I recently bought a house that was built in 1978, and it has a couple of garden faucets. These are not frost-free faucets, and that's not a huge concern for me because the house is located just south of Houston, TX.

What does concern me is that the one faucet needs some attention. The problems are:

  1. The valve seat is leaking, causing the faucet to drip
  2. The packing nut is leaking, causing the valve shaft to drip when the water is on

I've considered just replacing the faucet, which would be relatively easy, but after cutting a rag loose that was tied on with a shoelace, I found that the galvanized pipe feeding the faucet is pretty rusty.

I'm concerned that if I were to try to remove the faucet, the pipe would break or it may not come loose at all. I'm not too excited about attempting to replace the pipe, because it's also mortared into the brick, and I don't know how difficult it will be to get to the 90° elbow inside the wall either.

Should I decide to replace it, and assuming I'd need to replace the mortared pipe, how should I go about it?

Alternatively, should I decide to repair it, where can I get the parts I need to rebuild this faucet? The local Home Depot was of no use, and my Google searches don't seem to be specific enough.

  • Also, if pictures would help on this, I can get some up here tomorrow.
    – Skudd
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 2:14
  • 3
    Pictures always help. =)
    – Mike B
    Commented Oct 14, 2012 at 2:26
  • Generally, we frown upon shopping questions here. But, the overriding problem is interesting. I've edited it to make the question a bit more general, hoping to get some broader answers, and perhaps some assistance on replacing it. Commented Oct 15, 2012 at 13:23

2 Answers 2


Check at a hardware store. They often sell a bag of faucet washers of a mix of sizes that can be used to repair your faucet. You pick out the one from the kit that suits your faucet.

Sometimes the hardware store will have a whole section of individual faucet repair parts. Take the faucet washer and stem seal with you to match them up with new parts.

On the other hand the garden faucets probably are available in only so many styles. You could take a picture of your existing leaky faucet and take it along with you to the hardware store or other big box type store and purchase a new one of the same or very similar style. Then take it apart to redeploy the rubber parts from it for use in your old faucet.

Added Information:

I have actually repaired a faucet that was an outdoor spigot type in a unique way. It's valve stem piece was very corroded and logically led to the conclusion to replace the whole faucet. Unfortunately I found that the faucet was soldered onto a pipe inside the wall behind a stucco exterior and no direct access from the inside of the wall either. I took a sharp focused picture of the faucet and traveled off to the big box store and happened to find a full new faucet that was identical in every way to the old faucet. I was able to re-use the stem, top portion of the faucet body and the packing nut from the new faucet on the old lower portion faucet body and restore to like new performance without having to break any stucco or tear down a blind inside wall.


One addition to @Michael Karas advice. Try a small local hardware store before a big box store. The small local store is more likely to have what local builders used and what the neighborhood needs. The big stores tend to carry what sells nationaly and what they get the best price on.


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