Ask Pete: How Do I Maintain My Outdoor Faucets?

Hello, homeowners of Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona! Outdoor faucets are the unsung heroes of our homes. They help us water the garden, fill the kiddie pool, wash our cars, and so much more. But how often do we stop and think about their maintenance? Well, your favorite local plumber, Pete, is here to guide you on how to keep these essential fixtures in tip-top shape.

Understanding Your Outdoor Faucets

Your outdoor faucets, also known as hose bibs or spigots, may seem simple, but they’re subject to a lot of wear and tear. Exposure to harsh weather conditions, heavy usage, and accidental damage can lead to leaks and malfunctions. That’s why regular maintenance is key to their longevity and performance.

Essential Maintenance Steps

  • Regular Inspection: Check your outdoor faucets regularly for any signs of leaks or damage. Look out for dripping water when the faucet is off, rust, or mineral deposits.
  • Annual Servicing: Just like your HVAC system, your outdoor faucets need an annual check-up too. Your trusted plumber can spot issues you might have missed and perform preventative maintenance.
  • Proper Use and Care: Avoid putting unnecessary strain on your faucets. Ensure hoses are disconnected after use, especially during winter months to prevent freezing and cracking.
  • Handle Replacement: If your faucet handle is hard to turn, it might be time to replace it. Over time, the valve stem can get worn out, making the faucet difficult to operate.

Dealing with Leaks

 Even with regular maintenance, leaks can occur. They are not just a water-wasting nuisance but can also lead to water damage. Here are the steps to address a leaking outdoor faucet.

  1. Identify the Leak: The leak could be from the spout or the handle. Knowing where the water is coming from will help you understand the problem.
  2. Try Tightening the Packing Nut: Sometimes, a leaking handle can be fixed by simply tightening the packing nut. Use a wrench to gently tighten it and see if the leak stops.
  3. Replace Parts if Necessary: If the leak persists, you might need to replace some parts. This could be the washer, the valve stem, or even the entire faucet.

Tips to Protect Outdoor Faucets in Winter

While we have very mild winters in the Phoenix Metro area, it can reach freezing temps. Here are a few steps to protect them:

  • Drain the Faucet: Disconnect hoses and drain the water from the faucet.
  • Install a Faucet Cover: Insulated covers can provide extra protection against freezing temperatures.
  • Consider a Frost-Free Faucet: If you live up north or have a vacation spot in a place that frequently deals with freezing temperatures, a frost-free outdoor faucet could be a good investment.

When to Call a Plumber

 If you’re facing persistent issues with your outdoor faucets, it’s time to call a plumber. They can quickly diagnose and fix the problem, saving you from long-term water damage or high water bills.


As residents of Gilbert and Mesa, we love our outdoor spaces. Maintaining our outdoor faucets ensures that we can enjoy these spaces without interruption. Don’t let a pesky faucet leak or malfunction dampen your day. Remember, our expert plumbing team is always here to help. If you have questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at 480-388-6093. Let’s ensure those outdoor faucets keep doing their job flawlessly, so you can enjoy your home!