If you find your outdoor tap is leaking, this can be frustrating. A leaking tap can firstly create a small puddle from the dripping which can be inconvenient for your garden and, depending on the size of the puddle, can cause damage if it is happening persistently. The leaking can also waste water and contribute to your water bill if it becomes excessive. This is a concern for those working to conserve water and reduce their bills. In this article, we look at the causes of a leaking outdoor tap, and how to resolve it.
Replace the washer
The first thing we recommend is replacing the washer. A worn-out or damaged washer is one of the most common causes of leaking. This is because a damaged washer can create a small gap for the water to drip out when the tap is not in use. When looking for a replacement washer, we suggest checking with a hardware store if necessary or ordering online. To replace the washer, you should turn off the water supply, unscrew the tap handle, and locate the washer inside the tap. Then, simply remove the old washer and replace it with one of the same size and shape. Once inside, reassemble the tap, turn on the water, and check for any leaks.
Tighten the connections
The next to check is the connections, and tighten them if necessary. This is because leaks can happen between the tap and the pipe due to a loose fitting. The connections can be easily adjusted by using a wrench to gently tighten. You should avoid over-tightening as it may cause damage to the connections. Once tightened, turn the water supply back on to check to see if this has resolved.
Apply plumber’s tape to the area
If replacing the washer and tightening the connections has not rectified the issue, you may need to look at using a plumber’s tape if the water is leaking from visible areas. This can stop leaks because the tape can go over and around open areas to create a watertight seal. To effectively use the tape, we suggest wrapping a few layers around the threaded part of the tap and reattaching this to the pipe. Then, tighten the connection again, and check for any leaks.
Replace the valve or O-ring
If you have noticed the leak specifically coming from the tap spout, this is a possible indication that it could be an issue with the valve or ‘O’ring’. In these scenarios, we recommend contacting a plumber to assist as it is something that would require expertise and the necessary tools.
Install a tap cover or insulate to prevent leaks
To prevent further leaks from happening, you may wish to invest in a tap cover or insulation. This is because taps can leak due to freezing in colder temperatures and the water inside the tap expanding. By using a cover or insulation on the tap, it prevents it from getting too cold and reduces the chance the leaks during colder temperatures.
By following our steps, you should be able to stop your outdoor tap from leaking. It’s important to use these tips alongside the general maintenance of your equipment such as keeping clean. If you are unable to stop the leak or you require further help we would recommend seeking the assistance of a professional plumber.
You can read more of our blogs here.