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hose bib leak

What Is a Hose Bib – and Why Is It Leaking?

If you own or rent a home in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield (IL), you probably have at least one hose bib. If you’re not familiar with that term, a hose bib is an outdoor faucet, spigot or tap (choose your word) to which you attach your garden hose.

Usually located on the rear or side of the house, the hose bib supplies water for outdoor use, such as washing the car, giving the lawn or garden a drink, or filling an inflatable pool for the kids.

Hose bibs typically differ from faucets inside of homes, which often use a cartridge-style device for controlling water flow. Hose bibs have a compression-style design with a brass, copper or stainless steel faucet that is opened and closed by spinning a wheel or a handle. The faucet handle is attached to a valve stem with threads and a rubber packing washer on the end. The garden hose is twisted and fastened onto the threads.

A hose bib is a great convenience – until it starts leaking. A leaky hose bib can use a lot of excess water and potentially cause exterior or interior damage to your home. It’s definitely something you want to keep an eye on, even if it begins as just a small drip.

How to Tell If a Hose Bib Is Leaking

A leaky hose bib can reveal itself in different ways. For starters, if you notice a leap in water bills, it could be because of the hose bib.

One way to try to isolate the hose bib as a possible cause is to turn off all water sources in your home (e.g. faucets, toilets, ice makers). Next, check your water meter. If you see a moving red triangle, it means there’s a leak in the plumbing system. In that case, you can contact us at Aquaduct and we’ll have a professional plumber inspect it.

Other signs of a leaky hose bib will be more obvious:

a visible crack in the bib

difficulty attaching the hose to the bib

consistent puddles or damp or wet soil around the foundation by the hose bib

damage to the foundation, such as cracks, which can continue farther into the basement

mold and mildew growth, which thrives in moist conditions

You might also recognize a leaky hose bib by water that pours from around the handle or the stem. Check behind the wall as well to see if water is leaking under the house. If it is, let us know as soon as possible.

Why Is the Hose Bib Leaking Water?

A hose bib can start to leak for a few different reasons, such as:

freezing. If any standing water is not drained before winter’s bitter cold, it can freeze in pipes. A frozen pipe can change the water pressure and crack the assembly, including the hose bib.

age. As water passes through the bib over the years, minerals will deposit in it and trap water. This as well as small cracks will wear the bib as it gets older.

worn washer. The hose bib depends on the washer to stop water flow. When the washer wears out, the seal that it forms will weaken and let water through.

loose packing nut. Located right behind the faucet handle, the packing nut uses several wraps of packing material to stop the flow of water from the top of the hose bib. If it is loose, water will leak.

bent or dented hose end. Lightweight hose ends can be easily damaged, causing leaks around the connector and the hose bib.

Contact Us Today

If you spot or suspect a leaky hose bib at your home in Oswego, Yorkville, Naperville, Aurora or Plainfield (IL), be sure to address it promptly. The professionals at Aquaduct Plumbing can answer your questions and help you determine what to do next. Just give us a call at (630) 504-9594 – we’ll be glad to assist you!

All products installed by Aquaduct Plumbing are made in the USA. They are also backed by a manufacturer’s warranty and a service warranty.

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