Four Issues That Affect Outdoor Hose Bibs


Don't make the mistake of overlooking your outdoor plumbing when maintaining your home. The hose bibs outside can be prone to even more issues than those faced by the taps inside your home.

1. Freeze Damage

Freezing water trapped in the hose bib can expand and lead to a broken tap or worse, a broken water line and a major leak. Prevention is the best defense. Drain outdoor water lines ahead of winter freezes and shut off water to the hose bibs. Use freeze-resistant spigots and cover up the spigot with an insulated cover during the winter months. Monitor the bib throughout winter for signs of freeze damage or leaks.

2. Leaking Handle

Leaks around the handle are typically an issue only when the hose bib is in use. Fortunately handle leaks are typically an easy fix. There is a packing washer inside the handle. When this washer wears out, the handle will begin to leak whenever you open the tap. You can remove the handle assembly and replace the washer. Just make sure to cut off the water supply to the hose bib before making the repairs, or you may end up with a mess.

3. Dripping Faucet

A dripping faucet is annoying no matter where it is, and it can also lead to a costly waste of water. There are many reasons why an outdoor hose bib can leak, but the issue is typically either with a washer inside the valve stem or with the packing string inside the valve stem. In most cases, these can be replaced and the problem solved. Although rarer, it is also possible that parts in the faucet have corroded and the entire faucet will need to be replaced.

4. Low Pressure

If the pressure is low with your outdoor hose bib but not with inside taps, the issue is likely the pressure regulator. Each faucet is equipped with its own regulator, which can be replaced if it failed. If the pressure is low throughout the house, then the main regulator on the water main has likely failed and will need to be replaced.

5. Blocked Spigot

Issues like debris or hard water buildup can block the spigot. When this happens, water may only trickle out or it may fail to come out completely. You can clean and replace the aerator screen to solve the issue. In some cases, you may need to use a descaler to remove mineral buildup from inside the faucet as well.

Contact a plumbing repair contractor if you are having issues with your outdoor hose bib.

For more information about plumbing, reach out to a company like Travers Plumbing & Heating Inc.


14 January 2021

DIY plumbing - can you do it yourself?

When you get a clogged drain or a toilet that just won't flush, do you reach for the phone and call for a plumber? When you have these seemingly simple plumbing problems around your house, you have to make a decision quickly. Do you pay for someone to come out and make the repairs, or do you attempt the repair on your own? This blog is all about DIY plumbing repairs. You will learn the basics and find tips for when to cut your losses and call in for professional assistance so you don't make a small fix one that needs serious repairs.