Hose Bib Maintenance

outdoor hose bib
Temperatures are warming up! As you start to use your hose again this spring, it’s really important to check for leaky hose bibs and repair any damages. Whether you decide to do it yourself or call a professional plumber, here are some helpful tips for hose bib maintenance.

First Priority: Check for Interior Damage

In our post on springtime plumbing tips, we warned that if a household leak appears after the first time you turn on your hose, an internal pipe has probably frozen and cracked over the winter and needs to be replaced. We recommend fixing household leaks right away. Even frost-free hose bibs can freeze if a hose has been left attached over the winter. Always remember to detach your hose and any other attachments from the hose bib before freezing temperatures hit.

Second Priority: Check for Exterior Hose Bib Leaks

As you begin using your hose for gardening or watering your lawn, look out for any exterior leaks around the hose bib. Leaks may occur from the spout, around the handle, through the vacuum breaker, or from the stem behind the wall. These leaks can cause expensive damage to the exterior of your home or even the foundation. So let’s get cracking.

DIY Hose Bib Maintenance

First thing’s first. Figure out where the leak is coming from. Once you’ve identified the source of the problem, you can tackle it head-on:

  • To fix a handle leak, tighten the packing nut or replace the washer directly behind it.
  • To fix a faucet leak, replace the bib washer.
  • To fix a vacuum breaker leak, replace any damaged vacuum breaker parts.
  • To fix a leak from the stem behind the wall, you’ll need to replace the entire hose bib.
  • If the hose bib runs even when the handle is shut off, either the gasket needs to be replaced or the valve seat (the brass opening against the gasket) has gone bad—in which case the whole hose bib needs to be replaced.
  • If you notice low water pressure or little to no flow, there may be a blockage in the faucet opening or the strainer at the back end of the aerator (located inside the faucet spout). Disassemble the handle, stem, and/or aerator to clear out any debris.

If you have questions, need help with maintenance repairs, or would like to learn more about how you can prevent future leaks by getting a frost-free hose bib installed, call our office at (314) 501-9950 or email info@tonylamartinaplumbing.com. We’d love to hear from you.