Your outdoor water system must be kept in good working order, but is often the last area where you notice leaks. Outside water faucet leaks may appear to be a minor problem, but in fact, can cause serious damage to your foundation, or allow water to enter the structure, leading to toxic mold growth and other problems. To protect your home from damage, your water system should be periodically checked for leaks, both indoors and out.
How to Detect a Water Leak
Finding an outdoor faucet water leak before it causes damage involves a few simple steps:
- Look at your system, and visually observe if the outdoor faucet leaks when turned off. Then turn the faucet on, and place your hand over the opening. If the water flow slows when covered, you have a leak within the system that must be found and resolved.
- Walk your yard or property and look for areas that appear sunken or wet, as you may have an underground leak in your system.
- Turn off all water flow in your system, indoors and out. Locate your water meter to visually check and see if the indicator is moving. If it is, you have a leak someplace within your system. The water meter is most often located near the boundary to your property.
If you discover that water is still flowing somewhere in your system, have it checked by Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Eastern Iowa. A simple dripping problem may be resolved by replacing worn rubber washers, or could include more complex repairs. Winter weather can wreak havoc on your water system, so a regular springtime check from a licensed, bonded plumbing service can help you avoid the cost of expensive home or foundation repairs in the future.
How to Fix a Leaky Hose Bib: DIY
Your outdoor faucet that protrudes from the building wall is often called a “hose bib.” If you notice it is dripping and you are a do-it-yourselfer, just follow these steps to repair a leaky hose bib:
- Turn off the main water valve to your property.
- Unscrew the nut under the handle of the faucet.
- Pull out the valve stem.
- Remove the screw that holds the washer in place.
- Replace the washer – ensure it is the correct diameter and thickness.
- Retighten the screw holding the washer in place.
- Push the stem back into the assembly.
- Tighten the nut at the base of the faucet until it is tight and fitting snugly.
- Turn the main water valve on.
- Check the faucet to ensure the leak is resolved.
Frost-Proof Outdoor Faucets
Some homeowners take the step of installing frost-proof outdoor faucets – a wise choice in Cedar Rapids, with freezing during the fall and winter months. These frost-proof faucets can be effective, but may need to be repaired or restored after years of use. If your faucet drips when the valve is off, you have a leak. Either standard or frost-proof faucets eventually wear, and the internal washer will deteriorate, requiring replacement. You can replace the inner washer yourself, but ensure you reassemble the faucet in the correct sequence. These are minor jobs that many people do themselves – or just put off until later. Failing to fix a leaky outdoor faucet in a timely manner can result in very serious damage when water leaks into the foundation of your home – make repairing the leak a priority.
Leaking RV Faucets
In a recreational vehicle, your water system can deteriorate over time, including the indoor or outdoor faucets. RV faucets can become plugged with debris, or develop mineral deposits that make the assembly stop functioning correctly, with constant water loss – which could damage your vehicle. Worn rubber washers could be causing the leak, or it could be that the entire faucet needs replacement. Outdoor RV faucets are exposed to the elements, and wear more quickly. As the water flowing through the faucet is directly from the reservoirs in the RV, conserving the quantity of water you use is an important concern. Leaking RV faucets, whether interior or exterior, can be resolved with the help of a professional plumbing expert from Benjamin Franklin Plumbing® of Eastern Iowa! We’ll get you back on the road!