Quick Fixes for That Leaking Outdoor Faucet

Most outdoor water spigots can go years without being repaired, much less maintained. Many older homes have steel or iron outdoor faucets, designed to withstand years of use and corrosion. Eventually, water will begin dripping, then spraying from the handle, signaling that the spigot needs to be either maintained or changed altogether.

Fixing that leaking outdoor faucet is much simpler than it seems, although complications can arise. Provided that the parts of your spigot are not too corroded to disassemble, the following can give you an idea of what is involved in changing or repairing a leaky outdoor spigot.

Disassembly and inspection

It is the hardest part of the project

After cutting off water flowing to spigot, grab a wrench so you can unscrew the packing that is seated under the handle. If you encounter excessive tightness or rust, grab a can of lubricant and spray around the nut, then wait several minutes before trying again.

Once broken free, remove the nut and pull the valve from the faucet housing. You want to unscrew the washer by turning over the valve, then pop the old washer out and replace it with a new one. While the valve is out, remove the packing nut by unscrewing the handle from the valve. Some faucets have packing strings, which can be replaced with a durable graphite-treated string.

Inspect the entire area to see if there is further corrosion. Pay close attention if you have an anti-siphon valve attached to the faucet’s spout, as this may need to be changed as well.

Changing the entire spigot assembly

Expect to consume several hours

Some leaking outdoor faucets simply need removed and replaced altogether. Frost-proof outdoor faucets (called "sill cocks") are relatively inexpensive and can save money over time, not to mention sparing the expense that may come if pipes burst.

Prior to installing an outdoor faucet, a plumbing inspection will help homeowners stay within code. Although code enforcement varies from city to city, a plumbing professional knows better than anyone the requirements necessary to stay compliant.

For homes built on concrete slabs, frost-proof sill cocks are not suggested. You will probably want to install a standard sill cock assembled with a vacuum breaker.

Another consideration is whether you will need a larger hole. Concrete or brick foundations were drilled to a preset size for your existing spigot pipe, which means increasing the size of your spigot may require buying a masonry bit to drill a bigger hole.

Finally, you will want to decide whether to go with copper or CPVC, both of which have benefits and drawbacks depending on the season.

Some fixes are quick  others are not

Plumbers know the difference

Simple leaks and washer changes require little to no effort unless piping is corroded or parts are not readily available. All DIY projects involving leaking outdoor faucets will require an adjustable wrench or pipe wrench, tube cutter, possibly some form of lubricant or spray that eats through corroded pipes and nuts, and patience.

If you lack one or all the components above, perhaps fixing that leaky faucet should be left to plumbing professionals who perform this work every day.

Leaking outdoor faucets can either be simple fixes or day-long projects. To located an experienced plumber in Cerritos who knows how outdoor spigots work, call (562) 413-1928 or visit our informative internet hub, https://www.prodigyplumbinglbc.com.

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