How to Fix a Leaking Garden Hose

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May 29, 2013 | Chaya Kurtz

Where is your garden hose leaking from? The location of the leak will define how you'll fix that leaking garden hose. Before you call a plumber or run out to spend money on a replacement, try these DIY solutions to fix a leaky garden hose.

It looks like this leaking garden hose needs a new o-ring. (photo: floop/

If it is leaking from the faucet (hose bib)

The stem of the faucet is attached to the pipe with a "packing nut." If the faucet stem itself is leaking, tighten the packing nut with a wrench until it stops.

If that doesn't work, loosen the packing nut and pull it toward you (away from the house). Wrap about 8 inches of Teflon tape around the stem of the faucet where the packing nut usually sits. Then push the packing nut back into place, and tighten it.

It's also possible that the main washer inside the hose bib is worn out. To replace the main washer, turn off the water at its source. Then open the spigot and let the water drain out. Unscrew the packing nut and pull the whole hose bib out of the wall. At one end you'll have the hose bib's handle, and at the other, you'll see the washer. With a screwdriver, unscrew the washer and remove it. Replace the washer, put the screw back in, and tighten it. Insert the hose bib back into the wall, and screw the handle in. Tighten the nut.

If the garden hose is leaking from the hose connector

The first solution is to change the gasket. While your garden hose probably came with a flat gasket, replacing a worn-out flat gasket with an o-ring should create a much better seal.

If that does not do the job, you might need to snip off the existing hose end and replace it. You'll need a kit which includes a hose barb and a clamp. After you stick the clamp on the hose, slip the hose barb into the end of the hose, using a little drop of dish detergent to lubricate it. Next, slide the clamp up to the middle of the barb and tighten it with a screwdriver.

If there is a hole in the garden hose

With garden shears, cut the damaged section of the hose off. This involves actually severing your hose into parts. After that, you are going to install a hose repair kit, which contains two clamps and a coupler. Slide the clamp onto one end of the hose. Now slide the coupler into that end, and slide the clamp down over the coupler. Tighten the screws on the clamp with a screwdriver. Repeat on the other end. This is more effective than trying to seal up the hole in a garden hose with epoxy or glue.

Very cool news

The city of Dallas is offering residents assistance with water-conserving small plumbing repairs, including fixing hose bibs, via their Minor Plumbing Repair Program. Since fixing a hose bib is a water-saving measure, check to find out whether your municipality offers assistance or incentives through the water utility department.

Chaya Kurtz writes for

Updated January 8, 2018.

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