We have hoses attached to all the exterior faucets -- one in each corner of the house. The main one for the garden appears to have been leaking -- a slow drip -- for the past year, so I figured this would be a good time to fix it.
Unfortunately, when I went to take the top off of the faucet, to replace washer, the faucet all but fell apart. The handle shattered into 5 or 6 pieces, and the base would not come off. Of course, Home Depot (where I bought the original faucet) no longer carries this brand, so there are no replacement parts.
And the copper pipe that it was attached to wanted to turn, rather than letting loose of the faucet.
Given that it was likely that I would break the pipes, I figured it was better to call an actual plumber. I chiselled out the mortar around the faucet and the pipes. This exposed a connection which the plumber says is an electrical grounding connection.
Lanier Plumbing sent a guy out who did an excellent job. He put an extension on the pipe that converted it from male threads to female threads, and should be more durable, plus being longer. That should make it easier to replace the faucet in the future. $122.88 for an hour's worth of work plus the faucet (male hose bib).
I still have to repair the mortar.