What To Do If Outdoor Faucet Leaking From Hole in Stem?

If you have a garden, chances are you have an outdoor faucet. Just like any other plumbing element, it, too, can break. So, what can you do when you have an outdoor faucet leaking from hole in stem?

If you have an outdoor faucet leaking from hole in stem (or from any other part, for that matter), you are risking havoc. Even if the damage doesn’t seem significant, the smallest leak can cause water damage to your entire property.

So, what is the solution if you have an outdoor faucet leaking from top, or from stem? Don’t worry, you don’t have to pay expensive bills to the plumber just yet. Here is what you can do on your own, and why this might be happening:

Why Do You Have an Outdoor Faucet Leaking from Hole in Stem?


There are several reasons why you might have an outdoor faucet leaking from hole in stem. This includes:

  • Faulty O-ring.
  • Corroded valve seat.
  • Worn out washer.
  • Worn out seals.
  • Loose or broken parts.

We’ll go over them and explain how you can recognize what is causing your leaky faucet. If you have an issue distinguishing different parts of the spigot, you can always look at the outdoor faucet parts diagram.

1.Faulty O-Ring

A common problem, especially if you have a cartridge faucet, is a faulty O-Ring. Sometimes, the O-ring can be loose or worn-out. This is usually noticed if you have a leaky sink around the sink handle. The same type of leak might also indicate that something is wrong with the cartridge itself.

2.Corroded Valve Seat

If you notice the leak comes from the spout, the issue might be with the valve seat. This is the part that connects the faucet with the spout. It usually occurs when there is too much sediment buildup. Once this happens, the valve seat can corrode, causing leaking. The best way to avoid this is to regularly clean the valve seat. However, keep in mind that this task isn’t easy and that we wouldn’t recommend that anyone without plumbing experience does it.

3.Worn Out Washer

Sometimes, when you have an outdoor faucet leaking from hole in stem, the cause lies within the worn-out washer. The washer sits against the valve seat. Over time, the friction that occurs in that place can lead to washer damage.

This can also happen if your washer isn’t properly installed, or if it is in the wrong size.

4.Worn Out Seals

Another place that the leak can occur in are the seals. Both the inlet and outlet seals are at risk of corrosion if you allow the water to accumulate over time. Unfortunately, even a professional cannot be certain whether there is stagnant water around the seals or not, and this is often overlooked.

5.Loose or Broken Parts

Installation process is an important step when it comes to anything, and this includes the outdoor hose bib. If some part is lost during this process, or if it got broken, you’ll have a leak sooner or later.

The most common pieces that get lost are packing nuts and adjusting ring, as they are fairly small and easy to overlook. On the other hand, any part of the faucet can get broken. If the latter happens, replacing outdoor faucet copper pipe (or any other material it might be made of) might be necessary.

How To Fix A Broken Outside Faucet Pipe?


While having your outdoor faucet leaking from hole in stem might seem unimportant, this can result in severe damages. In fact, the average cost of a home water damage is $6,965, and just a single leak from a 1/8-inch pipe crack can result in 250 gallons of leaked water daily! Also, most damages happen in winter, which is why it’s important to winterize your hose bib on time.

As you can see from these statistics, it’s important to work fast and to repair any damages as quickly as possible. While some types of damage require help from a plumber, there are usually things you can do on your own to prevent further issues.

Here are a few tips on fixing a broken spigot:

Outdoor Faucet Leaking from Hole in Stem when the Water Is Turned On:

If the outdoor faucet is leaking whenever it’s turned on, this means that something is likely wrong with the faucet. This can be caused by any of the issues we’ve listed above, as well as by some other minor issues.

What you can do is this:

  • Try to locate the exact location of the leak.
  • Turn off the water flow using the shut-off valve.
  • Disassemble the faucet and try to see if any of the parts are worn out or broken.
  • Replace any worn out pieces that you can replace by yourself.
  • Reassemble the faucet.
  • Make sure everything is screwed tightly, as leaks can sometimes occur from loose nuts.
  • Turn the water flow back on.
  • Turn the faucet on and see if the leaking has stopped.

Sometimes, the issue can be in the faucet itself and you might have to replace it. Chances are you won’t need a plumber for this, but it all depends on the type of pipe you have.

Outdoor Faucet Leaking from Hole in Stem when the Water Is Turned Off:

If you notice your outdoor faucet is leaking even when the water is turned off, you might have a much more severe issue. This usually means there is a crack on the pipes or that something is terribly wrong with your plumbing structure. If you don’t know how to thaw frozen pipes underground, this might be what’s causing the issue.

Unfortunately, when this happens, you will have to call a professional for help. This is because the cause of the issue will usually be located underground, where you cannot reach it.

Outdoor Faucet Leaking from Top

Sometimes, the leak won’t happen from hole in the stem, but rather from the top. When this happens, usually the culprit is the handle. If you didn’t tighten the handle well enough during the installation, or if the handle has been used for a long while, it can become worn out. Once this happens, you’ll end with a leak.

There are only two things that can help you fix this issue:

  • Tightening the handle, or
  • Replacing the handle altogether.

Outside Water Spigot Leaking Inside the House

This is likely one of the most dangerous problems that can happen with a leaky spigot. Once this happens, you’ll have water damage inside your house and not just in your back yard.

  • There are a few things you might want to do, such as:
  • Check the location where the outside faucet is connected with the pipe.
  • Everything should be firm and properly sealed.
  • If it’s not, it’s time to replace the spigot.

If everything is tightened but the leak is still happening, it might be the time to call a professional plumber.

When to Replace the Outdoor Faucet?


Just like with most other household elements, you’d probably like to delay replacing of some parts for as long as possible. Not only you might think this will help keep money in your pocket, but you might be sentimentally tied to some object.

Still, sometimes it’s time to let go and to replace your type of outdoor faucet. If you’ve tried doing everything you can to fix the leak on your old spigot, the best solution might be to call a professional who will replace everything. Not only will this help you with any issues down the road – it’s actually the more affordable option.

If the leaks keep reoccurring no matter what you do, this might be the right thing to do.

To Conclude

We have given you the solution on how to fix your outdoor faucet leaking from hole in stem.

The cause behind this usually lies in some minor issue, such as the few loose screws or bolts.

However, on some occasions, the culprit might be some much more severe issue, such as faulty mechanisms or leaky pipes. If you’ve checked the components of the spigot and everything seems fine but the leak is still there – it might be the right time to make that call and have a professional handle things.

Sure, plumbers aren’t cheap. However, fixing water damage costs more, and this can be in your future if you don’t deal with leaks fast. Don’t hesitate, especially when you’ve tried many other methods beforehand.