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If your home has an outdoor faucet, it likely gets a lot of use watering plants, washing cars, or filling pools. Over time, these faucets can start to wear out and may need replacing. Here are some signs that indicate it's time to replace your outdoor faucet:
Leaking or dripping water even when the faucet is turned off. This is a sign of worn out washers or valve seals. Trying to repair the leak by tightening the packing nut only provides temporary relief.
Corrosion visible around the spout or handle. Outdoor faucets are exposed to the elements, which can lead to rust and corrosion over time. This damages the faucet beyond repair.
Reduced water flow. If turning the handle provides only a trickle of water, mineral deposits from hard water may have built up inside the faucet. Disassembling and cleaning is difficult with outdoor faucets.
Loose faucet handle. Constant use can loosen the handle, indicating internal parts are wearing out. Tightening the screw will not help for long.
Cracks or damage in the spout or handle. Freezing temperatures or banging the handle against the spout can cause exterior cracks and damage. This weakens the faucet.
If your outdoor faucet shows any of these signs, it's time to replace it. Continuing to use a damaged faucet will lead to bigger problems down the line. Replacing it now avoids leaks or even bursting pipes.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Outdoor Faucet?
When your outdoor faucet starts having problems, you may wonder if you should repair or replace it. Here are some things to consider:
Age of the faucet. Older faucets that have seen years of use are not worth repairing. Replacement parts may be hard to find and it will likely fail again soon. Newer faucets may be repairable.
Type of faucet. Compression faucets with washers can often be repaired by replacing washers. Cartridge, ball and ceramic disk faucets are more difficult to take apart and repair.
Extent of damage. Light surface corrosion or loose handles can sometimes be fixed. But major corrosion, cracked parts, and internal sediment buildup usually require faucet replacement.
Cost of repair vs replacement. In some cases a full faucet replacement may cost about the same as having a plumber repair it.
Frequency of problems. If the faucet needs repairs repeatedly, it's better to replace it.
In most cases, replacement is the best option for an aging, damaged outdoor faucet. Repairs may only be temporary. Replacing the faucet ensures you'll have a fully functional, durable faucet that will last for years.
How to Replace an Outdoor Faucet
Replacing an old leaky outdoor faucet with a new one is a straightforward do-it-yourself project for a homeowner with basic DIY skills. Here are the steps:
Turn Off Water Supply
Locate the shut-off valve for the outdoor faucet and turn it to the closed position. This is usually an interior valve in the basement or crawl space near where the water line exits the house. Turning it off will allow you to remove the old faucet without water gushing out.
Remove Old Faucet
Start by removing any attachments like hoses or sprinklers from the faucet. Then use a faucet wrench to loosen and unscrew the faucet from the exterior wall. You may need to spray penetrating oil on rusty, corroded faucets to loosen them.
Clean Mounting Hole Area
Use a wire brush to scrub away any rust or old plumber's putty around the faucet hole. Wipe the area clean with a damp rag. Apply plumber's putty around the hole to seal the new faucet.
Install New Faucet
Thread the new faucet tailpieces through the mounting hole. While holding the faucet in place, screw on the mounting nuts from the interior and tighten them with a wrench. Don't overtighten. Wipe away any excess putty.
Connect Supply Lines
Attach the flexible supply lines (hot and cold) to the faucet tailpieces. Use adjustable wrenches to tighten the compression nuts. Connect the other ends of the supply lines to the shut-off valves.
Turn Water Back On
Turn the shut-off valves back on slowly. Check for leaks at all connections and tighten as needed. Once it's leak-free, you can turn on your new outdoor faucet!
Investing in a new, high-quality faucet will provide long-lasting performance for all your outdoor water needs.
Outdoor faucets take a lot of abuse from the elements and frequent use. If you notice leaking, reduced water flow, loose handles or other issues, your outdoor faucet likely needs to be replaced. Repairing an older, damaged faucet rarely solves the problems for good. Installing a new faucet is a worthwhile project that can be done in a short time.
The result is a functional, leak-free faucet that will hold up for many years outdoors. Regular replacement of outdoor faucets can save you from much bigger plumbing headaches in the future.
If you are having plumbing problems in the Atlanta area, call RooterPLUS! today.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q When should I consider replacing my outdoor faucet?
If your outdoor faucet exhibits any of the following signs, it's time to consider replacing it:
- Leaking or dripping water when the faucet is turned off.
- Visible corrosion around the spout or handle.
- Reduced water flow.
- Loose faucet handle.
- Cracks or damage in the spout or handle.
Continuing to use a damaged faucet can lead to more significant problems down the line, so it's best to replace it when you notice these issues.
Q Should I repair or replace my outdoor faucet?
When deciding whether to repair or replace your outdoor faucet, consider the following factors:
- The age of the faucet: Older faucets may not be worth repairing.
- Type of faucet: Some faucet types are easier to repair than others.
- Extent of damage: Major damage often requires replacement.
- Cost: Sometimes, replacing the faucet is cost-effective compared to repairs.
- Frequency of problems: Frequent repairs may indicate it's time for a replacement.
In most cases, replacing an aging or damaged outdoor faucet is the best choice to ensure long-term functionality.
Q How can I replace my outdoor faucet myself?
Replacing an outdoor faucet is a DIY project that can be done with basic skills. Here are the steps:
- Turn off the water supply.
- Remove the old faucet by unscrewing it from the exterior wall.
- Clean the mounting hole area, removing rust and old putty.
- Apply plumber's putty and install the new faucet.
- Connect the supply lines and shut-off valves.
- Turn the water back on and check for leaks.
Make sure to follow these steps carefully to ensure a successful replacement.
Q Why should I invest in a new outdoor faucet?
Investing in a new outdoor faucet is essential because it provides long-lasting performance for your outdoor water needs. Old and damaged faucets can cause leaks, reduced water flow, and other problems. A new, high-quality faucet will not only prevent these issues but also save you from bigger plumbing headaches in the future. Regularly replacing outdoor faucets can help maintain your plumbing system's integrity.