it on, no water comes out.
I believe that both units have the ceramic valve inside. I tried to take one of them apart but couldn't. Actually it did not even look like it was made to come apart, so I replaced the unit.
Thanks to your video, I see that it does come apart right where I thought it should. After putting the unit in a vise and using a pipe wrench on the big nut that holds the shaft in, I was able to disassemble it. The nut was on so tight that I could not remove it with channel lock pliers.

I have a large home with 10 of these quater master faucets. We live in Dallas, hardly any winter here. I have replaced all 10 and some second time around. I am tired of calling mueller, and the hassle of replacing these, only to have them leak after one summer, or winter. I am ready to bite the bullet, and get rid if all of them. Life is too short to be replacing quarter master faucets Quarterly - get it? I would not recommend these to anyone!

Thank you very much for this information! Very Helpful!

Thanks for the information. I just receive my new fitting and at first was a little apprehensive because it didn't look like the old one, but it is installed and seems to be working as advertised. The mistake I made was not draining the line and assuming it wouldn't freeze because I live in SC. Well, it did get cold enough to freeze and the sillcock is only useful during light frosts not freezes. Lesson learned. Thanks again for the help.

I turned on the faucet and no water came out. I turned off the water supply, pulled out the stem and the cartridge was missing. The only thing on the end of the stem was a spring. Could the cartridge be preventing the water flow? How do I get the cartridge out of the housing?

Sounds like that the cartridge lodge in the silcock's housing is preventing the water flow. The only way I know to try to get it out is to detach the silcock, stick a screwdriver in from the pipe end and give it a nice quick tap.

Just thought I would drop a quick note to say thanks for the info. Also I would like to forward the following info: the head of their tech department is a man named Charlie. His direct phone number is 1-870-208-1070. Good luck to all.

I have three outside faucets that are leaking. Home Depot was no help and is where I bought them 5 years ago. The salesman said they usually carry a repair kit but they were out.

I happened upon Jake's blog and called the tech support number. They gal that answered asked for my address and said she would have the new cartridges in the mail today.......WOW!

By the way, the guy at Home Depot didn't say a word about the faucet having a lifetime warranty..... Hmmmm.

Thanks Jake!

I hear it is true. So, no wonder that all the ones that can still think and actually care do not work at Home Depot. This must be the reason why you never hear anything about the lifetime warranty on B&K Mueller silcocks from the good folks at Home Depot!

#1 B&K sillcock fix! Buy a Woodford sillcock!

Where can I get a brass washer that goes on the stem. I think that this maybe why water is coming out of the stem when I open the tap.

You can only get BK Mueller replacement parts directly from the manufacturer.

OK, mine worked fine after three years...and now I am getting a leak around the handle when the hose is connected, but when the hose is not connected it shuts off and does not leak at all...just replace the vacuum breaker assembly?

You really found a way to make this whole process easier.


Thanks so much for the write-up and the video! I have two of these silcocks/faucets that I installed about five years ago. One is leaking around the valve stem when when the faucet is turned on.

I called B&K Mueller customer service and they said that they would send me two free cartridges of the newer design. Hopefully, this will fix the problem. Thanks again.

All my best,
Steve Bryant

have a B&K Mueller anti siphon, how do I tell the model number? Water is streaming out of from behind the handle when it is off. When on only a small drip ( when the hose attached is off). Is this the cartridge which I assume is the same for all models, but if the stem is damaged i wanted to get the right parts once.


As far as I know, there was only one model of the QuarterMaster frost-free silcocks made by B&K Mueller at the time I wrote the original article. Also, as far as I know, even after they changed the cartridge design, they did not change the model name. In any case, it does not sound like your problem is with the cartridge, which manifests itself as a drip from the spigot. Other types of leaks have been reported and addressed in additional replies. Please see if any of them will help you resolve your specific issue.

numerous immediate failures?

something is not right with the design!

spring, summer, winter fall - I am constantly repairing or replacing these at many homes.

i just received a new cartridge for my leaking faucet and the new one didnt include a new bevel washer that was present with the old one - when i called the company they said that they are unable to obtain any new bevel washers, but both the spring and the bevel washer arent needed with the new cartridge, anyone have any experience with the new cartridge and whether a washer is still needed? thanks

If we are talking about the same piece, the black rubber washer (that's beveled), its nothing more then a faucet washer which is easily replaceable. I just got off the phone with my local hardware store, explained what it is and what the piece looks like, and the guy told me its not manufacturer specific, it is nothing more then an easily matched up and replaced faucet washer. Hope this helps!!!!

does anyone know if the bevel washer that seems to be between the cartridge and stem needs to be reinserted with the brass cartridge - i just got off the phone with b&k and they say there are no more bevel washers but with the brass cartridge you don't need the spring or washer - any ideas?

I had to continue using both the bevel washer and the spring after replacing the original cartridge with a new brass one. It is possible that they have redesigned once more since and are now using a cartridge that will work without them. I guess, go ahead, give it a try and please let all the rest of us know how it goes. I am suspicious...

My B&K QMaster silcock was installed less than 2 years ago. The first year, after a constant drip from the spout with silcock turned off, a handyman replaced the original cartridge with a replacement cartridge from Mueller Ind. Now when I turn the valve ON, with hose attached, there is a bad leak from between the handle and the collar. I estimate half of the water is lost to the leak and my sprinkler now does not get enough pressure to operate properly. With valve ON but hose disconnected, I don’t see any leak. I already replaced the washer in the collar (the old washer seemed fine), no change, still same leak.

I never left the hose attached in winter. And I don’t have a separate water shut off to the silcock, i.e., anytime I do anything on it, I have to shut off the water main.

B&K now advised me to take out the cartridge and and remove - and discard - the “umbrella shaped washer on the white disc”. Discard, not replace! I am afraid to pull out the cartridge myself, and don’t know where to turn, I doubt a plumber will be familiar with this particular valve.
Did anyone have a similar leak, and removing the umbrella shaped washer solve their problem?

There is just no way that removing that umbrella shaped washer is going to solve your problem. If your "handle washers" are not fitting properly, you could experience a problem like you are describing. The only way to fix this is to use the proper size washer around the stem.

I have the same issue with water coming out the handle. The stem is hollow and there's a hole that appears to be sealed by the outer collar seal but the stem appears to be too long. Could it be that it's not properly seated? i.e. should the o-rings on the cartridge "snap" into place when properly installed? When I push it in it just glides in nice and easy.

The stem can possibly be too long, but more likely you are not inserting it quite far enough. A little twist and push may just do the job.

I can send a very clear picture of the cracked stem if you'd like. Just let me know where to send it.

I got a new valve/stem combination and installed it and it now works fine (although the anti-siphon has a crack in it). The problem turned out to be a very fine 5" longitudinal crack in the stem itself, so the valve was fine to begin with and all I really needed was a new stem. If you have water coming out the handle, look at the stem really closely to see if it's cracked.

Nick, thank you for sharing your solution with us. I'll send you an email privately, so that you can send me a picture.

I found the problem. As it turns out, the stem had a 5" long crack in it that was so fine it was hard to see. If you have a problem with water shooting out from behind the handle, I'd recommend taking a good look at the stem.

I have the same issue with water coming out the handle. The stem is hollow and there's a hole that appears to be sealed by the outer collar seal but the stem appears to be too long. Could it be that it's not properly seated? i.e. should the o-rings on the cartridge "snap" into place when properly installed? When I push it in it just glides in nice and easy.

I have a B&K frost proof 1/4 turn faucet 6" that I purchased at Home Depot about 3 weeks ago. Once installed it worked perfectly. Then we had a cold snap so the faucet was unused for a couple weeks. It was drained before the cold came and a faucet cover put on. Now it's warm again, but when turned on, I get just a dripping of water from the faucet. I pulled the vacuum breaker and took it to a hardware store known for expertise. The plumbing guy there said the breaker looked fine. Incidentally, when the water was turned on with the breaker out, no water came out that opening, it still just dribbled out the spigot. The hardware store guy said he felt the cartridge was messed up, since there was no water flow, and no water leaking on the floor inside where the faucet is mounted. I'm thinking of getting another unit and pulling the stem and just swapping it out. I need the water from that faucet and don't think I can wait for a week or two for parts to arrive from the manufacturer. Frankly, if your faucet fails within 3 weeks after install, you should be responsible enough to overnight parts. On the other hand, this was sweated in and I can't see paying a plumber to come out and reinstall a whole new faucet. Any other ideas?

Sounds like replacing the cartridge in your B&K could solve your problem for now, but that is no guarantee that the problem would not recur or that some other problem would not emerge. For example, I have had the vacuum breaker spring get stuck on these Mueller units. Other people have described other issues, as well.

If you are not willing to put up with this unit and its idiosyncrasies, you should probably just byte the bullet and get it replaced.

BTW, the whole point of using the frost-frees is that you should not have to protect them from weather. If you are willing and able to deal with that, you should be able to get away with just using a standard spigot.

[BTW, the whole point of using the frost-frees is that you should not have to protect them from weather. If you are willing and able to deal with that, you should be able to get away with just using a standard spigot.]

Amen! Besides removing the hose, which I did, what else is needed to 'drain' the thing? Why not just use a regular spigot? Reason I'm here is because mine failed over the winter too.

B&K may tell you that you are suppose to mount their frost-free at a slight angle down, which is probably the reason that they provide that little plastic angled spacer. They may also tell you to disconnect the hose prior to the the onset of freezing temperatures, open the anti-siphon cap at the top, tap lightly to make sure that all the water is out and put the cap back on.

In my experience, none of this will help prevent failure of their original cartridges, though.

I had a problem with this model myself. Last winter, the silcock failed badly, with the leak bad enough to be called "gushing". I shut the water off, dis-assembled the silcock, cleaned what I could, and re-oriented the cartridge (rotated it). Somehow, that stopped the leak. This winter it began leaking again, from the faucet output, but it was a steady drip instead of a gush. Thanks to Jake's excellent description, I was able to identify my silcock, obtain the replacement all-brass cartridge, and then install it. Sadly, this has not stopped the steady dripping.

Does anyone know what might be causing this? I would have preferred to replace all the rubber parts, but they were not included with the cartridge, so I just re-used everything except the two brown O-rings that were included with the new cartridge. I have not yet able to speak to anyone technical from B&K Mueller, so I would much appreciate any advice.

Jake, thanks again for taking the time to make this page and help other people.

I would call back B&K Mueller and ask them to ship you those weird cone shaped washers. It may solve your problem. Please let us know how you come out!

I wish to send a big THANK YOU for these repair instructions and video!! My sillcock failed 10 months after installation. My plumber would not warranty the sillcock, so I called the 1-800 number for Mueller. I received the correct part within a week and a half. After gathering up the needed tools, from the time I shut off the house water to turning it back on after installing the new cartridge, it only took me 10 minutes!! EASY PEASY!! Thank you. Andrea

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