Like any faucet, outdoor spigots can develop leaks. These leaks might seem small; however, they can damage your home's walls, outdoor paving, and foundations if you leave them unrepaired for too long. Before you can fix the problem, you need to work out why your faucet is leaking. Read on to learn more.
1. Washer Problems
If your spigot has a worn, damaged, or broken washer, then it will leak. If you have a faulty washer, then your faucet usually leaks from the spout. This can be a regular drip or a constant dribble of water. You won't be able to turn the faucet off completely. If a washer has crumbled, then it might also block your water flow. Parts of the washer will stop the water from running out evenly. These leaks are a relatively simple fix. Once you have the washer replaced, the faucet should work again.
2. Stem Packing Problems
The stem inside your spigot should have a packing seal. This seal contains water in the area. If this seal has a problem, then your spigot might leak. Usually, these leaks come out of the handle area when you turn the faucet on.
These leaks can be down to a faulty packing washer on the stem. If the washer is worn or damaged, then it can't contain and direct water when you turn on the faucet. Some spigots don't use washers but use a self-forming twine to do this job. This twine winds around the stem and is compressed by a nut. If the twine wears, loosens, or breaks, then it causes a leak.
In some cases, a spigot's washer or twine are in good shape; however, the stem nut has a problem. If the nut breaks or isn't tight enough, then water can escape out of the handle. To fix these problems, you need to have the washer or twine replaced. If the stem nut is faulty, then it needs tightening or replacement.
3. Pipe Damage
Outdoor spigots can also leak if they have a pipe problem. The spigot itself might work OK, but its supply pipe allows water to leak out of the system. This can happen to older pipes that have corrosion problems. It can also happen if you forget to turn on your shutoff valve in winter. If water can sit in the spigot's pipe during colder weather, then it might freeze. The pipe will expand and contract during the freeze/thaw cycle and will then crack.
To fix the problem, call out a plumber and tell them that you need an outdoor spigot repair. If your spigot is old and a repair won't work or will be too expensive, then your plumber can replace the unit for you.