A good spring project in the garden is to repair leaks in the yard. A hose spigot or hose bib is attached to your main water line and is therefore always pressurized. The biggest problem is leakage, which occurs mainly because of the constant weather changes. Freezing temperatures constrict the washer in the spigot, while warm temperatures expand it. This constant fluctuation in the weather and the pressure from the water main will eventually cause the washer to deteriorate. Stopping the leak will stop money from flowing out of your back pocket.
Things You'll Need
- Small pipe wrench or channel locks
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Packing material
- New washer
- Small standard screwdriver
- Silicone grease
- Teflon tape
Turn off the water to the house.
Remove the packing nut below the valve wheel with a small pipe wrench or channel locks.
Pry out any old packing material with a small screwdriver. Some valves do not have any. Use needle-nose pliers to get out any stubborn pieces.
Take out the valve stem by pulling on it and it should come out freely. A washer is at the end of the valve stem.
Unscrew the small screw that holds the washer in place with a small standard screwdriver.
Pry out the old washer with the screwdriver.
Clean off the brass surface under the washer with a toothbrush.
Replace the old washer with the same type of washer and retighten the screw that held the washer in place.
Squeeze some silicone grease around the threads of the valve stem to make the valve turn easier and replace the packing material.
Insert the valve stem back into the valve body and place Teflon tape around the threads of the packing nut so the nut comes off with ease the next time repairs are needed. When the valve stem hits the threads deep inside the body, turn the packing nut a few times clockwise until the stem reaches the threads deep in the body, then turn the valve wheel as you turn the packing nut. Continue this process until the packing nut is snug.
Tips & Warnings
- Brass is a soft metal, so be careful not scratch any parts when you pull out the valve stem. If you do, it can damage the metal and cause new leaks.
- It is imperative that you buy the same type of washer as the old one or your spigot will continue to leak.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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