Step-by-Step Instructions for Fixing a Leaky Hose Bib
By Mark J. Donovan
|Question: Mark, I have a 50 year old home and I am trying to keep up with the maintenance on it to avoid costly repairs. I have two leaky hose bibs that after shutting them off they drip. Is fixing a leaky hose bib something a lowly skilled diy homeowner can tackle? I appreciate your advice. Thanks, J.N.
Answer: J.N, if your hose bib or outdoor faucet is leaking you typically can fix it with just a couple of tools and a replacement washer or two.
To fix a leaky hose bib that is dripping at the handle or packing nut, the leak is most likely associated with the packing nut washer or graphite packing string that sits behind the packing nut.
If the leak is coming from the faucet itself then most likely the leak is associated with the compression washer that sits in the hose bib faucet assembly. In both cases these washers can lose their resiliency overtime and begin to allow water to seep around them.
|Replace Packing Washer on Leaky Hose Bib
To fix a leaky hose bib that is dripping around the faucet handle, first turn water off to the hose bib at the inside valve. Then turn the faucet handle all away to the on position. No water should come out of the faucet.
Next remove the screw or nut that is holding on the faucet handle using a screwdriver or wrench.
Then remove the faucet handle.
Now, using an adjustable wrench, remove the packing nut that sits behind the faucet handle.
After removing the packing nut, you’ll notice a packing washer or graphite packing string sitting behind the nut. Remove it with as small flat head screw driver.
Replace the packing washer with the exact same size one. If graphite packing string was used, remove the residual packing string and replace it with new graphite packing string. Reattach the packing nut and handle to the hose bib and turn water back on to the hose bib. Test to see if you’ve fixed your leaky hose bib.
With the faucet handle reattached to the faucet assembly and in the open position, and the packing nut loosely reattached to the faucet assembly, reattach the faucet valve assembly to the hose bib. Then tighten up the packing nut and turn the faucet handle to the off position. Finally turn water back on to the hose bib and test the hose bib. With any luck you have fixed your leaky hose bib.
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