If you were ever brave enough to shrug off a leaky garden hose connector, your shoes and the bottom of your pants almost certainly told the story for you.
You connect the hose and turn the water on. The water gushing all over the place doesn’t matter that much at first, as long as the water pressure in the hose can successfully water your grass and plants. The leaking doesn’t really become a problem until you realize that the dirt and grass around the area is now a pile of mud that you have to fight your way through to turn the water off again.
If the leak is really bad, you will get a free face wash or maybe an extra hair wash. Instead of going to get your shampoo, let’s avoid these scenarios. Learn how to fix a leaking garden hose connector instead. Don’t get used to fighting water; it’s supposed to be a friend of your grass, not an enemy of your shoes.
How to Fix a Leaking Garden Hose Connector – Complete Guide
Reasons your hose connector leaks
Before you dive into a more involved project to figure out why your garden hose connector leaks, don’t overlook the obvious. Make sure your garden hose connector fits correctly in the first place and that it’s tight enough to avoid water splashing out. If it’s put on at a slanted angle, water can easily escape. If you think your connector has aged a bit, you may just need to swap the actual connector on your water hose with a newer version.
Or, maybe it’s not the connector at all and is just a loose connection on the faucet end. Turning the joint that connects the two (connector to faucet) could avoid water splashing everywhere.
But let’s assume you’ve already tried the easy troubleshooting techniques.
First, make sure your spigot works correctly to begin with. If you take the garden hose off and turn the water on, is it pouring normally? That means you can rule out a faulty spigot.
Second, if it’s a matter of a faulty packing washer, spindle or packing nut (which can lead to water leaking around the faucet area), then this is when tools may be needed or parts may need to be replaced.
Essential tools required
Teflon tape (used to add a bit more thickness around the area) or a wrench (to tighten the packing nut up) are fairly easy to buy and use without needing a plumber. Loosen the handle (with the water off), wrap your Teflon tape and tighten again. See if the water will stop leaking. (This is also a common technique used when T-valves have leaks, along with other products around the pipe thread area.) In the worst-case scenario, you may need to replace the hose bib altogether. Be ready with a new hose bib and two wrenches (or pliers). But what else do you need to do to complete the outdoor plumbing job?
How to Repair it
The “worst-case scenario” really isn’t all that bad. You’ll just need two wrenches instead of one. Under no circumstance should you just twist it off. You could risk twisting off the pipe from the wall by twisting it all at once.
By using one wrench (or pair of pliers) to hold that pipe into place while only twisting the hose bib out to be replaced, this can be a pretty simple, straight-forward job. Just make sure to turn the water off first and drain any remaining water beforehand. With a twist or two, the hose bib should loosen up and be able to unscrew with your hand.
Don’t be alarmed if water pours out from the wall pipe once it’s off. Even with the water turned off to our outside water, it’s like turning off the shower. The water doesn’t immediately stop just because you turned your bathtub faucets off. There will be additional water pouring (or dripping) out. It should stop fairly quickly though. Tighten it up with a new bib and the same two wrenches (or pliers), and then try your garden hose again.
While fixing a hose bib or packing washer is really just a matter of unscrewing and replacing, if you’re uncomfortable with doing either, watch a few do-it-yourself (DIY) videos to get a visual look at what to do. Check any written instructions to see if the supplies for your outdoor garden hose connector need additional parts.
As long as you make sure the water is off when trying to replace any of these parts, this minor plumbing job should not take long. If you are finding yourself having trouble unscrewing or loosening anything, take a breather and try again later.
Do not create major plumbing problems at an expensive rate for repairs from a minor job that can be done with tools around your home. And when you’re ready, your plants and lawn will appreciate your hard work that much more.