A Leaking Outdoor Faucet Handle


A leaking outdoor faucet, just like a leaking indoor faucet, is annoying and raises your water bill. Aside from wasting water and letting it accumulate where it shouldn't, a leaking faucet poses a risk of more trouble in cold weather. Eventually the leaking water will freeze, potentially causing the faucet or even the water pipe to rupture. You can resolve the leak in a few minutes, heading off trouble before it worsens.

Things You'll Need

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Screwdriver
  • Toothpick
  • Silicone grease
  • Plumber's tape
  • Twist the cap that sits just behind the faucet's handle clockwise, using your hand. If the leak from the faucet's handle stops, simply tighten this cap again if the leaking begins again.

  • Close the main water valve for the house. Turn on the outdoor faucet to relieve any pressure that may still be in the water pipe, then close the faucet.

  • Loosen the packing nut that sits behind the faucet's handle, using a wrench. Pull on the handle to slide out the faucet's valve stem, and undo the screw on the end of the stem opposite the control handle.

  • Pull the old washer on the end of the valve stem out of the stem, using a flat-head screwdriver. Clean the socket the washer was in, using a wood toothpick.

  • Press a new washer of the proper size into the socket the old washer occupied, then replace and tighten the screw. Apply silicone grease to the threads on the valve stem, and wrap the threaded end of the faucet body with plumber's tape, then slide the stem into the faucet body. Tighten the packing nut on the faucet, then open the main water valve.

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