Replacing an Outside Faucet

In Florida it is a rare occurrence that you will ever need to replace an outdoor water faucet. Unless it is one of those years where the temperature drops below freezing for a few hours and you forgot to turn on the faucet to a trickle to prevent the water from freezing and bursting the pipe. When that happens it is best to call a licensed plumber to take care of the problem.

Hopefully this will never happen to you in the southern states. Normally the most common issue with outside faucets or any faucet come to think of it in the south is when the faucets leaks. Most of the time this is a simple fix. Outdoor water faucets usually have two washers also know as a compression design.  Over time the washers will fail and a leak will appear around the handle or spout. Because of the design this is easily repaired and will not require replacing the faucet.

If the leaks require you to replace the faucet here are the steps that will be required. You will need the following tools for this job (Crescent wrench, pipe wrench, plumber’s tape).

Step 1” Turn off the water supply off by turning the handle counterclockwise until the water stops running. In most cases this should be very simple. If the water does not turn off locate the water main for the house and turn off the water flow from there.

Step 2: Once the water is turned off you may need to turn the faucet handle to the “on position” to access the base of the faucet. This will also release any pressure in the water line.

Step 3: Using your adjustable wrench tighten the wrench around the water pipe that leads to the faucet. Next place the pipe wrench around the base of the faucet. By using this technique you will prevent the pipes from breaking. Now turn the pipe wrench while holding the crescent wrench in place.

Step 4:  Now using a piece of steel wool, scrub the threads of the water pipe and remove any debris with a dry towel.

Step 5: Take the plumbers tape and wrap the plumbers’ tape in the direction of the threads or in a counterclockwise direction.

Step 6: Next you will need to thread the new faucet onto the water pipe. As in step 3 you will need to use the crescent and pipe wrench to tighten the new faucet in place. Remember to hold the crescent wrench in place while turning the pipe wrench in a clockwise direction. Be careful not to over tighten the new faucet as this could cause it to crack. Now make sure that the faucet is in the “off position”.

Step 7: Turn on the water supply and check for any leaks. No leaks, job well done! If there are, try tightening the faucet with the wrenches until the leak stops.

Always remember that DIY project can get out of hand. If you believe that you are not qualified to take on the project hire a licensed plumber to take care of the leak.

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