How To Stop A Garden Faucet From Leaking

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Your garden’s appearance and condition can depend on the implements you use to keep it in pristine condition. One of the most valuable fixtures for garden maintenance and general utility is your garden faucet.

Like many home fixtures, your garden faucet is used a great deal. In fact, you probably turn it on more times than your basement light switch. Used consistently, your garden faucet can suffer from a lot of wear and tear.

Without the right amount of attention and care, your faucet may deteriorate. When it does, you may notice a stubborn handle, and, more commonly, a leaky garden faucet.

A leaky garden faucet is not just bad for your garden (unless you like puddles). It can jack up your water bill quicker than you can water your daisies. If you use an electric pump, your electric bill can go up at a commensurate rate.

Fixing your garden faucet doesn’t have to be tough. In fact, at the end of this article, you’ll be a pro at repairing your faucet. Follow this guide to a leaky garden faucet, and you can consider this problem a thing of the past in no time.

What You Will Need To Follow This Tutorial

To fix your leaking garden faucet (or anything for that matter), you’ll need the right tools and accessories.

Keep in mind, though, that your garden faucet can leak in one of two places- at the handle or the bottom. Your faucet can also leak at both ends.

So, we thought of recommending the following items. You may not need to use all of these. But, you know what they say: “Be prepared for anything.

To follow this tutorial, you will need:

  • A roll of Teflon tape
  • Some sandpaper or a sturdy brush
  • Some rubber washers
  • Screwdriver
  • A couple of wrenches (preferably, have one that is adjustable)

Garden faucets follow nearly similar designs. But, their sizes may differ. For this reason, you will need the right size of washers to get the job done.

If you plan on fixing your leaky garden faucet, it may be helpful to:

  • Take measurements of your garden faucet
  • Go down to your local hardware store and ask for washers that fit the nuts and valves of your faucet

Also, you need a couple of wrenches to hold the packing nut and the bottom nut.

Oftentimes, your garden faucet can leak due to worn-out washers. Over time, these need to be replaced. We’ll go over the details in the next section.

A Step-By-Step Guide To Fixing A Leaky Garden Faucet

As mentioned earlier, you can expect your faucet to leak in two places. How you go about fixing your faucet depends on the source of the leak.

This conveniently brings you and me to the first step:

Step 1: Check The Source Of The Leak

You can’t fix your garden faucet without knowing where the leak is. Water leaking out of the spout can mean that you need to replace the washer inside the faucet or spigot.

If water gushes out of the handle as soon as you turn the faucet on, you’re in luck. You would only need to replace the washer near the packing nut.

The packing nut is the part near the faucet’s handle.

Step 2: Turn Off The Water Source

Once you’ve seen where the leak is coming from, turn off the water at the source.

This might mean that you need to turn the water off near your main supply. This could be close to your water meter.

But, you don’t always have to do this. If you have a water valve that controls the water that goes to your faucet, you can switch this off instead.

Step 3: If The Leak Comes From The Top Or Near The Handle, Follow These Steps:

Remove The Handle

Remove The Handle
Youtube / John Disque

Much older faucets or spigots have handles you can simply take off their stems and handle broaches. For other models, you may need your screwdriver. With it, turn the screw counterclockwise to unscrew the handle.

Remove The Handle 2
Youtube / John Disque

Remove The Packing Nut

The packing nut is located directly behind the handle. It is often hex-shaped. So, you can wind this counterclockwise with your wrench (in most cases) to loosen it.

Sometimes, the nut underneath might also turn. You can prevent this from happening by holding the nut in place with your other wrench.

Hold this nut in place as you wind the packing nut counterclockwise.

Remove The Packing Nut
Youtube / John Disque

Replace The Washer

After you remove the handle and packing nut, you’ll end up with the stem. At the bottom of the stem is a screw that anchors the rubber washer.

Replace The Washer
Youtube / John Disque

First, take out the screw, then remove the old washer.

remove the old washer
Youtube / John Disque

In the above picture, the washer on the right is the old one. You’ll see that it’s pretty worn-down and warped at the periphery. The one on the left is the brand new washer. Washers need to retain their thickness to ensure adequate water pressure and prevent leaks.

put it all back together
Youtube / John Disque

Step 4: If The Leak Occurs At The Spout, Follow These Steps:

This time, you need to remove the bottom nut first. It is the other nut you have to hold in place if you are removing the packing nut.

Remove The Bottom Nut

For this step, you may only need one of your wrenches. Continue to wind it counterclockwise until you get something similar to this:

Remove The Bottom Nut
Youtube / John Disque

At the very end is a rubber washer. It is set up in the same way as the rubber washer near the packing nut.

Replace The Rubber Washer

Unscrew or remove the old rubber washer and replace it with a new one.

Replace The Rubber Washer
Youtube / John Disque

By the way, when screwing the rubber washer, try not to screw it on too tight. This can end up deforming the washer. If the washer is too warped or bent, it may not serve its purpose of stopping leaks.

Step 5: Use Teflon On The Threads

This step is more of a finishing touch. You may not need to do this.

But, a little extra traction and tightness on the threads can make your garden faucet even more leak-proof.

Begin by brushing the threads of the stem and valve. This can remove residue and mineral deposits.

Once you’ve done this, proceed to add Teflon to the threads of the stem and valve.

Use Teflon On The Threads

Step 6: Screw Everything Back Into Place, And Check For Leaks

Step 6: Screw Everything Back Into Place, And Check For Leaks
Youtube / John Disque

Once you’re done placing everything back to where they were, you may now check for leaks.

If you followed the steps correctly, chances are your garden faucet will no longer be leaking after you switch the water supply back on.


Did you get something out of this tutorial?

As homeowners, we hate it whenever the garden faucet leaks. Puddles form. Moss and weeds start to creep up the wall where the faucet is. And, the water bill is inexplicably higher.

We understand that calling your local handyman or plumber may be tempting options. But, we believe you can take matters into your own hands in fixing your garden faucet.

This article was meant to show you can do just that. As you can see, it isn’t as complicated as it’s made out to be.

All you need are a set of tools, some time within your day, and this six-step tutorial to fixing faucet leaks!

Nicolas Wayne

Gardening and lawn care enthusiast

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