But a leaky external faucet can put a damper on your spring enthusiasm and hike up your water bill. According to the EPA, a leaky faucet that drips at the rate of one drip per second can waste more than 3,000 gallons of water per year.
Monroe Home Solutions is here to equip you with the knowledge you need to prep your faucets and fix any issues with them. Here are some practical steps to tend to your outdoor spigots so you can exercise your green thumb without worrying about wasting water.
Prep Your Outdoor Spigots for Spring
Turn the Water Back on
It’s common to shut off the outdoor water supply during winter, to avoid frozen pipes during Massachusetts’ colder months. Now that spring has arrived, though, it’s time to start the water flowing again.
First, tighten the wheel on the outdoor spigot. Next, locate the water shutoff valve on the indoor or outdoor water line and turn it on.
Check the Water Pressure and Look for Leaks
Turn the outdoor spigot on, then inspect the water as it’s flowing to rule out any low water pressure issues and signs of leaks. While you’re doing this, it’s helpful to have another person stand inside your house near the water line to rule out the presence of leaks impacting your home’s interior.
Here are some additional signs that an outdoor faucet is leaking.
- Rust around the spigot
- Mildew and/or mold growth
- A dripping spigot after you’ve turned off the water wheel
- Pooling water in the yard
- Foundation damage on the side of your house
- A sudden spike in your home’s water bill
Some Common Reasons Why Spigots Leak
There are a few main causes for outdoor faucet leaks that Monroe Home Solutions technicians see all the time in our clients’ homes. Your leaky spigot could be a result of frost damage due to pipes that froze during the winter. Two other reasons are a loose packing nut in the faucet stem or a worn washer in the spigot assembly. Another potential cause is a pipe that’s clogged with mineral deposits and other debris.
How to Fix a Leaky Outdoor Faucet
Round up a 4-in-1 screwdriver, adjustable wrench, and slip joint pliers. It’s also a good idea to purchase a new washer assembly and replacement vacuum breaker parts at a local home improvement store. Then follow these steps to repair the leaky spigot.
- Tighten the retaining nut located below the faucet handle. If tightening the retaining nut doesn’t stop the leak, then it’s time to shut off the water and dive into some more intensive spigot repair work.
- Remove the faucet stem and replace the washer assembly. During this step, it’s important to keep track of the parts you take off while taking apart the washer assembly. You’ll want to put the new parts together in the right order.
- Take off the vacuum breaker cap. Unscrew the retainer and pull out the vacuum breaker. Clean the parts and try installing them again. If that doesn’t work, find replacement parts
,and install them.
When to Call the Experts
At Monroe Home Solutions, we encourage MetroWest homeowners to call us for any of their spigot problems, whether you need a leaky faucet repaired or you want to winterize or de-winterize your spigot the right way to avoid leaks in the future.
Even if you’re skilled at DIY home repairs, leaky spigots can be challenging to diagnose and fix. Save yourself time and hassle by giving our team a call so you can focus more on doing the things you love this spring. Schedule an appointment with a Monroe Home Solutions technician today!