How to Stop Outdoor Faucet Leaks When It Turns On

A broken faucet may not seem like a big deal, but not taking care of faucet problems when you notice them can lead to consequences.

If your outdoor faucet is leaking, it is important to know why it’s leaking and what you can do the solve the problem. 

In this post, we will go over everything you should consider when your outdoor faucet is leaking so you can fix the issue and prevent more damage from occurring.

You definitely will want to solve your leaky faucet before it becomes a much larger problem.

Why is My Outdoor Faucet Leaking?

The outdoor faucet tends to be the faucet in the home that is the most forgotten about.

Everyone notices right away when a faucet is leaking inside the house, but it may take longer for you to notice that your outdoor faucet is leaking. 

This can lead to the faucet creating bigger problems before you notice there was a problem in the first place.

We recommend that you do regular inspections on the parts of the house that you don’t notice often, including your outdoor faucet.

Do this inspection every few months so you don’t have to deal with bigger problems that could have just been small ones. 

The Different Faucet Leaks

First, your outdoor faucet may be leaking from a spout leak.

a spout leak
A spout leak

This is when the water keeps dripping out of the faucet after the water has been turned off.

Typically, you will notice when your spout is leaking when it becomes more difficult to turn the water off and you have to do so in a certain way. 

If you aren’t dealing with a spout leak, you may be dealing with a base leak.

A base leaked

Instead of water dripping out of the spout, it is dripping from the base (where the spout meets the wall.)

Some people may have trouble diagnosing this problem because of the splashing that can happen outside. 

To check if the base is leaking, make sure the area around the base is dry before turning the water on.

Then, turn the water on slowly and pay attention to if any water appears around the base of the faucet. 

Causes of Outdoor Faucet Leaks

The most common cause of an outdoor faucet leak, especially a spout leak, is a worn-out washer. The washer is responsible for stopping or allowing water to come from the spout.

If the washer wasn’t installed properly or is the wrong size, it makes it more likely that it will wear down and cause problems. 

There can be other problems with the components such as components in the faucet being too loose or there’s a faulty O-ring. 

Finally, too high of water pressure can cause faucet leaks over time. If the water pressure is too high for the faucet to handle, pieces of the components can break or wear down faster. In some cases, it can even permanently damage your outdoor faucet. 

What to Do to Fix Your Outdoor Faucet Leak

Now that you know what could be the reason for your faucet leaking, we can now talk about how to fix those problems.

For most of the reasons listed above, replacements of components will be necessary to get your outdoor faucet working like normal. 

High Water Pressure

To start, if the components on your outdoor faucet are fine and you notice that when you turn on the water that water is coming out extremely fast, you are dealing with too high of water pressure.

In many situations, too high of water pressure is an indicator that other problems are going on with your water system. 

In that case, we recommend that you call a plumber to diagnose what is happening with your water system to properly fix your faucet.

It is better to do this sooner than later because having high water pressure can permanently damage the faucet and make repairs more costly. 

Tighten Any Loose Components

If you know that the problem is because one of the components not working correctly, you should first check if anything is loose. This can be done by trying to tug or spin the pieces of the faucet you can see. 

If anything moves, take a wrench and tighten the piece by turning it counterclockwise. Make sure that nothing is overly tightened as that can impact water flow and create more unwanted friction.

Oftentimes, the reason why there is leaking from the base of your outdoor faucet is that the base is not tight against the wall of your house. If you see nuts or screws at the base, give them a tightening to stop them from leaking in that spot. 

Check the water flow from the faucet. If there is still a leak, move on to the next method. 

Replace the Washer or O-Ring


Either of these components can be responsible for spout leaks. Depending on where the leak is coming from in your outdoor faucet, that will determine whether it’s the washer or the O-ring that is the problem. 

Replace either of these components in your faucet to stop it from continuously leaking.

For more information on replacing parts of your outdoor faucet to stop it from leaking, check out this video to get a visual guide. 

Courtesy of Everyday Home Repairs

Clean Out Corrosion

Mineral build-up and corrosion can happen inside your outdoor faucet which can both cause leaking problems and wear down the components in your faucet. 

Clean Out Corrosion

Remove the body of your outdoor faucet by following the video above. Removing the body is an easy part of the process that just requires a crescent wrench. From there, you will better be able to see inside the faucet. 

If you see any corrosion or any materials that should not be in a faucet, clean them out by wiping the exterior of the part down.

To clean the inside corrosion or debris, use a sturdy brush to get inside and scrape away the unwanted materials. 

After following the methods listed above, you should have a working outdoor faucet in no time without a single leak.

Editor’s Note: Remember to inspect the outside of your house regularly to make sure no component gets neglected and creates larger problems over time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Does My Outside Faucet Leak When My Hose is Attached?

If there is a problem with your faucet leaking when something is attached to it, that means that the piece connecting the faucet to the house is not working the way it should. Most commonly, the problem is a worn-out gasket or connector. 

Either of those components can easily be replaced after purchasing a new piece at a hardware store. Connectors can range from $2 to $20.

How Much Does a Plumber Charge to Replace an Outdoor Faucet?

If you don’t want to go through the repairing process yourself or know that your faucet needs to be replaced, you can always call a plumber to help. To get your outdoor faucet replaced, most plumbers will charge anywhere from $150 to $350. 

However, know that this is an estimate and that plumbers in different areas will charge different prices. Always give your plumbing company of choice a call to see what they charge so you can know exactly how much you should expect. 

There may also be different fees between getting the new faucet and the installation cost.

Can I Replace an Outdoor Faucet Myself?

It is completely possible to replace your outdoor faucet on your own. It takes a few tools, and you will need to make sure you get exactly the right pieces, but this is a shorter home improvement project that is on the easier side. There are many online tutorials that will go over the details of how to replace an outdoor faucet.

Of course, if you aren’t confident in your abilities, calling a plumber will make sure that you don’t accidentally damage your new faucet when installing.

Can I Repair My Outdoor Faucet When the Water Is On?

Any plumbing repair should not be done when the water is on. If you just have to tighten the nut on your outdoor faucet, this can be done when the water is on, but other steps should be done when the water is off, so you don’t damage your water system.

Leaving the water on during repairs not only can create a messy repairing experience, but can damage more components of your plumbing if a mistake were to be made.

Final Thoughts

Having an outdoor faucet that leaks when it turns on can be an annoying experience. You may not think that more problems can occur when this happens, but a broken faucet left unchecked can damage your plumbing further. 

By following the methods listed above, you’ll be able to figure out what is going on with your faucet and how to fix it in no time at all.

If you have more tips on fixing your outdoor faucet when it is leaking, let us know in the comments. 

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