Leaking Hose Bib Repair and Replacement

Is your outdoor water spigot leaking?

It may be the right time to repair or replace it right before old man winter comes in to rob us of our happiness. Hose bib repair and even replacement are at times necessary if you have a worn-out or improperly installed outdoor faucet.

The water hose fixture usually located at the front and rear of your home is called a “hose bib” by plumbing professionals. This hose bib is where we attach a hose for car washing, pool filling, landscape watering, and more. A leaking hose bib not only wastes a lot of water but can also cause water damage over time to your foundation. So, rather than waiting for this leak to cause a severe problem, nip it in the bud and repair the hose bib as soon as possible.

Tips before we get started:

As fall fades and the freezing temperatures return to the Western states, please remove your garden hose from your hose bib. It’s a quick and easy way to secure your water lines from bursting and frozen pipes.

If water is present inside the pipes leading to the hose bib, and it does freeze, the water will relieve itself by expanding and bursting the pipe. It’s why so many hose bibs are replaced during the first thaw, not because there’s damage or loose bolt or screw.

Materials and Tools:

  • Pliers / Wrench
  • Teflon Tape / Graphite / Bonnet Washer
  • Penetrating Oil
  • Replacement Cup Washer
  • Replacement Hose Bib

How to fix a leaky hose bib coming from the packing nut:

The primary thing to do is to tighten the packing nut under the spigot using pliers or wrench. Do not fasten so much that it makes it hard to turn the handle on and off. If tightening the packing is not sufficient to stop the leak, you may have to replace or add packing nut. Here are the steps to fix your leaky hose bib:

  • Shut off the water supply as it will be much easier to work with the water turned off
  • Remove the bib’s handle so you can get to the packing nut
  • Using pliers or a wrench, loosen and remove the packing nut
  • Repack the area with graphite or Teflon tape, or even a bonnet washer if you can find one that is the right size
  • Tighten the packing nut back on and reinstall the handle. Turn the water back on and check if that fixed the leak

How to repair a leaky hose when it drips continuously:

In most cases, a hose bib that continually drips out of the hose connection has a damaged cup washer. The cup washer, a rubber washer with a small hole in its center, attaches to the end of the handle’s stem. When closed, the cup washer fills the space between the end of the stem and a port in the faucet body. If damaged, water will seep past the cup washer and leaks out the bib’s hose connection. To repair this, follow the steps:

  • Shut off the water supply. Open the hose bib, which relieves the water pressure in the pipes.
  • Remove the bib’s handle. Remove the packing nut. Remove the bonnet nut (the large nut that tightens against the faucet body), if applicable.
  • Unscrew the stem. Spray the screw holding the cup washer against the end of the stem with a penetrating oil then remove it.
  • Bring the old cup washer to a hardware store and purchase a replacement cup washer. The size and shape must match.
  • Apply grease to the stem’s steads and the new cap washer, then reassemble the hose bib. It is wise to replace the packing material whenever replacing a cup washer.

If the hose bib still leaks after replacing the washer, then you may need to replace the hose bib.

How to replace the hose bib:

In other cases, a hose bib can be damaged beyond repair, making replacement the last option. A hose bib with damaged hard parts — the faucet body, packing nut, bonnet nut, and valve stem — may need a replacement. Because the components of a house bib are not replaceable with other manufacturers, finding a replacement part is difficult to find. Reaching the manufacturer can be the only option. Basic hose bib replacement instructions:

  • Turn off the water supply.
  • Open the broken hose faucet, relieving the water pressure in the lines, then access the plumbing pipe that feeds the hose bib.
  • Examine the type of mounting method and the size of the pipe connecting to the faucet. Other hose bibs are soldered onto a copper pipe, others are attached to the pipe with male threads, and some have female threads.
  • Replace the old faucet, using the appropriate method, then turn on the water supply and check for leaks.

However, there is an abundance of ways connecting your hose bib to your pipes, most of them are more difficult to repair than those that are screwed on. Soldered pipes, for example, require more specialized equipment, knowledge, and experience.

Call in the Experienced Plumber

If you are doubtful as to what kind of hose bib to buy and how to replace it, calling a professional is your best move. Contact Einstein Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling for expert consultations and premium service. We repair and replace water spigots with new all season, frost-free hose and ensure your pipes are adequately insulated. Our expert plumber will turn your water back on, test the system, and leave the area clean.

To reach one of our plumbing professionals, call us at 888-671-7767 or email [email protected]. We also provide water heater, heating & cooling, sewer & mainline, and other plumbing services in Oregon, Washington, and Nevada.

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