How to Replace a Broken Outdoor Hose Faucet

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Leaking, outdoor faucets require either simple repairs or replacement. While determining and proceeding with the best remedy may take a little time, it will save you money in the long run. A leaking, outdoor faucet can lead to increased water bills and possibly a major water line break which could cause property damage. The benefits of repairing the faucet or replacing it with a frost-free faucet far outweigh the cons of letting the leaks linger into an even bigger home improvement project.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Washers
  • Graphite packing
  • Frost-free faucet
  • Teflon tape

Assess Repairs

  • Tighten the faucet's packing nut, which rests under the handle, if the faucet is leaking near the stem. Do this while using a second wrench to stabilize the fixture and to prevent creating more leaks.

  • Shut off the water at the main supply valve if the faucet is leaking from the spout. Leaking around the spout means the fixture needs to taken apart for repair or replaced.

  • Shut off the water at the main supply valve if the faucet is leaking because it has swelled or burst. The entire faucet will need replaced if this is the case.

Make Repairs

  • Shut off the main water supply to the fixture. Open the faucet by turning the handle wide open. Loosen the valve using a wrench on the nut resting above the spout.

  • Remove the retainer nut that attaches the faucet's handle. With an adjustable wrench, unscrew the packing nut; this allows you to slide it up the stem for removal. Taking a screwdriver, gently pull out the likely worn packing washer or graphite packing string/compound.

  • Replace the packing nut by first replacing the graphite compound/string or washer with an identical match. Slide the packing nut over the stem. Tighten it with a wrench and replace the handle assembly with a screwdriver.

  • Replace the compression washer inside the valve assembly by using a screwdriver. Remove the worn washer and replace it with a new one.

  • Attach the valve assembly back on the fixture by screwing it on by hand, making sure the handle is wide open. Tighten the valve with an adjustable wrench. Then tighten the packing nut until it feels secure. Close the faucet handle and turn on the water supply valve to the fixture.

Replace Fixture

  • Shut off the main water supply valve to the fixture. Open the faucet's valve wide open to let any water drain from the fixture.

  • Loosen any fasteners that support the fixture inside your home. Outside, remove any screws that attach the fixture to the home.

  • Loosen the fixture from the shut off valve using a wrench. Determine what plumbing fittings you will need to attach the new fixture to the valve. Make sure the threads inside the valve are as clean as possible to ensure a tight fit for the new fittings.

  • Wrap Teflon tape or pipe compound on the end of the threaded end of the new fixture. From the outside, slide it through the opening into the home and temporarily secure the fixture with screws or whatever assembly attaches the fixture to the house.

  • Screw the fixture into the shut off valve with a wrench. Secure the fixture more permanently by tightening down on any brackets or assembly used to secure it to the house before turning on the main supply valve and checking for any leaks where the fixture connects into the valve.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use a second adjustable wrench to stabilize the fixture while you're repairing the faucet so as to prevent more damage or leaks. Most washers are stamped with numbers denoting their size to be sure you get a perfect fit.

References

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