How To Repair a Leaky Outdoor Faucet
Outdoor faucets eventually begin to leak and it can become an annoying issue. Sometimes more water comes out of the faucet than it goes into your hose or sprinkler system. You can fix the outdoor faucet pretty easily in most instances, but depending on the size of the leak, you may need to replace the entire faucet.
The Seals and Gaskets Wear Out in an Outdoor Faucet
The #1 repair for a leaky outdoor faucet is a seal or gasket that needs to be replaced. They're often made of rubber or even plastic today, so over time, they just wear out. You'll be able to access them by taking the removing the handle of the faucet to access the interior hardware through the retaining nut. When you're there, check to see how tight it actually is. A loose retaining nut may be the cause of your leak. If the retaining nut is tight, then you'll need to remove the faucet stem. It's usually easier to remove the stem by installing the handle again so you can grip it. Sometimes you have to even turn the handle to remove the faucet.
Replace the Washer Assembly In the Stem
With the faucet stem out, you will notice that there is a washer assembly that can typically be accessed by a Philips head screwdriver. Unscrew the item and you'll be able to see which washers have failed. Keep track of how the parts go together so you can replace the faulty item and then reinstall the washers on the stem. You may also need to replace the stem packing or remove the vacuum breaker cap to locate the faulty parts. The vacuum breaker can sometimes fail because of dirt or sand that gets inside the faucet itself. If you clean the breaker, then you may fix the leak.
If all of that fails to work, then you will likely need to replace the entire faucet. If your faucet is screwed onto your plumbing, then you can just remove the old faucet and attached a new one. If it is a one piece unit, however, you'll need to cut it off and then solder the new outdoor faucet on. By following these steps, you'll know how to fix a leaky outdoor faucet. It only takes a few minutes to repair and in return, you won't be risking future water damage to your property once it gets fixed.
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