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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 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

Just connected with B&K. They were great and had no problem with sending a new cartridge. If the cartridge comes and works as expected, I will be a satisfied customer.

Haven't been able to find the 1-800 number can anyone supply the number.

The 1-800 for Mueller appears prominently at the start of this thread, but here it is again: 800-782-2385.

I have been frustrated for over a month by this problem. My B& Mueller started leaking. I've replaced all the seals in a vain attempt to stop the leak. I have contacted Mueller Industries--twice. The first time, they sent me the all brass cartridge (the one in the middle as shown in the video), but it is an inch longer than my old ceramic cartridge (just like the one at the bottom of the video). I knew right away that with the new cartridge assembled to the existing stem, that the extra inch of length would prevent me from being able to reinstall the assembly into the existing pipe-faucet assembly. When I called Mueller back, the representative said, "That's a universal replacement cartridge. Have you tried it? Just try it." As ridiculous as it sounded, I have tried it, and it does not fit. The stem sticks out too far. The only thing I can do to fix the problem is to replace the entire assembly with a completely new unit. I'm just amazed that nobody else seems to have had the same experience. Any solutions?

As you can tell from the video, the newer style cartridge is shorter and it is used with the longer stem to make up for the difference. In addition to getting the new all-brass universal cartridge from Mueller, you will also need to get their shorter stem to fix the silcock. In the past, they had no problem of also sending you the stem, when it was required.

I read your info and used that to order 4 new repair parts, since all four of my silcocks were defective. My question is how to get the broken piece out. In your picture on the top of this page it shows your old unit with the tip at an angle. The tip did not come out with any of my silcocks, one a spring and piece of plastic did. I turn the water on to see if the pressure would push it out and it did not. Is there any trick to it.
Thanks, Mark

Probably, the only way you will be able to get it out now, is to take the entire silcock out and push on the broken part of the cartridge from the opposite side with a screwdriver. Water isn't going to get it out - it will just go through the hole magic of Houdini.

Ok... well I have a SC spigot that is on the back of the house and when I shut the water off, water is still coming out. it doesn't come out the faucet part but up through the anti-siphon capped part. I don't see the sense in spending time or money on a whole new sillcock if all I need is a new valve up top? Is this a fair assessment or do I need to do something more?

I am not sure what an SC spigot is, but if it is anything like the QM frost-free, which is the subject of this thread, then the two big fixable things, which can go wrong with it are 1) the broken cartridge and 2) the spring in the anti-siphon mechanism.

If the water continues to come out when you turn the spigot off, then you will probably need to replace the cartridge. If the water jets out of the anti-siphon at the top of the silcock, the spring inside the anti-siphon may have rusted or got stuck; in any case it no longer closes with water pressure, the way it should.

The two problems described above are usually completely independent, so if the cartridge operates properly and the anti-siphon spring is not working, the water will only come out at the top when the silcock is on. Conversely, if the spring is OK, but the cartridge is damaged, you will not bea able to turn off the water, but it will only come out of the spigot and not at the top.

Your situation, therefore, is quite unusual, as both parts would have to malfunction for a problem to manifest itself in such a way. It does not sound like the valve is to blame in this case. QuarterMaster silcocks come with a lifetime warranty and the company provides and ships the required replacement parts at no cost to you. Perhaps the manufacturer of your faucet does the same, so call them before deciding to replace the entire unit.

I watched the video since I am also have an issue with my FF Quartermaster Spigot. My issue is normal pressure, but low volume.

I pulled the stem, but everything seemed to be intact. Could it be an internal failure causing this problem? Vacuum breaker?

This is a concern for me since it literally happened overnight, as I set up my sprinklers on a Friday and they ran perfect and now barely run at all.

Any help is appreciated.

Obviously there is a restriction somewhere along the water path. It could be in your house, in the spigot or (most likely) in the stem. What did you see when you pulled it? If you look close enough inside the cartridge, you will probably find a piece of dirt just large enough to restrict most water flow. Try to get it out and if you can not, replace the cartridge.

The valve broke for the second winter in a year. Customer service was incapable, belligerent, argumentative and refused to help me. They say you have to drain it and cover it. What's the point of buying such an expensive freeze proof valve if you have to do more to protect it than a plain jane old water valve? What happened to their guarantee and customer service? They claim it is a limited lifetime guarantee and requires proof of purchase. Guess they think I found this in an alley. Do not buy this product. It is cheaply made and not supported by the manufacturer. I still have the tag and this is going back to Home Depot. They can return it.

i have the quartermaster sillcock model number 104-559. i installed it last year now its leaking when the water is turned on. i took the stem out of the sillcock and the black rubber on the plastic white piece was broke off and the packing nut washer was chewed up. so i called the 1-800 number and they told me the sillcock has been discontinued and all they can send me is the cartridge. and i cant find the right washers at home depot or anywhere any ideas?

Their customer service and products stink. Suggest you return to the retailer and/or file a complaint with the retailer.

You have two options:
1. Take the QuarterMaster silcock out, return it to Home Depot and replace it with another brand of silcock that doesn't have so many problems.
2. Get that replacement cartridge from B&K Mueller. It will probably come with the washers you need - it has in the past.

The water in my hose won't turn off. I tried every combination with the handle in front and the metal knob on top but the water always runs. Can you advise me what this is?
Thank you,

The metal knob on top must be hand tightened in normal operation. The handle on the front must be turned to its stop clockwise to turn the water off. If this doesn't do the trick, nothing else will until you follow instructions in the original post that tell you how to fix your silcock.

Brand new 104-619HC and the handle won't turn. Removed the handle and still can't get it to open. Suggestions?

What do you mean, you can't get it open? It doesn't turn or it does, but no water comes out? How would removing the handle help? Please be more specific. If you have not yet installed it, you may want to consider another brand.

Where did you buy your QuartertMaster silcock? Last time I was at a local HomeDepot a few days ago, their entire remaining dwindling inventory of B&K Mueller silcocks looked used. When I asked their plumbing associate if they had any more and in the length I needed, he told me to go for another brand. It is a couple of dollars more, but apparently infinitely more reliable.

Just replaced a threaded type sillcock (104-553HC), turned the valve and water comes out of the vacuum valve on the top of the faucet when connected to the hose. Any ideas? Thanks

There is suppose to be a cap covering the vacuum valve at the top. When you tighten it by hand, it prevents water from coming out. Are you experiencing a leak at the top with the cap completely off or with it properly tightened?

I installed a Quarter Master last year. When I turned my faucet on this year the water was at a trickle. When I run the water without the Quarter Master the pressure is fine. I called Mueller and they sent me a new cartridge. I replaced the cartridge and I still have the same problem. Any suggestions?

Physics tells us that if you experience a change in pressure from the input of your B&K Mueller QuarterMaster silcock to its output, there must be a constriction somewhere inside it. If the problem is not in the cartridge, it must be elsewhere in the silcock housing. That being pretty much just a pipe, any restriction should be rather plane to see - try shining a flashlight inside your silcock housing with the stem and cartridge out.

I installed Quick Master last year. When I went to use it this year the water trickled out. When the Quarter Master is removed the water pressure is fine. I got a replacement cartridge and I am still experiencing water pressure problems. Any suggestions?


I would say, please make sure that the valve is really off. Can you turn it more than 1/4 turn in either direction or does it stop as it is designed to do? If not, the handle probably wore off at the point of attachment to the stem and needs to be replaced. If this is not the problem, then you most likely have a broken cartridge. In either case you should contact B&K Mueller at the number provided in the original post to request a replacement part.

I've read through all the posts and see that several others are having the same problem, water leaks out of the knob screw hole. I replaced two cartridges today and they both have the same leak. I've tightened the outer nut but that doesn't seem to help. I have not seen anyone give a good answer for the repair yet, are you aware of one? I've called BK but got the answer machine, hope they are good about calling back?

Unfortunately, I can't think of any way that this could happen with the outer nut tightened. If you do get a solution to this problem, please post it here for the benefit of everyone else.

I have a 8" quarter master outside my house that comes out under my deck. The sillcock, the outside chrome part is all the same diameter, but I noticed very end of the new ones flare out. This isn't an problem when replacing the insides! :)

I pulled the insides out of a new Mueller 8", where the outside of the sillcock is flared. It fit perfect inside my old non-flared sillcock, and I didn't need to replace the whole thing, just the internals/stem. I also just called Mueller, and they said there is no problem with that, the newer outside sillcock that flares out, is just from a new company and doesn't effect performance, etc. The inside diamter is the same, it's just thicker walled on the end....

My QM was leaking and when I pulled out the stem, I found the cone washer was broken. None of the hardware stores around me have anything similar to it. Does anybody know if the repair kit that BK Mueller sends you will include the cone washer?


BK Mueller has been very accommodating every time I have called. The cone washer was included in all the repair packages I have received, even without me asking for it. However, it couldn't hurt to specifically ask for it to be included.

Good luck,

Jake, allow me to add my own gratitude to the pile of other such replies here. While I did find some other information on the web about the QuarterMaster, your video and commentary were substantially better than all other sources combined. Thank you for taking the time to share what you learned.

My Faucet has started leaking. Called the 800 number and they sent me a repair kit which is only a brass Sillcock Cartridge.
The faucet I have is about 10 years old. Will this part replace the old part and stop the leak? Does the instructions given by JAKE on this site work. Does the length of my faucet have any bearing on removing the stem and replacing the cartridge?

Al, I have created an instructional video and added it to the original post. I believe it answers all of your questions - please take a look. Since, you will be attaching the new cartridge to your old stem, the length of your frost-free silcock does not matter.

Jake, Watched the video again after I replied to you and noticed there is a washer on the cartridge. I noticed when
I was taking the old cartridge off the stem, there was a washer assembly that was broken. There was not a washer
assembly with the cartridge I received. What are my options?

Al, you need that flexible beveled washer between the cartridge and the stem. (That is the one you are talking about, right?) If you don't, I am sure you will experience a leak, when the faucet is turned on. I suggest that you call B&K Mueller and ask them for a replacement washer. It is highly unlikely that you local hardware store would carry anything that would work to replace it.

P.S. If the video helped you, please rate it on youtube, so that others needing help may find it easier.

Jake, The Video was great. I followed the steps and got the stem out and the new brass cartridge on with not problem. Got the repaired stem back in and turned the water on. When the handle is on off, the water leak is gone. When the handle is on, I have a continuous stream that appears to be coming out of the steam. Is this because of a bad washer that is on the hose end of the faucet? Can not find a washer to replace the bad one. Any Suggestions?

I purchased an 8" Frost Proof 1/4 turn Quartermaster by B&K 2 years ago and I'm on my fourth one. In my case it is NOT a freezing problem. I replaced the last one 2 months ago and came home tonight to find it leaking again from behind the faucet handle or so that is how it appears. It has not been anywhere near freezing. I have taken the whole unit out and returned it to the hardware store I purchased it from and thankfully they have continued to carry the same one and allow me to exchange it, but I'm tired of replacing this thing! I think I will try to get my money back. The guy at the hardware store said he's seen others have the same problem as mine and others with a anti-siphon problem. I think something is wrong with B&K's design. I will try the customer service number I guess.

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