My outdoor faucet is leaking in a constant dribble, regardless of how tight I turn the handle. The faucet looks very similar to this one. I'm going to replace the whole faucet in the next month or so.

In the meanwhile, it is leaking against the house, wasting water, and I'm worried about the constant water puddle finding its way through the foundation into the basement. I know I could go to the basement and turn off the valve to this faucet. However, I use this faucet pretty often, and I'd hate to have to go into the basement and re-open the valve every time I want to use it.

Is there any other stop gap solution that I could use to stop the dribble of water from this faucet? Maybe some sort of screw on cap that I could purchase?

  • Well, I tried purchasing the hose cap as suggested in the answer. Unfortunately, Home Depot only had shoddy plastic ones, so once the pressure of the leak built up it just pushed the leak farther back out through the vacuum seal thingy. So I started to take the thing apart, stripped the screw on the handle, broke the handle, cursed a lot, put in a replacement handle, and the leak is gone! Thanks for the help. :-) Commented Feb 20, 2012 at 12:49

5 Answers 5


Brass Hose Cap (~$1.50 @ Home Depot and Lowes).

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You may also be able to find some with tethers (for those of us that constantly lose things like this) .

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  • Perfect! I was searching for "faucet cap" when it was "hose cap" all along. :-) The only problem is this is too perfect and now I'll never replace the faucet... Commented Feb 15, 2012 at 21:08
  • Understand that the dribbling water will slowly equalize the pressure on either side of the leaky faucet. This will put pressure on the threads of the cap, making it more difficult to get the cap back off after the pressures are equalized. And, there's no real way to depressurize the downstream side without removing the cap. I've had this problem with faulty pin valves on pressurized gas canisters, like for soda machines. Put a cap on a leaky valve to save the gas (or just to protect the valve), and you'll need a strap wrench to get it back off. Household water is only about 60PSI, though.
    – KeithS
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 17:49
  • 1
    @KeithS The same pressure would be in a hose with the nozzle shut, and I've never had a problem unscrewing the hose while it was under pressure (aside from splash back getting me all wet).
    – Tester101
    Commented Feb 16, 2012 at 18:00

you could keep the garden hose connected to it and close the nozzle at the other end

  • 1
    Or leave the other end of the faucet by a tree or flower bed so the leaking water goes to good use.
    – Stainsor
    Commented Sep 25, 2013 at 3:35

The last time I had a leaky valve like that I put a bucket under it and added "get some valve packing" to my to-do list. A few weeks later I got a wrench to remove the packing nut and get access to the stem. At that point I realized it was not even finger tight and a quick turn of the wrench fixed the leak. I still haven't opened that package of packing string.

So before you go so far as to replace the faucet, try the easy fix!


Orbit Metal Single Hose Shut-Off Valve from Walmart worked for me. Attach it to the faucet instead of the hose and keep the valve shut. Around $4.00

  • I've got a "Y" fitting with a valve on each side (and on my rain barrel I've got one with four valved outputs and two unvalved), so I was going to suggest something similar.
    – keshlam
    Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 12:58

The great majority of consumer quality valve leaks are caused by failure of the rubber washer. You buy a bag with several sizes and types of washers for a few dollars ,enough to repair a lifetime of valves.It is a lot easier than replacing valves.

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