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Why Is There a Hole in My Outdoor Faucet?

Numerous homeowners have been baffled when they opened the back of their outdoor faucet to check for water flow and found a hole.

Not only do they have no idea why there is a hole present, but they are also perplexed as to why they somehow missed this hole when they originally installed the outdoor faucet.

The hole present on the back of the faucet is called a weep hole and is intended to prevent water from building up and overfilling the faucet.

Oftentimes, homeowners that have found a weep hole on their outdoor water faucet mistakenly assume the hole is a defect in their unit or that they have a broken faucet.

Faucet manufacturers, however, purposefully include weep holes on their faucets and the hole is meant to remain there permanently.

We will be addressing what a weep hole is in this blog post as well as covering why weep holes are included on faucets.

What is a weep hole?

A weep hole (a.k.a. overflow hole) is a hole that is drilled in the back of an outdoor faucet.

The size of the weep hole will vary by manufacturer, but most weep holes have a diameter of between 1/16″, and 1/25″.

Easily identifiable, weep holes are often a small circle with a small diameter.

A weep hole will usually remain on a faucet even after being installed.

Weep holes are a feature that is added to faucets by the manufacturer, and not something homeowners can add themselves.

Jets, sensors and touch screens can be added to a faucet by the homeowner or plumber. But weep holes are not something that can be added onto a faucet.

Somewhat surprisingly, even if a plumber installs your faucet, they cannot add or remove a weep hole.

This is because the weep hole is included in the faucet specs by the manufacturer.

Why is there a hole in my outdoor faucet?

Water is precious.

We never realize how bad we need and value water until we can’t have it.

That’s why it is so important to do everything you can to provide your family with safe drinking water.

One way to ensure that your family has access to clean water is through installing an outdoor faucet.

While adding outdoor water source is a good idea, people often wonder why there’s a hole in their faucet.

The hole present on the back of an outdoor water faucet is called a weep hole and serves a very specific purpose.

The name weep hole was derived because the hole allows water to “weep” out of the faucet.

The weep hole is, in fact, a vital component of the faucet and serves as an overflow drain that prevents water from building up and overfilling the entire faucet.

Weep holes, also known as an overflow hole, will allow water to escape from the faucet in case the faucet starts to overfill because of a malfunction.

The most common way for a faucet to become obstructed is by the addition of small air and dirt particles.

Is it ok to leave my outdoor faucet weep hole open all year round?

Saving money and energy are two of the top reasons people choose to install an outdoor water faucet.

Outdoor water source is provided by local area water supply, a well or a water tower and requires minimal maintenance.

The installation of an outdoor faucet will, however, require homeowners to make some adjustments in their water usage habits.

However, when it comes to weep holes, homeowners often wonder if it is ok to leave the weep hole open all year round.

Is it safe to leave a faucet’s weep hole open?

In most cases, yes.

Leaving a faucet’s weep hole open will not cause any damage to the faucet nor will it pose any threat to the health of a family.

That said, there is an exception.

During wintertime, when the temperature outside is below freezing, cold air will be able to find its way inside the faucet.

Moreover, cold air is heavy and will naturally settle to the lowest point in a room.

This means that if the weep hole on your faucet is open, cold air will have access to it and may create a frost build-up.

If you find that water can’t flow out of your faucet, or if the washer is frozen over, first make sure the weep hole is closed.

It’s recommended to cover your outdoor faucet in the winter to prevent it from freezing over.

How can I make sure it doesn’t clog up and lead to bigger

Easily identifiable, weep holes are often a small circle with a small diameter.

A weep hole will usually remain on a faucet even after being installed.

Determining the cause of an obstructed faucet is not always easy.

One way to determine if your outdoor faucet is clogged is to turn off the main water source and check if the faucet still won’t drain.

If it doesn’t, try turning on a faucet inside your home and see if water drains out of the outdoor faucet.

Geared up with these common solutions to fix an obstructed faucet, you’ll be able to restore the faucet’s functionality.

Another way to know if the faucet is clogged is to check if there are any leaves or debris present in the weep hole.

If you notice that water can’t drain out of your faucet, be sure to clean the weep hole using a toothpick or something similar.

If you are unable to clear the clog inside the weep hole and water still won’t drain, you will have to contact a professional.

What are the causes of a clogged outdoor faucet weep hole?

Homes with an outdoor faucet will need to remove the faucet’s handle and clean its weep hole every few months in order to keep the faucet running smoothly.

Junk and dirt can get into the faucet, which will eventually cause it to clog.  The weep hole allows water to drain out of the faucet, preventing it from becoming clogged.

The most common drain problems that homeowners face are: the washer freezes over; the faucet handle is stuck; and the faucet doesn’t drain.

Some materials that commonly obstruct outdoor faucets are: sand or other small bugs.

If you cannot figure out the reason why your outdoor faucet is clogged, do not try to fix it alone. It’s best to contact a professional who can identify and fix the problem for you.

How often should I be cleaning the faucet’s weep hole?

Wash the faucet’s handle every month to remove dirt, grime and other materials that can cause it to become clogged.

In order to prevent the handle from becoming clogged, it’s best for homeowners to check and clean their outdoor faucets at least once a month.

To clean the faucet’s handle, you should remove it and soak it in hot soapy water.

You can also use a straw to remove the clogs and dirt from the faucet’s weep hole.

Eliminating clogs and debris from the faucet’s weep hole will help it run more smoothly.

It’s also important to clean the faucet’s valve to remove any dirt and grime that have built up inside it.

A valve can be cleaned using a long pipe cleaner or valve brush.

Once you clean the valve, it will open more easily and allow water to flow freely through it.

There are a variety of other things that can be done to the faucet to keep it running well, including: replacing the washer; replacing the faucet handle and stem; cleaning the weep hole periodically; and adding sealant to prevent leaks.

How do I know if it’s time to change the outdoor faucet?

Garden hose faucets need to be replaced about every ten or so years.

Outdoor faucet handles can be unsightly and will eventually need to be replaced. Old, scratched up handles should be removed and replaced with newer ones.

You’ll know that it’s time to replace a garden hose faucet when the handle is stuck or frozen and won’t turn.

Also, if water continues to flow out of the faucet when you try to shut it off, you should contact a professional for help.

Sudden leaks or unusual sounds in faucets can also be signs that your faucet is about to fail.

If the faucet is beyond repair, it’s time to replace it completely. Some reasons you’ll need to swap out the faucet are if it’s damaged or broken.

What other steps can I take to keep my faucet running smoothly?

Dealing with a clogged faucet can be frustrating, but there are precautions you can take to prevent it from happening.

It’s common for homeowners to neglect outdoor faucets, which can lead to them becoming clogged and needing to be replaced.

To keep your outdoor faucet running smoothly, you can: keep water pressure low when using it; avoid freezing the faucet’s handle in cold weather; and clean the faucet handle and valve periodically.

It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on the faucet, so that you can clean it promptly once you notice it becoming clogged or malfunctioning.

Closing thoughts

Dealing with overfilling in outdoor faucets is an unfortunate fact of life.

Many times home owners will just abandon these faucets altogether, or try to fix the problem themselves with little success.

If there’s a weep hole in your outdoor faucet, this issue won’t affect you.

However, if you’re dealing with a faucet that doesn’t have this feature, take the time to learn about why your faucet is leaking.

Necessary repairs can be done quickly and efficiently, with no loss in water pressure.

If left unattended, an outdoor faucet that leaks will cause a lot of unnecessary damage to your landscape or patio.

But by taking the proper precautions, you should be able to find and fix the problem before it gets too out of hand.