How to Fix A Leaky Spigot? A Step-by-step Guide
Outdoor water spigots are often a highly neglected water fixture in most homes. In extreme examples, they could go decades without proper maintenance or replacements.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), water leaks lead to over 1 trillion gallons of water wasted annually nationwide.
Consider how much leaking spigots contribute to this statistic, and you know you have a problem to deal with right away.
All water and plumbing fittings need to be regularly inspected and serviced to prevent leaks and structural damage to the home. While it’s easy to ignore a leak when it starts, you should make sure you get it fixed once you notice one as soon as possible.
Below, we’re sharing more information on how these leaks damage your property and how you should fix your leaking spigot.
Why is it Dangerous to Ignore a Water Leak?
The sound of a small water leak is easy to ignore – except not only is that the sound of your money draining away into the ground, but you are also exposing your home foundations and any other concrete works close by to structural damage.
In some cases, especially if it’s a home that lacks maintenance, this could lead to a concrete collapse.
If your home has concrete slabs or pavement, standing water from leaks can damage these walkways and slabs. If you leave this damage unattended for a while, you can expect thousands of dollars in repair costs.
Plus, leaks left until winter can lead to burst pipes across the home.
How to Fix Your Faulty Spigot
Outdoor spigot, tap, outdoor faucet, or sillcock – the outdoor spigot goes by various names. When looking to purchase tools and materials, don’t get confused if your local hardware store calls it something else.
It’s also not a complicated fix, except if you are dealing with corroded pipes and screws.
To fix a faulty spigot with ease, here are some must-have tools and materials:
- Flat and Philips screwdrivers
- Pipe cutter
- Safety glasses
- Seat washer
- Brush with stiff bristles
- Adjustable pliers
- Packing washer
- Spray lubricant
Outdoor spigots typically start leaking when the packing or seat washers wear out. These washers are located around the spigot’s handle. You’ll need to remove the faulty washer and replace it with a new one.
Here’s an easy 9-stey by step guide to fixing your faulty spigot:
Step 1: Turn off the Water Supply
Before you do anything, turn off your water supply. You don’t want to have water flooding the whole area because you need to fix a faulty tap. You can do this by shutting down the water meter or turning off the water mains.
Warn everyone so that no one is caught midway through a shower with soap suds in their eyes.
Step 2: Let out any Excess or Accumulated Water or Pressure
You’ll likely have water or pressure left in the pipes after you have turned off the mains/water meter. Open your tap and let it run for a while to release any accumulated water and pressure.
Step 3: Loosen the Packing Nut
The packing nut is located underneath the handle. If it hasn’t been serviced for a long while, it might be difficult to unscrew the packing nut. This is why you need a spray lubricant.
Spray it in two or three bursts on the handle, and wait a few minutes for the lubricant to penetrate the stiff area. Then try to loosen the nut again.
If it’s still tight, repeat the process. If the nut is still challenging to unscrew after three or four tries, use the bristle brush to scrub away any surrounding visible corrosion.
Step 4: Remove the Spigot’s Valve
Once you loosen the packing nut, remove the tap’s valve stem from the metal housing. To remove the stem, you’ll need to hold the spigot and water pipe that supplies water and turn both counterclockwise. In some taps, all you need to do is pull the valve firmly.
Step 5: Restore the Washer
Once you pull out the valve, the washer is located at the bottom of the stem. You should remove it using a flat screwdriver. Replace the worn-out washer with a new one of the same dimensions.
If you look closely, the new washer is thicker because it isn’t worn out like the old washer.
Once it’s securely placed at the stem, put the end of the valve back together.
Step 6: Change the Packing Nut
If you notice water dripping from the spigot’s handle, change the packing nut. It’s also wise to replace the nut if you haven’t adequately serviced the tap in a while.
Start by loosening the spigot’s handle using your Philips screwdriver. Remove the old packing nut and replace it with a new one. Then, tighten the handle. And you are good to go!
Step 7: Put the Valve Back
Now, it’s time to put the valve stem back into the faucet housing. Once that’s one, screw the packing nut on the tap until it’s firm. Test it by turning the tap’s handle clockwise and counterclockwise.
Step 8: Turn on the Water Mains
You are one. Turn on the water mains or your water meter to let water back into the pipes.
Next, turn on the spigot and let it run for a couple of minutes. This releases any air pressure that built up while you were fixing the spigot.
Step 9: Double-check for Leaks
It’s always good to double-check your work. For the next couple of days, keep checking the spigot to see if the leaks are still going on while in use or when it’s turned off. Pay attention to areas such as the handle and the washer area.
It’s time to enjoy your revamped outdoor spigot. Following the steps above should have your tap in great shape.
However, if you don’t have the time to do all this on your own, you can call the experts. Our team at All Dry USA is comprised of qualified technicians that can get your spigot fixed in no time. We’ll take your stress away by fixing the leak fast.
Call All Dry USA to get your spigot repaired today!
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