How do I Fix an Outdoor Faucet?

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  • Written By: Angela Crout-Mitchell
  • Edited By: Allegra J. Lingo
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2019
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For many homeowners, common household and yard repairs are an important part of maintaining the value and function of their homes. One of the most common repairs is fixing an outdoor faucet. There are several factors involved in ensuring the job is done correctly to save money and time. Problems such as leaky garden faucets are common, as well as frozen faucet difficulties for homes in cold weather climate regions. Leaky and frozen faucets can rack up expenses in water bills and water damage to the house or yard. In most cases, fixing these faucets normally requires some basic tools, patience, and, if necessary, the proper replacement parts for the faucet.

In order to repair an outdoor faucet, it is necessary to first discover the source of the water leak. Most home improvement experts suggest doing this by checking the cap located just behind the faucet handle. If the leak is occurring in this location, the water will be easily seen seeping from the under the small metal cap. Another common place garden faucets leak is from the faucet spout itself. The homeowner will notice water loss ranging from a slight drip to a constant stream if the spout is damaged.


Fixing the outdoor faucet in the case of a cap leak near the handle is often a very simple fix. As long as the faucet is not frozen, the homeowner should be able to tighten the cap with their hands. When the water leak is occurring from the spout, the problem is most often a faulty washer, located behind the faucet handle. First turn the water to the outdoor spigot off, remove the handle using a screwdriver, and use a wrench to remove the nuts behind the handle. Replace the washer and reassemble the handle before turning the water to the outdoor faucet on.

Repairing a frozen garden faucet also requires finding the source of the problem. In many cases, the water pipes leading to the faucet are frozen and will need to be thawed using safe methods. As with the leaky faucet problem, it is recommended that the homeowner temporarily turn off the water to the area or the entire house before attempting to defrost the pipes and faucet. Home repair experts suggest applying heat to the frozen pipes and faucet with an electric hair dryer, or wrapping an electric blanket around the pipe. Towels soaked in hot water may also be used to defrost the water lines.


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