Everyone has been there. Maybe after a harsh winter or just on a random day, you notice water dripping from your hose. Nobody likes to spend money when they don’t have to, and a leaking hose faucet can quickly inflate your water bill. But before you try to cut your losses by heading to the hardware store for a new one, you do have the option of fixing it yourself.
To repair a leaking hose, start by locating the source of the problem. Sometimes tightening a loose nut or using Teflon tape on it fixes the leak. Otherwise, you can try replacing the gasket or the adapter ends. Plumbers tape and hose menders can also patch up holes for leaks down the line.
There are many reasons why a hose might leak. Determining why the hose is leaking is the primary step in fixing the hose and saving yourself the hassle and money of buying a new one. Let’s take a look at some common causes and what you can do instead of replacing your hose.
Why Does Your Hose Leak at the Faucet?
A new hose can cost anywhere from roughly $40 to $80 to replace depending on the material and length you need. So instead of heading right to the hardware store to pick up a new one, why not try to fix what you already have?
The first step to fixing this leaking issue is to understand why it is leaking to begin with. Replacing a hose might not even solve the problem, and learning why a hose might leak could save you a lot of money in the future.
The Gasket Is Worn Down
On your hose, there is a gasket that connects the hose to the outdoor spigot called a coupling. The coupling has a gasket in it, usually made of rubber or silicone.
This gasket could easily get worn over time, especially if you are removing the hose from the spigot regularly. This causes an issue because that coupling is no longer watertight, causing a leak.
The Adapter Is Stripped
Another cause of a leaking hose is a stripped adapter. The hose adapter is a circular bit of metal that is attached to the end of the hose and screwed onto the spigot. It is basically the part that screws into the attachment from where you get your water, usually at the side of your house.
However, there is also a metal adapter where you connect your hose nozzle. To determine which might have the stripped adapter is a matter of seeing which end is leaking.
Weather changes can also cause some wear and tear on your hose and connection pieces. If you’re in a cold environment with harsh winters, freezing water in the line can create breakage. When water freezes it expands and with a confined space like the hose line, that expansion has nowhere to go and because of that things tend to burst.
The typical spot for a burst to occur is at the connector, where the hose is its weakest, although it can occur anywhere down the line.
Loose nuts can also cause a leak at the water tap. This can be presented as a fast leak or a slow drip, depending how loose the actual nut is.
How Do I Stop My Hose from Leaking at the Faucet?
Fixing a hose can be as simple as quickly applying some cheap electrical tape or as complicated as needing to hire a plumber. Here’s how to figure out what you’ll need to do.
Determine the Source of the Leak
Where do you notice a leak? Is water dripping from the nozzle, where the hose head is? What about at the spigot, where you attach the hose to the side of your house? Or maybe it’s leaking down the line? All of these different leaks can be fixed before needing to purchase an entirely new hose.
The Packing Nut
In the case that the hose is leaking at the water tap, your first step is to tighten the nut. Locate the packing nut on the water tap, which is usually the thick metal nut under the actual tap. Turn the water line off and tighten the tap as much as it will go. Then, using a wrench, tighten the packing nut. Turn the water back on and check for a leak.
When this doesn’t work, wrap the packing nut with some Teflon tape or valve packing. To do this, turn the water off once more and tighten the tap. Next, use the wrench again, but this time loosen the packing nut until it can be moved a few inches up.
Wrap about eight inches of Teflon tape or valve packing around the nut. Slide it into the nut slightly to help pack it down and then screw the nut back into place as tight as it will go. This will help seal it and create a watertight connection to, hopefully, stop your leak.
If a packing nut is not your issue, look at the fittings. This is where your gasket is located, also known as a rubber washer. They are fairly easy to replace. Sometimes your hose might just be missing one altogether, and that’s causing the leak to begin with.
Using a flat-head screwdriver, pop the old gasket out, which is located in the metal or plastic coupling. Most standard hoses use three-quarter inch gaskets that can be found at your local hardware store for fairly cheap. However, you want to make sure you purchase the correct size for your hose, or the leak might continue.
Once you have the gasket, pop it into the coupling and push it down until it becomes secure. Note that it should not simply fall down by itself (if it does, it’s too small for the hose.) The gasket will need some coaxing with the screwdriver to fit securely and tightly.
If the leak persists, the next thing we want to look at are the hose ends, or adapters. A burst adapter doesn’t mean you need to buy a new hose. Instead, we can cut off the end of the hose just under the fitting. Then, using a hose fitting repair kit (on Amazon), we can replace the ends.
Another option is to get some plumbers tape and wrap it around the stripped part of the adapter. This will make the screw part catch and create a watertight seal with the nozzle or spigot. Keep in mind that this is only a temporary solution as over time the tape will wear down.
Holes in the Hose
Leaks down the line of the hose are probably the simplest type of leak to repair. All you have to do is grab some plumbers tape and wrap it around the pinhole.
If the hole is larger, you can try a hose mender (on Amazon). Cut off the damaged part of the hose, then install the hose mender following the instructions provided. Make sure you buy the correct size of hose mender or else it won’t work.