A leaking outdoor faucet is not a problem many people take seriously.
They tend to put off repairs only when necessary, leading to several problems. Water dripping from your tap can seep into the foundations of nearby buildings and cause structural damage. And water damage can be extremely costly to deal with.
Moreover, the constant water drip will result in higher water bills. And if the constantly dripping water reaches your garden, it can harm the plants there. Fortunately, it is possible to deal with a leaky tap quickly is possible without hiring a plumber.
And this brief guide will help you know how to diagnose and fix a leaky garden faucet using DIY methods. So, let’s get started!
Common Causes Of Garden Tap Leaks
Before you can use DIY repair methods to fix a leaky outdoor water spigot, it is essential to learn about the causes of the problem. The most common causes of an outdoor leaking tap include:
- Loose packing nut
- Damaged or worn out washer
- Frost damage
While some problems, such as a loose packing nut, can be fixed easily, others require replacing the spigot. And this simple step-by-step guide on how to fix a leaking garden tap will help you out.
Fixing A Leaking Outdoor Faucet
As mentioned above, a leaky outdoor faucet is a common problem that needs to be dealt with quickly to prevent structural damage and keep your garden in proper shape. But before getting started, you must procure the necessary tools for the job. Most of these tools are easily available at home, and others can be purchased from a hardware store.
- Adjustable hand wrench
Now let’s look at how to repair outside taps and prevent them from leaking.
An outdoor faucet, often known as a hose bib or spigot, has a packing nut behind the handle. If this nut becomes loose, it can result in leaks. So, the first thing to do is inspect the outside tap and determine whether the packing nut is tightly secured. If it is not tight enough, turn it ½ to %u215B until it is tight.
In some cases, the handle has a screw in its centre, which must be tightened. However, if this still does not fix the problem of the tap leaking, the packing nut will need to be removed before you can check the hose system.
If you need to repair the hose to prevent the tap from leaking water, the first thing to do is to turn off the water supply. To do that, determine where the shut-off valve is installed, which can vary depending on the area. It may be located indoors in the garage or basement or outside. Once you locate it, turn it clockwise to turn off the water supply.
In some cases, there may be a knob that needs to be turned completely to turn off the water. After turning it off, turn on the garden tap to ensure the water is off and remove any water left in the pipes.
Once the water has been turned off, use an adjustable hand wrench to unscrew the packing nut behind the faucet handle. Then, remove this handle so you can get to the tap washer assembly, which will need to be replaced. The replacement process can vary depending on whether it is a frost-free faucet or a regular one.
In the case of standard outdoor taps, the washer assembly is located behind the handle, while in the case of a frost-free one, it is attached to a faucet stem. This stem will need to be removed to access the damaged tap washer.
The washer assembly can be removed using a screwdriver. Once removed, you can get a new washer with the same thickness and size and replace it with the old one.
After replacing the old washer with a new one, it is time to reassemble the faucet. Screw back the faucet handle or stem into place before tightening the packing nut.
In the case of a frost-free faucet, the process can be more complicated since there are more places where these taps can leak. Sometimes, the valve present on the vacuum breaker may break. In such instances, you will need a new vacuum breaker that fits the garden tap perfectly, which can be obtained from any hardware store.
So, first, remove the vacuum breaker cap from the top of the spigot, then remove the vacuum breaker by unscrewing it. You may need a pair of pliers to dislodge the connecting threads before pulling out the breaker. After getting a new vacuum breaker, follow the same process in reverse to install it.
How To Stop A Leaky Garden Faucet
Sometimes replacing parts like the washer assembly may not be enough to stop the leaking, and you may need to replace the entire spigot. In such instances, these steps can help fix a leaking garden tap without calling a plumber.
- Pipe wrench
- Plumber’s tape
- Meter key or street key
- Tape measure
- Exterior caulk
- Replacement spigot
Before disconnecting the pipe to replace the faucet, turn the water off using the valve, which may be close to the water meter. You will need a street key or meter key to do so.
Once the water has been turned off, turn on the tap to let the remaining water flow out so the tap can be removed easily. Garden taps or spigots usually have a pipe ranging from eight to 16 inches in length and have a threaded or male connection at one end. To disconnect the faucet, use a pipe wrench and turn it counterclockwise.
After it is disconnected, simply remove the hose bib from the pipe so a new one can be installed.
First, wrap the plumber’s tape around its threaded end clockwise to install the new faucet. Then insert the faucet into the female or unthreaded pipe end and tighten it securely. Your pipe wrench can be used for this purpose. Once it is properly installed, apply exterior caulk to reinforce the installation.
Wait until the caulk is dry before turning off the water supply at the water meter. Then, turn on the outside tap to check whether the problem of a leaky garden tap has been solved. This easy fix for a leaking garden hose faucet will take a little time to complete and can help you save a lot on costly repairs.
Fixing A Leaking Garden Tap
Fixing a leaky outdoor tap using DIY methods takes little time and effort and can go a long way in helping you save on costly repairs. But when performing such repairs, it is important to proceed with care as parts like washers can easily be damaged if mishandled.
Also, sometimes even after performing the repairs, the leakage may not stop. This can indicate other problems with the plumbing. If that is the case, hiring a professional plumber to inspect the site and identify the problem is best.
The plumber can then suggest the best way to deal with the problem and perform the necessary repairs to stop the water from leaking.