How to Repair a Leaky Hose Nozzle

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A garden hose nozzle that leaks can be annoying and, more important, can waste a lot of water. Although hose nozzles have different styles, materials, spray options and costs, even the high-end nozzles can spring a leak. A nozzle is designed with two main components: the sprayer and the handle or shaft. When a nozzle starts to leak, it’s usually due to a missing or deteriorated washer in the shaft. A simple do-it-yourself solution of installing a washer or replacing the old one can quickly get the nozzle back in good working order.

Things You'll Need

  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • Needle-nose pliers (optional)
  • Clean rag (optional)
  • New rubber washer
  • Replacement hose end fitting (optional)

Step 1: Detach the Nozzle

Grip the end of the garden hose, just below the nozzle, with one hand. Grasp the nozzle with your other hand, and turn it counterclockwise to detach it from the hose's end fitting.

Step 2: Examine the Nozzle

Hold the nozzle so that you can look into its shaft from the end with threads. If you see a worn out or deteriorated washer, then the washer will have to be removed and a new washer installed. If you don't see a washer inside the nozzle, then the lack of a washer is the most likely reason the nozzle leaks, and a new washer can be installed.

Step 3: Remove the Washer

Hold a flat-head screwdriver at a slight angle, and slide its flat tip under the inside lip of the nozzle's worn out or deteriorated washer. Apply a little pressure, and pry the washer out of the nozzle. If the washer breaks apart and pieces of it remain stuck inside the nozzle, then use needle-nose pliers to remove the pieces. Dampen a clean rag, and wipe the inside of the shaft to ensure the area is completely clean.

Tip

  • To remove stubborn, stuck-on rubber washer pieces from an area, scrape the area with the flat end of your screwdriver.

Step 4: Install a New Washer

Insert a new rubber washer into the shaft of the nozzle, and use your fingers to push it downward, toward the bottom of the nozzle's interior threads. Carefully push the washer into place with the flat end of the flat-head screwdriver to ensure it is properly seated.

Step 5: Test for Leaks

Screw the nozzle back onto the garden hose's end fitting, turn on the water faucet attached to the hose and check the hose nozzle for leaks. If the nozzle continues to leak at the base of the shaft, where it attaches to the hose's end fitting, then detach the nozzle from the hose and examine the hose's end fitting. A bent or out-of-round end fitting won't provide a leak-free connection, but you can replace the fitting. Not all leaks can be repaired, however. Because of how a pistol nozzle is made, for example, you won't be able to change out any of its components if the nozzle leaks from the front or back of the barrel or along the barrel.

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