How To Fix A Leaking Hose Bib?

How do you fix a leaky hose bib? It can be that your outdoor faucet is leaking due to a loose packing nut, but if you have no idea how to fix the problem, be thankful that you are reading this post.

The easy-to-follow repair guide below can save you from replacing the entire tap or the entire valve system, and instead spend only a few dollars for replacing only the worn part.

This post shows a step-by-step process that will not take a lot of time to finish. Make sure that you check out the video tutorial included in this page.

Main Considerations When Fixing a Hose Bib

Even a small leak can turn into a huge bill, so it is worth regularly checking your faucet for any leaks. Many homes have leaky garden faucets. What people don’t realize is the fix is relatively simple and can be done in about 10 minutes for under $10.

Three things to look into to find the cause of the leak:

  • Bonnet Packing Nut – It is the metal part (under the handle) that can be tightened or loosened. This part (also called “nut”) may happen to be loose, so tightening it may just be all that is needed.
  • Bonnet Packing – This is the rubber part located inside the packing nut. Check this part out if tightening the packing nut doesn’t stop the water from dripping. This step involves pulling the parts of the faucet apart and replacing the bonnet packing with a new one.
  • Washer – This is the rubber part located at the base of the stem assembly. If this part is worn out, it has to be replaced.

Steps for Fixing a Dripping Garden Faucet

What You Need:

  • Wrench
  • Philips screwdriver


Leaks in garden faucets generally occur in two places – the spout and the handle.

Proceed to repair with these steps:


Step 1

If you have a leak coming from the faucet’s handle, tighten the packing nut using the wrench.


Step 2 

If the first step does not do the trick, turn off the water supply. Turn off the valve located in your basement or crawl space.  Drain the remaining water from the faucet by opening its handle.


Step 3

Loosen the screw that holds the handle in place. Use the screwdriver to unscrew it.


Step 4

After removing the handle, you will see the packing nut. Use the wrench to remove it. Then pull out the valve assembly.


Step 5 

Inspect the bonnet packing or the washer located at the top part of the stem. Tighten up the nut above it and see if that resolves the issue.

Or, you may check the packing washer itself if it is already worn out. Over time, due to the up and down movement of the nut above it, the washer gets worn out. Replace it if that is the case. But if there is no problem with it, proceed to checking the other washer located at the base of the stem.


Step 6 

There’s a screw that holds the smaller washer in place. Unscrew it and replace it with a new one. The indication that the smaller washer is the one that’s compromised is small droplets dripping through the spout when the faucet is closed.


Step 7

With the new parts screwed to their places, insert the entire valve assembly back into the faucet. Tighten the assembly using the wrench. Next, put the handle back by screwing it onto the valve with a screwdriver.


Step 8

Open the water supply and open the faucet. The leak should be fixed.

Here is a short video I thought will be helpful for a clear visual presentation of the steps.

The Final Verdict

In this short post, we have shown you how to fix a leaking garden hose, which is a very easy task to do. For the washers, you can buy a set from a home center. The set should be able to provide you the right sizes as it contains almost all sizes for different faucets. Just find the right sizes from the set.

If you don’t have this set, you can use Teflon tape in place of the worn-out washers for a temporary solution.

A dripping outdoor faucet poses risk to your health and the foundation of your house, so it is important to act right away. Post your questions below if you have any.

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