Best Guide: How to Fix a Leaky Outdoor Faucet (9 Steps)

It may not seem like a big concern if your outdoor faucet is leaking. There is an issue elsewhere, and the spigot is going to be wet anyhow, so what’s the big deal?

Even though a leaking faucet may not cause harm to your home, it will waste a significant amount of water. Additionally, a gradually leaking faucet may not always remain in this state.

It has the potential to become a larger leak, which might cause damage to neighboring plants. This blog post explains how to fix a leaky outdoor faucet while conserving water.

With the growing cost of water, a leaking outside faucet has become more than just a minor inconvenience. Even the smallest amount of water accumulates over time, resulting in a significant rise in your monthly expenses.

However, a dripping faucet may do more than simply drain your water flow. A gradual drop adjacent to your home’s foundation may ultimately enable water to seep into minor fractures in concrete and brick, causing water damage.

As soon as this occurs, you will be faced with an even more difficult situation if the faucet is not repaired as soon as possible.

Let’s see how to repair a dripping outdoor faucet in your yard.

Also read: How to fix a leaky bathtub faucet

How to fix a leaky shower faucet

Step by Step Guide: How to Fix a Leaky Outdoor Faucet

How to fix a leaky outdoor faucet

Step 1: Examine the Packing Nut

  •  A packing nut is located behind the handle, and it is responsible for keeping the water’s outflow blocked off externally.
  • A leaking outdoor faucet repair begins with the adjustment of this packing nut, which should be done with a 1/2-to-1/8-turn torque.

Step 2: Clam the Seal

  • If you have a screw in the middle of your handle as opposed to a screw on the outside, apply the same methods as you would for the screw.
  • Usually, just clamping this seal is all that is required to restore successful function to your hose bib system.
  • If you discover that your outside spigots are still dripping after doing this procedure, you will need to proceed with extracting this packing nut fully in order to have entry to the faucet valve stem.
  • Ensure that your water supply has been shut off before you proceed.

Step 3: Shut Off your Water Supply Valve

  • Whenever you are working on a hose repair, it is essential that you switch off the water supply first; otherwise, you may encounter all kinds of complications when you attempt to unscrew the packing nut in order to get access to the spigot stem.
  • Since a starting point, if you’re not sure where to start, we suggest looking for your water meter initially, as you’ll often locate your water shut-off valve next to it.
  • The position of the control valve and the water meter varies depending on the temperature, with interior water meters being more prevalent in colder areas and outdoor water meters being more popular in hotter areas.
  • Exploring your underground, workshop, or crawl space may provide results if you suspect your water meter is placed inside.

Step 4: Rotate the Handle

  • Water shut-off valves are typically activated by rotating them clockwise to horizontal, which shuts off the supply of water.
  • If your valve has a handle, twist it clockwise till you are unable to twist it any further.
  • Once you’ve completed this step, be sure to switch your outside faucet to the open position before continuing with the repair.
  • This is done in order to drain any extra water that may have accumulated in the pipelines.

Step 5: Unscrew the Packing Nut

  • As soon as you are certain that the water supply has been turned off, just use an adjustable wrench to unscrew the packing nut that is located beneath the faucet’s handle.
  • Removing the handle will give you the opportunity to reach the washer assembly, which will almost certainly need replacement.
  • This step will be somewhat different based on whether you are dealing with a standard or frost-free faucet.
  • If you have a standard outdoor spigot, the washer assembly will be located just beneath the faucet handle.
  • A freeze-proof faucet’s handle is linked to a lengthy metal rod known as the faucet stem, which is what you’ll see if you use one.
  • Disconnect the whole stem, and you’ll discover the damaged packing washer on the other end of the stem from where the handle is located.

Step 6: Remove the Assembly

  • Loosen the washer assembly with a screwdriver, allowing passage to the washer to be reached.
  • Replacement of the torn washer with a spare one that has the same shape and dimensions as the torn one.

Step 7: Replace the Handle

  • Reinstall the screw that is located at the very end of the spigot stem or tap handle.
  • Restore the handle to its original position and secure the packing nut by rotating it in a clockwise direction.

Step 8: Check the Vacuum Breaker

  • If you live in a modern home, it’s possible that you’ll be dealing with a frost-free faucet.
  • In that they protect pipelines from freezing and breaking, these valves are also more complicated to install and maintain, which means there are more areas where your leakage might be occurring from.
  • Vacuum breakers are notorious for having a valve that wears out and breaks, allowing water to get through when it would not ordinarily do so.
  • However, you will most likely need to bring your old vacuum breaker to a home improvement store to ensure that the new component is a perfect match for your specific spigot before you can proceed.

Step 9: Replace the Vacuum Breaker

  • Simply remove (or take off) the vacuum breaker cap that is located on the head of your faucet before leaving the house for the shop.
  • The vacuum breaker is located under the surface.
  • When it comes to removing this component, each faucet is unique, but in general, you will be able to do so by simply loosening it to free it from any threads or dragging it out with pliers.
  • In the same manner that you took the previous one , you’ll want to replace it with the new.

Video Guide: How to Repair a Leaky Outdoor Faucet

What are the causes of a leaky outdoor faucet?

Causes of leaky frost-free faucet

Before you can start fixing a leaking outside faucet, you must first determine the source of the issue. A leaking outdoor faucet might be caused by numerous factors.

If your exterior faucet drips from the spout after the water is shut off, the washer is most likely the culprit and should be fixed or changed.

If the water spigot is seeping from the handle when it is switched on, the stem sealing may be the cause of the problem.

Outdoor spigot spills are frequently caused by worn-out washers.

Additional reasons for outdoor faucet failures include broken, frozen, or obstructed pipelines, in addition to wear and strain on the washers and packing surrounding the handles.

Tubes may get blocked with mineral reserves and other debris over time.

Frost injury to a pipe happens when the moisture in the pipeline freezes, causing the material to stretch and shrink, eventually breaking the pipe.

That’s why, while winterizing your house in the autumn, it’s critical to turn off outdoor faucets.

If the leaky garden faucet is extremely old, it may be more cost effective to just change it rather than waste time and money repairing it.

Also read: How to protect outdoor faucet from freezing

What is the cost of repairing a leaky faucet

Leaking frost-free faucet

  • If you’re simply twisting or changing a loose washer, repairing a leaking outdoor faucet may be done for very little or no money at all.
  • If, on the other hand, you decide to replace the complete outside faucet, the expense of changing each component might quickly mount up.
  • In most cases, changing a spigot will cost about $90-$100, whereas a new metal hose bib with a cutoff valve would cost around $150 to $200.
  • Depending on the situation, the cost of repairing or changing an outside faucet might vary between $50 and $300.
  • A garden hose bib costs between $5 and $10 on its own, so if you’re doing it manually, you’ll probably save a significant amount of money.

Also read: How to remove calcium buildup on faucets

How to replace a outdoor spigot

1. Find the water shutoff valve and flip it clockwise to switch off your water system. Locate the outside spigot and replace it as described above.

2. Open the outside spigot to drain any residual water from the tube.

3. To unscrew the leaky spigot, twist it in the opposite direction to the clock.

4. Take a firm grasp on the tube and spigot, and then pry them out.

5. Remove the threads with your solid brush, as shown in step

6. Apply plumber’s tape to the threads of the pipeline to hold them in place.

7. Insert the new spigot and tighten it with a wrench to ensure that it is firmly in position.

8. Now, switch on the water flow and inspect it for any lingering leaks.

If a water leak occurs as a result of breaks in the pipe caused by frost damage, it is best to call an expert rather than attempt the repair yourself, unless you have extensive expertise in working with plumbing issues.

Also read: How to remove faucet stem


Our blog post has shown you some of the more common reasons why you may have a leaky outdoor faucet. Hopefully, now you can figure out how to fix the leaky faucet all on your own.

Regarding Questions

Why is my frost free spigot leaking?

Whenever your faucet drips out of the nozzle when it’s switched off, the washer is damaged.

On frost-proof faucets, the washer is situated on the tip of the faucet stem.

If you discover that the faucet begins dripping again after a matter of seconds, the valve seat is damaged and you must change the complete frost-proof faucet.

How do you secure an outside spigot?

It’s simple and inexpensive to lock your outdoor water faucet using a faucet lock, which is offered at hardware shops. These closures come with keys or a clasp system, to turn them on and off.

You may also attach a flow meter to detect water loss or turn off the primary outdoor spigot valve.

What is the cap on top of an outdoor faucet?

The vacuum cap is round and approximately an inch wide, and it either slides or threads onto the head of the faucet. The component below is referred to as a vacuum breaker or perhaps an anti-siphon valve.

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