There are many reasons that an outside leaking faucet will start. Frost damage, wear and tear or simple old age will fray and loosen washers and fittings. Fortunately, replacing an old or damaged outside faucet is a relatively easy task especially if you have the proper experience, tools and expertise.
3 Easy Steps to Fix a Leaking Faucet
1) As with any plumbing repair start by turning off the water to the outside faucet. In most newer homes, there will be a shut-off valve located just inside the exterior wall, usually in the basement. This particular shut-off valve is designed to be used during the winter months and to eliminate any problems from water freezing in the pipe. It also suitable in this particular situation of a leaking faucet. If this shut-off valve is absent, you will have to turn off the water at the main shut-off valve. Sometimes, there is a specialized toll or “key” that is used for this purpose. It is available at most hardware stores and is easy to use. Finding the main shut-off can be the most difficult problem for some people.
2) Once the water is off. Use a pipe wrench to remove the faulty outside faucet. Turn counterclockwise to remove. If the pipe is particularly stubborn, you may need to support the stem that connects the faucet to the rest of the plumbing system. It is, indeed, possible to bend and crimp this stem without removing the faucet. Be careful not to do this. Use heat or an appropriate solvent to help “break” the seal and remove the faucet.
3) Replacing the outside leaking faucet is just as simple. Clean the pipe stem and apply silicon joint tape or compound. Seat the new faucet and, again, using the pipe wrench, turn clockwise until the faucet is fully seated. It is not necessary to overly tighten the pipe if you have applied enough joint tape. Lastly, turn on the water and test the faucet.
As mentioned, it’s easy if you have the right tools and knowledge. Alternatively, the cost of a simple plumbing service call can eliminate the aggravation, time and worry in doing the job yourself. A professional plumber can remove and install an outside leaking faucet in one half hour. Many times, it’s more economical to just leave to the plumbing pros.