An exterior hose bib, also known as an outdoor faucet or spigot, is a convenient feature of any home. It allows you to easily access water outside for tasks such as watering the lawn or washing your car. However, like any plumbing feature, hose bibs can sometimes malfunction or become damaged. If you find that your exterior hose bib is leaking or not functioning properly, there are steps you can take to fix it or you can call someone to do it for you.

Should I fix my Exterior Hose Bib myself?

If you are a homeowner that likes to DIY it, you might try fixing it yourself, though many homeowners – even the handy ones – don’t like to mess with plumbing issues. Nevertheless, here’s a guide on how to repair an exterior hose bib.

1. Identify the problem first, if possible:

Before you begin any repair work, it’s important to understand the issue you’re dealing with and why there’s a problem. Is the hose bib leaking, or is it simply not turning on and off properly? Is the handle loose or difficult to turn? Identifying the problem will help you determine the best course of action.

2. Gather your tools:

Depending on the problem you discover you may need to hunt for a few different tools to fix your exterior hose bib. Some tools you might need include a pipe wrench, adjustable pliers, a screwdriver, and a basin wrench. Make sure you have these tools on hand before you begin. They’re available at your local hardware or home improvement stores.

3. Turn off the water supply:

Before you begin any repair work on your exterior hose bib, you’ll need to turn off the water supply. Locate the main water valve for your home and turn it to the off position. This will prevent any water from flowing through the pipes while you’re working on the hose bib.

4. Remove the handle:

If your hose bib handle is loose or difficult to turn, you may need to remove it to access the valve stem. To do this, use a pipe wrench to loosen the packing nut, which is the small nut located under the handle. Once the packing nut is loose, you should be able to lift off the handle and expose the valve stem.

5. Replace the washer:

If your hose bib is leaking, the problem is likely a worn or damaged washer. The washer is a small rubber ring that sits on top of the valve stem and helps create a watertight seal when the handle is turned on or off. To replace the washer, first use a screwdriver to remove the screw that holds the washer in place. Then, simply lift out the old washer and replace it with a new one.

6. Replace the valve stem:

If the washer doesn’t fix the leak, the valve stem may be the culprit. The valve stem is a long, thin rod that extends from the handle down into the pipe. It controls the flow of water through the exterior hose bib. To replace the valve stem, use a basin wrench to remove the packing nut, which is located at the base of the valve stem. Once the packing nut is loose, you should be able to lift out the old valve stem and replace it with a new one.

7. Reassemble the hose bib:

Once you’ve made the necessary repairs, it’s time to reassemble the exterior hose bib. Begin by replacing the packing nut and the handle, making sure to tighten them securely. Then, turn the water supply back on and test the hose bib to make sure it’s working properly.


Calling the professionals

If you’re unable to fix your exterior hose bib on your own, or if you encounter any problems during the repair process, it’s best to call a professional plumber for assistance. A plumber will have the knowledge and expertise to properly diagnose and fix any issues with your hose bib.

If you’re at all uncomfortable working with issues that involve water and plumbing, you could do more harm than good if you try to repair it yourself. Often, plumbers are called to complete jobs that homeowners fail to finish, simply because they get in over their heads, so to speak.

At Urban Water Works, water is our middle name…literally! We can handle your problems inside and outside and are eager to help you remain stress-free while we do all the work. Fixing your exterior hose bib is just one of the repairs that’s second nature to us. Just a simple call to our West Vancouver location will have us there in a jiffy, so you can get back to life as usual. For more information on our repair services, call us at 604-790-8993.