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Leaking Hose Bib Fix

hose bib | hose bib expert

Jamie Carter, Licensed, Professional Plumber

Have you planted the garden yet?  How about the spring flowers??  Have you fired up that outside hose bib of yours?  I’ve planted three rows of the garden so far this season, and I’ve used the outside spigot at least 4 or 5 times!  That’s usually when it happens… the hose starts spraying like a fizz all over the wall and you!  You may have also noticed your water bill is higher than last month.  One place to check for a leak is your hose.  That’s right, they call it a hose bib – why, I don’t know.  I guess the hose needs a bib if it’s leaking!

I have been doing plumbing since I was 16, so that’s a lot years!  I have fixed a few “hose leaks” so far in my lifetime and generally the problem can be fixed relatively easy.  Here are some things for you to try yourself,  before you call your plumber!

First you must determine where the leak  is coming from and the leak that most often gets you wet is the easiest to fix.  There are generally one of two problems: #1 The hose connection is not secured tight enough or #2 the hose doesn’t have a hose washer, or the old one is defective.  The fix is to first turn the faucet off and try to tighten the connection with your hand and remember “righty-tighty, left-loosey.  Don’t try to muscle-it because if the pipes are old you will break the pipe that feeds the actual hose faucet.

Now look at the end of the hose connection to make sure the washer is secure and without defect.  You can easily change the washer and replace the hose to the spigot by screwing it back onto the hose bib and giving it  “quarter-turn” with pliers to ensure a snug fit.  There are a few other things that can be causing your hose bib to leak:

1.Leaking Packing Nut:  The packing nut is a hexagon nut that is located directly behind the handle of the hose faucet.  It sometimes drips after have finished using your hose.  These drips add up and can be costly to your water bill.  One drip per second for a whole month adds up to be a ton of water and money!  If grass is growing underneath the hose bib better than anywhere else that is a clue your hose bib is leaking.

2.Hose Bibb Washer/Cup:  If your hose bib keeps leaking and water is just dripping or running out of the faucet, the Bonnet nut needs to be removed and the stem, a metal “cup” contains a washer that will need to be replaced.

3.Hosebib is split:  A hose bib can freeze during the winter if the hose is left on, which causes the supply line and/or the silcock to split.  This line will need to be replaced, and the faucet part has frozen it will need replaced as well.

If you are unsure about what to do, please call us and we’ll send one of our plumbers out.  Call us at (317) 859-9999 or tweet me @proplumberjc and I’ll answer your question.

Jamie Carter
Licensed Plumbing Contractor
CO88900054