Technically known as hose bibb, an outdoor faucet or water spigot present outside your house is connected for watering the lawn or garden. A common issue that you or the gardener is likely to face is a leaky spigot. If the outdoor faucet leaks when turned on, it can be quite annoying although it can be a trivial issue.
You simply watch drops of water, forming gradually or quickly, on the ground. This results in loss of money with water wastage as well as moisture accumulation next to your house. So, if left unresolved, even a gently-leaking faucet outside can critically damage your garden apart from the foundation of your house.
This leakage can result in damage to your home’s exterior as well as the basement. Regardless of whether the leak is slow or the spouting stream seems to be like a mini fountain, it is essential to resolve it as soon as possible to prevent further damage.
Luckily, it is easy to fix a leaking outdoor faucet, as you only need some simple tools as well as patience. You only need an adjustable wrench and a Phillips-head screwdriver. If you are a DIY person who loves to overcome challenges in or out of your house, this post will guide you to fix a leaking faucet out of your home.
So, What Causes Outdoor Faucet Leaks When Turned On?
If there is a standard spigot, a valve regulates the supply of water. It can be a gate, globe, or ball valve, which you can close or open via a screw-down mechanism. Turning the handle kindles the mechanism to close or open the valve. The valve and the outdoor faucet both are vulnerable to wear and tear in the internal mechanism or part to which they can leak over time.
Wear and tear of the part surrounding the handle and of plastic or rubber washer are the common reasons. Although an outdoor faucet is designed to last for years with trivial or no maintenance, it has no control over the wear and tear of the handle and washer. You can either fix or replace them.
There are more reasons why outdoor faucet leaks when turned on. They are related to pipes. Another reason can be frozen or damaged pipes. If the water in a pipe converts into ice, especially in winter, it can cause the pipe to crack by expansion. Leakage can also be due to a damaged pipe whose signs could be an odd odor or no water from the faucet.
Even a jammed pipe can result in leakage. Mineral residues and debris can block the pipe, resulting in water accumulation, and consequently, in an abrupt water flow. The stuck water starts to leak even if the spigot is turned off.
Knowing or finding the cause is the first step to avoid wasting water and money on expensive damage repairs induced by leaks.
Identifying the Issue of outdoor faucet leaks only when turned on
Has your water bill increased suddenly or unexpectedly? If yes, it can indicate an outdoor leaking problem. Next, on the water meter, look for the leak indicator whose active movement indicates leakage occurring somewhere. Just do not wait for some more time to find the source of the leak, or else, you will end up with a swimming pool on your lawn.
Can You Fix the Leaking Outdoor Faucet?
You are now sure that your outdoor spigot is leaking. That said; your action plan would be to call a plumber. However, before doing so, there is a DIY task for you to perform. You can find out whether it needs a simple repair such as replacing a part. If not, you may have to change the fixture. For this, you need to look for noticeable signs of damage to the pipe, stem, or handle. Here are the simple actions that you can take to see if you can fix the problem without calling a plumber:
Fixing the Issue of Outdoor Faucet Leaks When Turned On
If an outdoor faucet is leaking from around the handle or valve stem once you turn on the water supply, a loose packing nut is likely to be the cause. You can easily resolve this by:
If this does not fix the issue, you should consider replacing the washer existing at the end of the stem. Following are the steps for the same:
Fixing the Issue of Outside Faucet Leaking When Hose Attached
If the spigot is leaking when attached to a hose, the cause is likely to be the pressurized water flowing via the washer. In this case, hook up the hose, turn on the faucet, and tighten the nut until the leakage is stopped.
Once the nut is tightened, it is squeezed against all the surfaces, giving a tight seal. If the issue persists, consider replacing the rubber washer.
Fixing the Issue of Outside Faucet Leaking by Replacing the Faucet
If none of the aforementioned solutions work, it is time to replace the spigot to avoid further damage and frustration. For this, you will need the following supplies and tools:
It is wise to remove the old faucet and show it to the hardware shopkeeper to get the most compatible new spigot. You should look for the threads that are inside in case of a female version and on the outside in case of a male version. Do also check the thread size, which is typically 1/2- or 3/4-inch. The new spigot should have the same size.
Following are the steps to replace a leaking outdoor water spigot:
If the issue persists, it is not time to call a plumber.
A Short Video:
If the outdoor faucet leaks when turned on, you should take an instant action to fix the issue. You can choose to fix it on your own or call a plumber.
If you enjoy reading this article, be sure to read on why is there a burst of black water coming out from faucet.