How to Stop an Outdoor Faucet from Dripping

Outdoor faucets, also known as hose bibbs, often begin to drip or leak around the handle over time. To stop an outdoor faucet or hose bibb from dripping, use pliers or an adjustable wrench to slightly tighten the packing nut below the handle of the faucet in a clockwise direction.

If that doesn’t stop the leak, you’ll need to replace the rubber washer.

To replace an outdoor faucet washer:

  • Turn the water off to the faucet.
  • Unscrew the packing nut by turning it counterclockwise.
  • Pull the handle and stem out of the faucet housing.
  • Remove the screw on the end of the stem that holds the rubber washer.
  • Replace the rubber washer on the stem with one of the same size.
  • Tighten the screw holding the washer back up.
  • Insert the stem into the faucet housing.
  • Tighten the packing nut on the faucet housing.
  • Turn the water back on, and test the faucet for drips or leaks.

Watch this video to find out more.

Further Information

Danny Lipford: Janet asks, “How can I stop my outside water faucet from leaking?”

If you have an outside faucet that just won’t stop dripping, well, it’s great drip irrigation for any trees or plants you may have around your house; but you’ll end up spending a lot of money on your water bill. Lot of times it’s very easy to fix by simply taking a pair of pliers and tightening that packing nut directly behind the handle.

Many times, that’s all you need. But, if not, you’ll need to cut the water off at the street to turn all water off to the house. Then back that same nut off and remove the handle and the stem.

You’ll find a washer right on the end of that that’s probably compressed or damaged in some way. You simply remove the screw, take the washer off, and replace it.

And when you buy that washer maybe pick up a couple extra ones. They’re very inexpensive and you’ll have a few spares if this kind of thing happens again. Then 99% of the time, you’ll be good.