Troubleshooting an Outdoor Faucet that Is Leaking
Although an outdoor faucet can be useful for when you are working in the garden, it can also be necessary to know how to repair it. By following a few easy steps, you will be able to determine the cause of a leak and to repair it, thus preventing damage from water saturation and the loss of money from wastage.
Examining the outdoor faucet to determine where the leaking water is coming from will be necessary to help you find the cause. The reason for a leak will often be due to the nut that holds the faucet to the pipe being loose or defective nut and this should be the first component that you check after turning the water off at the main valve. If it is visibly loose you can use a wrench to tighten it. However, it should still be removed to be checked properly even if not problems are apparent.
Apply a little lubricating oil to the thread if it proves stiff and replace the nut if it has sustained some damage. If it appears intact, thoroughly clean the threads before screwing it back into place.
If the outdoor faucet is in the form of a stand pipe, you will be able to examine the full extent of it to determine whether the stem of the pipe has sustained damage. There can be occasions when water in the pipe freezes and expands to cause it to split. Where this is the case, the damaged section of pipe will have to be replaced. Use a wrench to remove the tap from the top of the pipe before removing the one at the base. Reverse the procedure to fit the new pipe, ensuring that you tighten all the nuts properly.
Where a leak from an outside faucet appears to have no apparent cause, it may be due to the components within the faucet unit itself. This will be the case if you find that the handle feels loose or stiff on being turned. Parts of the unit can become worn and cause a leak due to frequent use of it. Depending on the type of faucet that you have, you will need to use a wrench or a screwdriver to remove the handle from its holding to check the components within.
You may find that a washer inside the tap has become worn out and will need to be replaced before the tap is reassembled. If any other components have sustained damage, replace them before checking whether this has rectified the problem or whether the outdoor faucet continues to leak.
In the event that mineral deposits and debris build up in the pipe or faucet spout, water can build up from not flowing properly and continue to leak out after the faucet is turned off. This will require the outdoor faucet to be disassembled and cleaned. Depending on the extent of the grime that is found, use a scrubbing brush alone or with the addition of some white vinegar to remove any deposits. Rinse the components in water before reassembling.