How To Fix an Outdoor Faucet

An outdoor faucet that is leaking water can be a big problem, especially in the colder months. Not only will the water freeze and potentially cause the lines to burst, but they can also waste a lot of money. The good news is that fixing an outdoor faucet is a reasonably simple chore to do. Here are the steps to take so that the problem can be diagnosed and then repaired.

1. Is Your Faucet Leaking Around The Handle?

This type of leak typically means that the stem packing in the faucet is leaking. You'll typically see this happen when the water gets turned on and you wind up with a soaked sleeve or pant leg from the dripping. In most cases, the only thing that needs to be done is to tighten up the retaining nut that can be found underneath the handle. Remove the screw from the center of the handle, tighten the nut behind it, and that should solve the problem.

2. Is There Still A Problem After Step #1?

If tightening the nut didn't stop the leak, then you've got a problem with your packing gasket. To remove it, you'll need to shut off the water to the valve or turn off your main water line. Your faucet brand will make a repair kit that includes the stem gasket. Replace it and then try the faucet again. If it is still leaking from the handle, then the stem or the valve seat is the problem and you'll need a new faucet.

3. Is Your Faucet Leaking From the Spout Instead?

Sometimes faucets leak after they've been turned off from the spout. This is an indicator that the washer in the faucet has gone bad. You'll need to remove the handle and then pull the stem out of the faucet. Some stems need to be turned to get them to come out. Then just replace the old parts with the new parts that you've purchased and reassemble the faucet. This will typically repair all faucets. If the leak starts up right away again, then you'll need a new faucet because the valve seat has worn out.

4. Is The Faucet Leaking From the Top?

Sometimes an outdoor faucet has been equipped with a built-in vacuum breaker. This is located on the top of the faucet and it can sometimes leak too, but only when the water has been turned on. In this instance, you will need to replace the breaker to fix the leak.

5. If You Need to Replace the Entire Faucet

Some outdoor faucets just screw onto the plumbing. If this is the case, make sure the water is turned off and then just unscrew the faucet. Sometimes, however, the outdoor faucet is soldered into place. If this is the case with your leaking faucet and it needs to be completely replaced, then you'll need to use cutting tools to remove it and then solder the new faucet back into place. Most of the time a leaking faucet is due to a loose joint or a failed washer. Those can be fixed in just a few minutes using this guide. Stop those those leaks today, save money, and perhaps even save your outdoor faucet from further damage.

Posted on Jan 05, 2015


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