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How to Fix or Replace an Outside Faucet Leaking Problem

September 24, 2023

Leaky Spigots, Oh my!

It’s a lovely morning and you’re looking forward to tending your garden, but then you notice a puddle around your garden spigot, and water flowing out a leak. An outside faucet leaking can be a nuisance and waste a considerable amount of water over time. Don’t fret! With a few basic tools and steps, you can either fix that leaking faucet or replace it entirely.

1. Diagnose the Issue

Before diving into repairs, first understand where the leak is coming from. Is it the handle, the spout, or the valve?

2. Turn Off the Water

Whenever you’re dealing with water fixtures, always start by turning off the water supply. There’s usually a shutoff valve inside your home that controls the water flow to the outside spigot.

3. Dismantle the Faucet

  • Using an adjustable wrench, remove the handle of the spigot. This will expose the stem.
  • Examine the stem; sometimes, the cause of an outside faucet leaking is a worn-out washer or O-ring.

4. Replace the Washer or O-ring

If you notice the washer or O-ring is damaged, replace it. These parts are inexpensive and can be found at any hardware store. Make sure to purchase the correct size for your faucet model.

Watch our “How to replace a dripping faucet” video

5. Check the Valve Seat

Sometimes, the issue isn’t with the washer but with the valve seat itself. If it’s worn out or corroded, it might be causing the leak. In such cases, you might need to replace the entire faucet.

6. Replacing the Faucet

If a simple washer replacement doesn’t solve the problem, it might be time for a new spigot.

  • Unscrew the old faucet: Use pipe wrenches – one to stabilize the connecting pipe and another to unscrew the faucet.
  • Apply plumber’s tape: Before installing the new faucet, wrap some plumber’s tape around the threads to ensure a watertight fit.
  • Install the new faucet: Screw it into the connecting pipe, ensuring it’s tight and secure.

7. Turn the Water Back On

Once you’ve made the necessary fixes or replacements, turn the water supply back on. Test your outside faucet to ensure there are no more leaks.


An outside faucet leaking might seem like a small issue, but it can lead to larger water bills and water wastage. Regularly inspect your spigots, especially after winter, as freezing and thawing can cause wear and tear. With timely maintenance, you can ensure a smooth water supply for your gardening needs and avoid unexpected puddles in your yard.

Keep your garden flourishing and your faucets in top condition! If you found this guide helpful, share it with fellow gardeners.