Outdoor Faucet Leaks When Turned Off – What To Do?

A leaking outdoor faucet may not seem like a big deal at first, but it can quickly add hundreds of dollars to your water bill if you let it go unchecked. You have come to the right place if you want to know what to do to a leaking faucet. We thoroughly researched the internet to help you out!

When an outdoor faucet keeps leaking, and you can't shut it off, try these steps.

  1. If you want to stop the faucet from dripping, turn off the water source
  2. Empty the water from the faucet
  3. Take out the packing nut
  4. Pull the valve stem out
  5. Replace any worn or broken components and reassemble the faucet

Repairing a leaking outdoor water faucet doesn't have to be a difficult task if you have clear, step-by-step instructions to guide you through the process. Because of this, we have included a more in-depth explanation of each of these processes below. Check it out!

Crack on the water tap and a water leak after the spring frost, Outdoor Faucet Leaks When Turned Off - What To Do?

how to fix a leaking outdoor faucet

leaking outdoor faucet - spigot and hose

If you have a leaky faucet, it would be best to avoid the temptation to contact a plumber. A leaky faucet is easy to repair. Soon enough, you'll have yours fixed.

Here are the resources you need to finish the task at hand:

  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Plumber's grease
  • Pliers
  • Penetrating oil (optional)
  • Two adjustable wrenches

Since you are prepared in every way, it is time to start! You can accomplish the repair of your faucet in five simple steps, which we enumerated above.

1. turn off the water source

You are aware that it is less than ideal to have water spilling out of the faucet in your backyard. Therefore, the first thing that you need to do is locate and then turn off the water supply valve for the leaking faucet.

The procedure is as follows:

  1. Turn the tap all the way on.
  2. Find the stopper valve.
  3. To close the valve, turn it clockwise. Turn it until you can't turn it anymore.
  4. Make sure there is no water coming out of the faucet at all.

If you don't have any idea where to find the location of the valve to shut off the water, you might want to check these locations:

  • the upper portion of the inner wall adjacent to the outdoor faucet
  • garage
  • near the water meter
  • basement

If the shut-off valve of your faucet is old-style and doesn't have a knob or handle, you can utilize the pliers to work on it.

To turn off the water supply, wrap the pliers' square jaws around the post of the shut-off valve. After that, rotate the pliers and the square shaft in a clockwise direction until you notice that the flow of water has stopped.

2. empty the water from the faucet

hand of woman she was using her hand to shut the flowing water from faucet. water saving and energy ideas

Let the water drain. This step is crucial because it prolongs the life of your faucet and allows it to function correctly. Because of this, pipe bursts are less likely to occur as draining safely gets rid of any water that could get stuck.

Follow these simple instructions to turn off the water supply to your outdoor sink:

  1. Open the safety valve. Pull a handle or turn a knob.
  2. Drain the water.

3. take out the packing nut

The following step requires you to utilize an adjustable wrench to detach the packing nut attaching to the faucet.

To do it, you must:

  1. Position the wrench behind the packing nut
  2. For loosening the valve assembly, turn the wrench counterclockwise. Hold a second wrench against the house's water supply line. As a result, the faucet won't run while you fix it.
  3. Completely disassemble the valve using your hands.
  4. To take off the fastener on the faucet handle, rotate it counterclockwise.
  5. To remove, wiggle the handle and lift it vertically.
  6. Lastly, to detach the packing nut to its stem, unscrew and slide it up.

There are instances where the nut or valve is hard to loosen up. If that happens, you can do these steps:

  • Try some penetrating oil on the parts of the faucet that won't budge.
  • You have to give the oil time to penetrate.
  • When the tough pieces are finally loose, give them another spin with a wrench.

4. detach the valve stem

It is necessary for you to take off the valve stem if there is no issue with the packing nut you were using. You will be able to examine the issue more thoroughly this way. You will need a set of pliers and a screwdriver with a flathead tip in order to detach the valve stem.

  1. For this next part, you'll need to use the pliers to steady the pipe.
  2. Utilizing a flathead screwdriver, take the washer off the stem of the valve.
  3. Check to determine if the washer and o-ring are in good shape.

5. Replace any worn or broken components and reassemble the faucet

It is crucial to repair any damaged, rusted, or worn components before reassembling your faucet. So, checking every part, such as the packing nut, o-ring, and washer, would be best. And once you have reassembled the faucet, you can be confident it will continue to function correctly.

See the instructions below if you need to replace any of the pieces before putting your faucet back together.

Packing Nut

  • Using the directions provided in Step 3 of this post, take off the old packing nut.
  • Put a new packing nut on the valve assembly by sliding it over.
  • To make the packing nut more secure, turn it counterclockwise. Utilize a wrench to turn it until it reaches the desired level of tightness. Take care not to turn the nut too much because this might cause it to break.


  • You can locate the washer in the valve system, so you should follow Step 4 to detach it.
  • You must ensure that the new washer has dimensions identical to those of the previous washer.
  • Before you put the washer back in its place, make sure you lubricate it with the plumber's grease.
  • Confirm if the o-ring is in its appropriate spot.
  • We recommend changing the washer screw with a new one.


  • Remove the washer first, and then you can detach the o-ring afterward.
  • Make sure that you have purchased an o-ring with the same dimensions as the previous one.
  • Before you put the new o-ring in its place, applying the plumber's grease first would be best.
  • Check that the o-ring fits perfectly within the washer.

When you have finished replacing any broken pieces, you will be approximately halfway through putting together your faucet. However, there are a few more steps that you need to perform before you can consider the project finished. 

Here are the last few measures for putting together your outdoor faucet.

  • Reassemble the valve.
  • Put as much force as possible into tightening the valve assembly. You may do this step with the help of an adjustable wrench.
  • Check to confirm that the sink faucet is turned off.
  • Activate the water supply by turning the valve that supplies water back on.
  • Turn on the water while making sure that the water is moving freely and if you can securely shut off the faucet.

We have also included a helpful training video for you to watch and learn from.

How to Repair a Dripping Outdoor Faucet

What damage Can a leaky faucet cause

Exterior old water faucet dripping

It should come as no surprise that improper water use will be the primary source of difficulty for you. Not only for the sake of your money but also for your property or neighborhood.

With time, the leaking water may cause mold or mildew to form. It is common knowledge that large water pools will either infiltrate any part of your home or cause deterioration to the foundation. However, all of these problems are averted if solutions are implemented in a timely manner.

wrap it all up

leaking outdoor faucet - spigot and hose

In order to conserve water, money, and your plumbing fixtures, you need to fix the leaky faucet in the most effective way possible, regardless of what caused the problem in the first place. You will help yourself as well as the environment if you have the leak fixed as soon as possible.

A leaky faucet may appear to be a minor issue or perhaps nothing more than an irritation; nevertheless, if you immediately repair the leak, you can avert serious repercussions.

We hope you find this post helpful. Suppose you want to read more. Check these posts out!

What's The Best Faucet Finish For Hard Water?

How To Clean Bronze Faucets [And Other Bronze Bathroom Fixtures]

What Faucets Have Lifetime Warranty?

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