Q:

How do you fix a leaky frost-proof exterior faucet?

A:

Quick Answer

Fixing a leaky frost-proof exterior faucet is a straightforward task and the method will vary depending on where the leak is coming from. An exterior faucet may leak from the handle, the spout and in some designs, from the vacuum breaker. While the fixes for each of these types of leaks vary, the methods are still relatively simple.

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Full Answer

The following shows how to troubleshoot and fix leaky frost-proof exterior faucets.

Leaky Handle

  1. If the faucet leaks from the handle when the faucet is running, the leak is coming from the stem packing. To fix this leak, start by removing the handle. This is usually accomplished by removing the screw at the center of the handle.
  2. Using an adjustable wrench, tighten the retaining nut slightly.
  3. Reassemble the handle and see if this fixes the problem.
  4. If the handle still leaks, remove the entire faucet stem and replace the packing gasket.

Leaky Spout

  1. If the spout leaks even if the faucet is turned off, the washer is likely the problem. Remove the washer by taking out the handle and pulling out faucet stem.
  2. Disassemble the faucet, making sure to keep tabs on the order of how they fit into the faucet.
  3. Replace the washer assembly and then reassemble the faucet.
  4. Check to see if this fixes the problem.

If the frost-proof faucet has a leaky vacuum breaker valve (usually located on top of the faucet behind the handle), replace the vacuum breaker valve entirely. If any of the fixes shown above do not fix the leak, the entire faucet may have to be replaced.

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