How to Replace an Outdoor Water Faucet

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A dripping faucet is a nuisance, but often one that can be lived with when it occurs on an outside spigot. But that drip can turn into a serious problem in the long run if it's not fixed. It can seem daunting to pull off fixing a fixture from the outside of your home, but it only takes a few minutes to get it done correctly.

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Learn more about outdoor faucets — and how to replace one in just a few steps.

Types of Hose Bibbs

The hose bibb (or the little exterior water spout) may look like a mundane piece of metal that serves a simple service for your outdoor watering needs. That's not entirely true. There are a host of hose bibbs to choose from when you're replacing a fixture that no longer performs at its optimal level. Although they differ slightly from indoor faucets, an outdoor faucet can add aesthetic in the same way a kitchen or bathroom faucet can. Here are the types of hose bibbs:

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  • Outdoor spigots:​ These fixtures don't require hot and cold features and need to withstand inclement weather and temperature changes.
  • Frost proof faucets:​ These are best for cold climates and will keep you from having to run water during freezing temperatures.
  • Ball-valve faucets:​ This type of fixture allow water to flow freely.
  • Anti-siphon valve faucets:​ These prevent contaminants from being pulled back through the faucet and contaminating the water supply to the house.
  • Yard hydrants:​ If you have a large area, a yard hydrant with a riser pip that leads from the water supply spigot may work best for your needs. Any type of faucet can be attached to a yard hydrant.

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When to Replace a Hose Bibb

An outdoor hose bibb has a threaded spout, which is a must for connecting garden hoses, pressure washers and water spray attachments. So, when should a hose bibb be replaced? If water spews from the valve stem when the water is turned on, the hose bibb needs to be removed and cleared of build up around the threads. Sometimes a new washer can fix the problem, but more than likely a new hose bibb will quickly clear up the problem and save costs in water waste. If it drips when the water is off, the hose bibb has worn out and needs attention.

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How to Replace a Hose Bibb for an Outdoor Faucet

Has your hose bibb seen better days? Here's how to quickly replace it:

  1. Turn off the water to the house unless you have a system in place that can cut off water to the outdoor spigot itself.
  2. Let the water drain once you have opened the spigot and remove the defective spigot by grasping the pipe just below the spigot with pliers.
  3. Twist off with a pipe wrench.
  4. Take a wire brush and clean out the pipe threads before proceeding.
  5. With plumber's tape, wrap the pipe threads by working from the base to the top.
  6. Place the new spigot on the clean pipe threads and tighten it by hand before tightening it with pliers.
  7. Place a towel over the freshly installed spigot to protect it as you give it the final turns to tighten it.

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