How to Fix a Leaky Outdoor Faucet

There’s nothing pleasing about a water leak, and it especially isn’t great to hear the drips of water mocking all of your dollars going down the drain. Many homeowners ignore water leaks, but they contribute to the over 180 gallons of water lost every week. 

Fortunately for you, a leaky faucet is a relatively easy fix, and all you need to stop those slow, menacing drips are a couple of standard household tools and a few tips and tricks. Here’s how you can fix your leaky outdoor faucet for good.

Why Is My Outdoor Faucet Leaking?

There are many reasons your outdoor faucets leak, with the most common ones being worn-out washers or stern packings. Frozen pipes are also an issue that can cause pipes to expand and crack. If your pipe clogs, the water pressure will strain other parts of the pipe, which eventually leads to your outdoor faucet leaking. Major water line issues are dangerous and can cause big-time problems to your home, so if you’re a resident of Greensboro, a water line replacement might be in the cards.

Steps to Fix Your Faucet

Once you’re ready to fix your leaky outdoor faucet, the first thing you want to do is collect the tools you need. Here’s what you’ll need for the job:

Tools for the Job

  • Phillips Head Screwdriver
  • Pipe Wrench
  • Pliers
  • Washers
  • Spray-on Lubricant

Turn off Water Supply

Your first step when fixing a leaky outdoor faucet is to turn off the water supply to your home. The main lever is usually located around your water meter, which you can find on the lowest part of your home (like a basement) or a wall on the exterior of your house. 

Check Your Packing Nut

If you’re lucky, tightening the packing nut could solve all your issues. It is located under the faucet handle. Take your pliers, give the nut a bit of a twist, and retest your system. Don’t go too hard, though, as breaking the nut could cause a much bigger issue. 

Replace the Washer

If tightening the nut didn’t work, the next step in fixing your leaky outdoor faucet is to replace the rubber washer in the handle. Remove the packing nut—if it’s too old, grab your lubricant and twist until it comes off. This allows you to remove the handle and exposes the rubber washer. Replace the washer and the head, then test your system.

Reassemble Faucet

Replace the pieces you removed and turn your water supply system back on. At this point, test your faucet for any more leaks. If you’re still asking why your outdoor faucet is leaking, you might have a more serious problem at hand, or you might have a frost-proof faucet.

What If I Have a Frost Proof Faucet?

Frost-proof faucets are common in more modern homes, and these water faucets have a few extra steps and parts that might explain why your outdoor faucet is leaking. This type of faucet contains a washer assembly located on the interior end of a stem that goes through it. To fix the washer, you’d have to remove this stem first.

The vacuum breaker is a device located on frost-proof faucets that prevent water from flowing back into the plumbing system. Occasionally, your vacuum breaker valve will wear down and leak water. 

In either case, you may need to replace your washer and vacuum breaker on a frost-proof faucet to stop the leaking. This task is more complicated and should be left to the pros!

Still Unsure Why Your Faucet Is Leaking?

If you followed these steps and you’re still wondering why your outdoor faucet is leaking, you might have a much deeper issue at hand. You could have issues deeper in your system or have a problem with your water line. If this is the case and you’ve found yourself considering drain cleaning in Greensboro, NC, Go Green Plumbing has your back. 

Reach out to our premier plumbers to get your pipes back to operating at 100% efficiency.

Go Green Will Be Closed on Monday, September 4th for Labor Day. Emergency Services Are available for Members Only.