Upset that your outside faucet is leaking? You might be wondering–if you have a traditional outdoor faucet and it’s not a quick fix, can you rethread an outdoor faucet?
Yes. If you have a regular outside faucet (not one that’s attached to a hose), you can rethread an outdoor faucet. You will need to buy a thread cleaner from a hardware store and a ratchet tool.
Might seem like a daunting task, but if you follow this guide, you should be able to fix your faucet.
Saddened that you have to spend money on yet another repair?
Thankfully, most of these tools are relatively inexpensive.
Read on to learn how they will work to solve outdoor faucet thread issues.
Let’s get started with what an outdoor faucet is.
What’s an outdoor faucet?
Wondering what it’s for? An outdoor faucet is a special type of faucet that can be used outdoors.
It’s usually attached to a hose, so you can easily fill watering cans and buckets.
But it’s more common for an outdoor faucet to be permanently installed and directly connected to the water supply pipe, or water source.
An outdoor faucet is used for everything from watering plants to rinsing off the barbecue after a grilling session.
Families with small children often use outdoor faucets to fill wading pools and water playground equipment.
If you have a large garden or yard, you’ll probably have to use an outdoor faucet.
In the same way that indoor faucets have a lever that controls the flow of water, outdoor faucets have something similar.
However, the lever on outdoor faucets is slightly different. It’s attached to a hose, so you can control the flow of water and keep it on target.
Is it possible to rethread an outdoor faucet?
Circling your drain with a wrench and hoping it will come off because the faucet is leaking isn’t an option anymore.
If you have a loose outdoor faucet then you need to get a plumber, but if the faucet is just leaking and you want it fixed up right then you can rethread it.
Easier said than done, right?
Don’t worry. You can rethread an outdoor faucet if you have the right tools–and the time to put in the work.
You may even be able to rethread an outdoor faucet by yourself–as long as you have the know-how.
There are a few things to know before you start fiddling with your outdoor faucet.
The first thing you need to do is make sure there is no water running through the pipe leading from the outdoor faucet.
If there’s water going into your faucet, stop the water flow before you start working on it.
Is it stuck?
If your outdoor faucet has been installed for a long time, you might have nothing but problems with it.
If the outdoor faucet is leaking because the handle is loose or broken, then you should first replace the handle.
You can do so by unscrewing it and then putting in a new one.
If you’ve already tried this and it doesn’t solve your problem then you’ll have to try again.
Hopefully the new handle will work so you don’t have to replace the entire outdoor faucet.
If that’s not the problem, you may need to rethread an outdoor faucet.
How to rethread an outdoor faucet
Solving this problem is easier than you think.
You can rethread an outdoor faucet by using various methods.
1. Thread cleaner and ratchet tool
If you have an outside faucet that’s leaking then it might be something as simple as improper installation.
In these cases, you will need a thread cleaner and a ratchet tool.
Run the thread cleaner through the threads until they are clean.
This means that they are free of corrosion and can be tightened without leaking.
Re-tighten your outside faucet using the ratchet tool.
2. Metal file
Lets say your outdoor faucet has the metal part of a fitting that is just spinning in place with no threads.
One thing you can do is use a metal file or pliers to shave down the fitting just enough so it will grab onto something else.
Do this very carefully so you don’t end up damaging the metal.
3. Thread insert
Another solution is to buy a thread insert.
A thread insert essentially just screws in like a regular fitting, but unlike the original one.
4. Nuts and pipe tape
Use nuts and pipe tape if you don’t have the right thread inserts.
Screw in a nut above where the leaking is coming from then wrap the area in pipe tape.
This will create a tighter seal around the outside faucet and hopefully fix your leak.
If this doesn’t work, you might try replacing the faucet itself.
How to know if an outdoor faucet needs to be rethreaded
Before you decide to replace your outdoor faucet, you might want to give rethreading a try.
Replacing an outdoor faucet is time consuming and costly, but rethreading a faucet is even more time-consuming.
If you want to save yourself some money, you should try rethreading your outside faucet before you go out and buy a new one.
If your solution is to replace the outdoor faucet, then you should probably just buy a new one.
You can’t really go wrong with either solution (unless you make the wrong choice), but rethreading might save you some money.
To figure out if your outdoor faucet needs to be rethreaded, there are a few things that you can check.
Your outdoor faucet needs to be rethreaded if you notice the following signs:
- The handle is loose or broken.
- The handle has corroded or the faucet is not functioning properly.
- The outside faucet has leaks between the threads and seal.
- The outside faucet does not work.
If you notice any of these signs, then your outdoor faucet needs to be rethreaded.
So if your outdoor faucet needs to be rethreaded then you should probably rethread it before you go out and buy a new one.
Reasons outside water spigot will start to leak
Homes have plumbing so you can use water inside of it, but if you want to use water outside of your home then you need an outdoor faucet.
Consequently, around the exterior of homes, there are many outdoor faucets that people use to fill up their pools or water gardens.
Of course, these faucets will sometimes need repair and maintenance.
As any homeowner can tell you, repairing and maintaining the exterior of a home is much different than maintaining the interior of a home.
Outside faucets are usually exposed to much harsher weather elements than indoor plumbing.
Therefore, it makes sense that outside faucets will need repair more often.
So what are some common causes of leaks?
1. Loose packing nut
The packing nut is a small piece of metal that’s found inside your outside faucet.
As the name suggests, this nut packs the shank to stop leaks.
If it becomes loose or falls out, then water will leak out of your outside faucet where the packing nut was supposed to be.
2. Rusty/corroded threads
Outside faucets are not always under the cover of a roof, meaning that they are not always protected from the elements.
This means that your outside faucet might rust if it is constantly exposed to water.
Rust can be very detrimental to your faucet as it weakens the metal, causing leaks.
3. Loose handle
If a handle becomes loose, then it might fall off or you might not be able to turn the faucet on or off.
This can cause a leak.
4. Worn-out washers
Every outdoor faucet has washers somewhere in it.
These rubber rings are designed to stop leaks by creating a tight seal against the metal threads.
Therefore, if one or more of your washers wears out then water might leak from around where the washer is located.
How to clean a threaded outdoor faucet
A threaded faucet is an outdoor faucet that screws into the water supply of your home.
These types of faucets typically have a hose bibb on top of the faucet, which is used to connect a garden hose.
So how do you clean these types of faucets?
If you have a threaded outdoor faucet, then there are several things that you can do to ensure that your outside faucet is working properly.
If you have a threaded outdoor faucet, then here are some maintenance tips that you can try:
- Clean the threads with steel wool and WD-40
- Lubricate the threads with silicone lubricant
- Apply plumber’s putty to thread joints
- Jiggle the handles to dislodge debris
- Clean off the faucet with a toothbrush and water
- Maintain the faucet with a few drops of oil every six months
- Remove any rust/corrosion with sandpaper or a wire brush
You can do it!
As you can see, rethreading an outdoor faucet is not complicated, but it is something that homeowners need to know how to do when troubleshooting their faucets.
There are several different things that cause trouble for outdoor faucets, like loose packing nuts or rust.
All of these different causes should be taken into account when you are maintaining your faucet.
Therefore, it makes sense to clean and maintain your outdoor faucet on a regular basis, just as you would any other part of your home.
Doing so will help you trouble-shoot problems with your outdoor faucet and will also ensure that everything is running smoothly.
If all else fails, then you can always contact a professional plumber to do the maintenance for you.