How to Replace an Outdoor Faucet

An outdoor water faucet
What You'll Need
New faucet head
Crescent wrench
2 Pipe wrenches
Wire brush
Plumbers tape

As a homeowner, you will eventually find yourself needing, or wanting, to replace an outdoor faucet. It may be because one of your faucets is leaking, or maybe you have another faucet that will better suit your aesthetic tastes. But when the time comes for you to replace your faucet, you'll either need to hire someone to do the job, or you'll do the replacement yourself. If you find yourself choosing the latter, you'll need a few suggestions, such as those below.

Step 1 - Shut off the Water

To stop the potential flow of water that will occur when you work on your faucet, you'll need to find the main valve that shuts the water off. This valve will most likely be located near the street. You may need a long, specialized valve wrench to reach the valve. Once this valve is closed, drain whatever water is left in the pipe by opening one of your water faucets.

Step 2 - Remove the Existing Faucet

You'll need to unscrew the faucet from the water pipe that feeds into the faucet. This will require that you hold the pipe from turning. Very likely, you will only be able to do this if you hold it with a pipe wrench. Adjust the wrench jaws until they barely fit over the pipe. Place the pipe jaws over the pipe so that when you apply pressure to the wrench handle, it is trying to turn the pipe clockwise. Then, place the adjusted jaws of a second pipe wrench around the faucet head in a position that is reverse from the first wrench. That is, pressure on the handle pushes the wrench counterclockwise. While applying pressure to the first wrench to keep the pipe from turning, add pressure on the second wrench until the faucet breaks loose on the pipe. Finally, turn the faucet until you have removed it from the pipe.

Step 3 - Prepare the Pipe to Receive the New Faucet

plumbers tape and pipe fittings

Use a stiff wire brush to clean rust, corrosion, and debris from the threads of the pipe. When the pipe threads are clean, wrap two layers of plumber's tape around them.

Step 4 - Attach the New Faucet

Begin screwing the new faucet onto the pipe. Be sure the faucet threads are not crossways with the pipe thread. If they are, you will not be able to completely tighten the new faucet. It will leak, and will tear up the plumbers tape you've applied to the pipe threads. Once you're sure your faucet is threaded properly, tighten it with your pipe wrench. If, when the faucet is nearly as tight as you can make it, the pipe begins turning, hold it from turning by using the other pipe wrench.

Step 5 - Check the New Faucet Connection

At the street valve, turn the water on again. Then return to the new faucet and check to be sure water is not leaking from the new connection. Finally, turn the faucet on to be sure water flows as it should.