Leaking outside taps can be a huge problem. For one thing, they can cause your water bills to rise, leaving you to pay for water that you didn’t actually make use of and seriously damaging your budget for the month. They can also destroy your carefully tended grass and plants and make your lawn or garden look the worse for wear.
Fortunately, fixing a leaking outdoor faucet is something that you can easily do. Read on to know how you can get this project done in no time.
Gather The Tools And Materials You’ll Need
Before doing anything else, make sure to have everything you need at hand. This way, you won’t have to get up in the middle of the repair just to look for a tool you’ve forgotten to bring. When repairing a leaking outdoor tap, you’ll need to have an adjustable wrench, a flat-head screwdriver, a small brush (or an old toothbrush), and plumber’s tape. You can also buy a new washer ahead of time; if you’re not sure what size or type you need, ask your local hardware store if you can purchase a bag of assorted washers. Alternatively, you can wait until you have removed the old washer from the faucet so you can bring it with you to the hardware and buy an exact replacement.
Identify Where The Leak Is Coming From
Check the tap to see exactly where the water is leaking out. Outdoor faucets usually leak in two places: the handle or the spout. Knowing the location of the leak is important since this determines what you need to do next.
Turn Off The Main Water Connection
Before you start the repairs, make sure to turn off the main water valve. This way, you can safely take the faucet apart without worrying that a geyser of water will rush at you!
Fix The Leak
If the faucet is leaking at the handle, use the adjustable wrench to tighten the packing nut (which is located right behind the faucet knob). Packing nuts usually get loose over time due to water pressure and other factors and can lead to leaks. Tightening it usually fixes the problem right away.
Unfortunately, things can get a bit complicated if the faucet is leaking at the spout. If this is the case for your outside tap, you’ll need to take the following steps:
1. Use the adjustable wrench to loosen the packing nut and remove the valve stem (which sits below the nut).
2. Take your flat-head screwdriver and use it to remove the screw at the end of the valve.
3. Once the screw is off, carefully take off the old washer using the screwdriver.
4. Clean the washer seat using the brush to take off any residue that’s clinging to it, then insert the new washer.
5. Replace the screw.
6. Put plumber’s tape on the threads of the faucet for a secure fit, then put the valve back in. Make sure to tighten the packing nut using your adjustable wrench.
Once you’ve finished your repairs, turn the main water connection back on to see if the leak is still there. If it is, you’ll need to call a professional plumber ASAP. This way, you’ll have someone who can troubleshoot your outside tap and know how to repair it in a quick and easy way.