*Simple Leaky Outdoor Faucet Fix*
By: John1lt
31 July 2022

I have a couple of outdoor faucets that leak when turned on. I talked to a plumber and he told me he could replace the outdoor faucets for $400 each plus a $69 service call fee!!! Almost $900 to replace 2 outdoor faucets! I'm all for supporting small local businesses it's just that at this time I can't afford the current price of parts and labor.

A quick search of the internet for my outdoor faucet make and model, mine is marked on top, brought up the manufacture's website. I found a trouble shooting guide on the website. My two outdoor facets both leak around the stem when the faucet is opened. The trouble shooting guide suggested tightening the packing nut might stop the leaking.

Tools required:

I also needed a screw driver to tighten the handle on my outdoor faucet.

With the faucet open I held the faucet with adjustable pliers and used an adjustable wrench to tighten the packing nut. As I tightened the packing nut the flow from the leak began decreasing and then stopped. I did over tighten the packing nut because I was watching water drip from the hose and thought the packing nut was still slightly leaking. The knob was very stiff so I backed the packing nut off some until the handle knob turned easier, but not enough for it to leak.

My outdoor faucets have flat sides so a wrench can be used to hold the faucet instead of pliers to keep the faucet from turning while tightening the packing nut. If the faucet twist while your tightening the packing nut you risk damaging the connection inside the wall. Best practice would be to use open end wrenches instead of adjustable wrenches to reduce the risk of the dog earing, stripping, the packing nut. I'm just not good at guessing the size needed for nuts and bolts so I just use a Carolina speed wrench.

Total time for repair was less than 20 minutes, 10 minutes to find solution on the internet, 20 minutes to play on the internet after finding solution, 5 minutes to gather tools, less than 2 minutes to tighten packing nut.

I'll be ordering some spare packing for the faucets along with a couple of repair kits for my outdoor faucets. I'll be ordering spare outdoor faucets as well so if one can't be rebuilt or repaired I can simply replace the damaged one.

Bonus section: outdoor faucets go by many different names depending on where you're from or who's doing the talking. Some call outdoor faucets: Hose Bib, Water Spigot, Sillcock, Hydrant, Tap, Faucet. I've heard all these names and used most of these names.


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