How to Repair a Leaking Water Spigot

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A leaking spigot can cause a variety of problems.
A leaking spigot can cause a variety of problems. (Image: Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)

A leaking spigot can cost you in more ways than one. If you use city water, a leaky spigot will cost you money. If you use well water, a leaky spigot can dry up your water supply sooner than you might expect. Leaky spigots can cause water to pool beneath them, which can cause damage to your house as well as giving mosquitoes a place to breed. Usually there is a simple solution to fixing the spigot, and you only need a couple of tools to get the job done.

Things You'll Need

  • Channel locks
  • Screwdriver
  • Adjustable wrench
  • Rubber packing washer

Disconnect the hose from the spigot if there is one attached.

Shut off the water supply to the spigot. You should have a valve in your utility room, or under the house in the crawl space. If you cannot locate the valve, close the main water shut-off valve for the entire house, usually located by the street in the front yard.

Open the spigot all the way to drain water from the line. Allow the spigot to stop dripping before you proceed.

Find the packing nut located behind the stem and handle of the spigot. Behind the packing nut is a spot in which you can insert an adjustable wrench. Put your wrench into the spot and turn it counter-clockwise until the spigot assembly loosens. Remove the spigot assembly.

Unscrew the screw located in the center of the spigot handle. Remove the screw and the handle.

Loosen and remove the packing nut with a pair of channel locks or an adjustable wrench. Turn the packing nut upside down to reveal the rubber packing washer.

Pull the rubber packing washer out of the packing nut. You may need to insert a small screwdriver to pry out the washer. Examine the washer for signs of wear or damage.

Replace the old packing washer with a new one. Place it into the packing nut, then tighten the packing nut back down on the spigot.

Reassemble the rest of the spigot. Turn the handle clockwise so the spigot is completely off. Turn the water shut-off valve back on.

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