How To Repair A Leaky Outdoor Faucet

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Black and white Art Illustration of outdoor faucet

Outdoor Faucet Leaking?

Knowing how to repair a leaky outdoor faucet is one of those tasks that can be extremely helpful for the average homeowner. In many cases — not all, mind you, but many — the fix is as easy as checking and tightening a nut. Sometimes, however, the diagnosis is not so easily obtained and the fix isn’t so easy to come by — at least not for those who don’t work as a plumber full time.

In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the basics of checking for and repairing a leaky outdoor water faucet (also known as a hose bib or hose bibbs). If you’ve had an outdoor faucet that’s been leaking for a while, then fixing the problem should do wonders for your water bill — not to mention the environment.

Please keep in mind that this piece provides just an overview of how to diagnose and repair a leaky faucet. As we alluded to in that first paragraph up there, there may be more than meets the eye when it comes to fixing a leaky outdoor faucet. If that’s the case, then you’re always going to be in good shape if you contact Simpson Plumbing. We’re happy to help diagnose the problem and propose solutions that will solve the problem — whatever it may be.

But if the fix is easy — and we’re hoping it is! — then here are the steps for how to repair a leaky outdoor faucet.

How To Repair A Leaky Outdoor Faucet

First off, you’ll probably need a pair of pliers or a sturdy adjustable wrench to perform the fix outlined here. Outdoor faucets can begin to drip over time because the packing nut has come loose. If that’s the case, then you’ll almost certainly notice that water is leaking from the handle. To stop an outdoor faucet from leaking, take your pliers or adjustable wrench and tighten the packing nut that’s located just below the faucet handle. Remember to turn it in a clockwise direction about halfway — righty-tighty, lefty-loosey!

If the faucet is still leaking after you’ve tightened it, then it’s probably because the rubber washer has worn away. This process is a little more involved and requires you to not only buy a replacement washer but to also shut off the water supply going to the faucet. Then you’ll need to unscrew that packing nut (lefty-loosey!) and pull the handle and valve stem out from the faucet. (The valve stem is sometimes surprisingly long FYI!)

Time to Call Simpson?

(Note: If you’re reading this and already thinking this might be a good time to call a plumber, then it’s probably a good time to call a plumber. Call Simpson Plumbing right away! We’re here to help.)

Still here? Ready to carry on? OK, now that the water flow has been stopped, you’ll want to remove the screw on the end of that stem; this screw holds the washer in place. Go ahead and replace the old washer with the new one. Then tighten that screw, re-insert the stem into the faucet housing, and re-tighten the packing nut. Finally, turn the water on again, and check for leaks or drips.

If that fix doesn’t solve the problem, then it’s possible that the valve will have to be replaced. In this case, we’re just gonna go ahead and say it’s definitely absolutely time to call Simpson Plumbing.

Simpson: Your Vancouver Plumber

Since 1981, Simpson Plumbing has been delivering quality plumbing services in and around Vancouver, Camas, and the rest of Southwest Washington. Our philosophy is simple: Give our customers the results they demand at a fair and ethical price.

Simpson is family-owned and operated — just as it has been since Day 1. In fact, a third generation of family members has joined our expert plumbing workforce. We’re more than ready to continue providing exceptional plumbing services and A+ customer service to our Vancouver neighbors.

Be sure to check out our special offers. (They’re updated frequently!)

Full-Service Plumbing

Simpson offers full-service commercial and residential plumbing. No matter the problem, we’re equipped to diagnose and fix it — everything from leaky faucets (both inside and out!), water heater repair, garbage disposal repair, pipe maintenance, and more!

We also provide installation services, including water heaters, sump pumps, and tubs and showers. Last but certainly not least: We can help you with kitchen remodels, bathroom remodels, or full-scale plumbing projects on new homes.

Call us today! We look forward to speaking with you.

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