• Geoff Burke

My Hose Bib is Dripping... Now What?



Hello again everyone! We’re back for another session of “How NOT to Call the Plumber”!


It seems that spring has sprung! Birds are chirping, trees are budding, and my allergies have come back for another year of annoyance! With spring comes gardening; and with gardening comes water. As I found out this week, many of you must have forgotten to properly shut the water off to your outside hose bibs, because they all seem to be leaking when you turn them on for the season! This week, we’ll go through one or two simple steps on how to fix those leaking hose bibs.


Hose bibs are relatively simple in construction – they typically only have one or two washers (or “packing”) that will fail/need to be replaced. In most cases, the hardest part about repairing a hose bib is finding the correct parts. Unfortunately, many of the hose bibs I am called to repair are no-name or cheap brands that finding parts for is relatively impossible. In many cases, it is easiest to replace the valve altogether! We also make sure when replacing a valve to add one extra part that will allow you to replace it yourself, should anything fail in the future!


There are 3 common places that a hose bib will leak from: the spout itself, the packing nut, or the stem. Take a look at the diagram to see where your valve is leaking. If leaking from the spout, you would need to replace the “seat washer”. If leaking from the packing nut (or “bonnet nut” in the diagram), you can sometimes get away with tightening the packing nut, otherwise the packing needs replacing. Lastly, if leaking from the stem, your best bet is to not even bother trying to find parts and just have a new valve installed! As I said before, the construction of the valve is simple – the parts are hard to find (even for me)!


Lastly, as you open up the water for the spring, make sure the valve inside the house doesn’t have a slow drip. Sometimes it can take up to an hour or two for a valve to show signs of leaking. The last thing you want to do is open the valve, forget about it until October, and come back to find a moldy ceiling!

That’s it for this week. I hope you all have another great weekend and we’ll see you again next time!

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