How To Repair A Leaking Outdoor Faucet

How To Repair A Leaking Outdoor Faucet

Finding water leaks in the outdoor portion of your plumbing system may be difficult because they often occur where you least expect them. While an outside water faucet leak may seem like a minor problem, it can cause significant foundation damage or allow water into the structure, resulting in toxic mold growth and other plumbing issues. Here’s how to fix your outside water system and keep it running smoothly for years to come:

What Is Causing My Outdoor Faucet to Leak?

There are numerous reasons your outdoor faucets leak, the most common of which are worn-out washers or stern packings. Frozen pipes can also cause the pipes to expand and crack. If your pipe clogs, the water pressure will strain other parts of the pipe, causing your outdoor faucet to leak. Major water line problems are dangerous and can cause significant damage to your home.

Steps in Repairing a Leaking Outdoor Faucet

Cut Off The Water Supply

Turning off your home’s water supply is the first step in repairing a leaking outdoor faucet. The main lever is usually located near your water meter, which can be found in the lowest part of your home (such as a basement) or on an exterior wall.

Examine Your Packing Nut

If you’re lucky, tightening the packing nut will fix everything. It is found beneath the faucet handle. Take your pliers, twist the nut slightly, and retest your system. But don’t overdo it, as breaking the nut could lead to a bigger problem.

Replace The Washer 

If tightening the nut does not solve your leaky outdoor faucet problem, the next step is to replace the rubber washer in the handle. If the packing nut is too old, grab some lubricant and twist it until it comes off. This frees up the handle and exposes the rubber washer. After replacing the washer and the head, test your system.

Replace The Faucet

Replace the pieces you removed and reconnect your water supply system. At this point, check your faucet for any additional leaks. If you’re still wondering why your outdoor faucet is leaking, you could be dealing with a more serious issue, or you could have a frost-proof faucet.

What If I Have A Frost-Resistant Faucet?

Frost-proof faucets are becoming more popular in more modern homes, and these water faucets have a few extra steps and parts that could explain why your outdoor faucet is leaking. A washer assembly is located on the interior end of a stem that runs through it in this type of faucet. To repair the washer, you must first remove this stem.

The vacuum breaker is a device found on frost-proof faucets that prevents water from returning to the plumbing system. Your vacuum breaker valve will eventually wear out and leak water.

To stop the leaking, you may need to replace the washer and vacuum breaker on a frost-proof faucet. This is a more difficult task that should be left to the professionals!


If you followed these steps and are still wondering why your outdoor faucet is leaking, you may be dealing with a much more severe problem. You could have a problem deeper in your system or with your water line. If this is the case, contact Gray Plumbing right away. Our team will be able to diagnose the issue and get you back on track.