The pipe and valve picture below run to an outdoor spigot. When the valve is fully closed, it is dry. When it's opened up (and the spigot is closed) the valve drips. Are there simple fixes I can try before calling a plumber?

Thank you

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1 Answer 1


Most likely the packing under the nut (noted with a blue line) is dried out.

Sometimes you can just snug that nut a little. Try turning clock-wise and see if your leak stops. If not, your best bet is removing the stem and replacing the packing. While you are there you might as well change the washer.

Start by turning off the water supply.

Open the outdoor hose bib to relieve pressure.

Removing the handle.

Remove the packing nut (blue line)

You can replace the packing and stop there. Dig out the old packing. It will be hard, but work at it and get all the pieces out. Replace it with Graphite packing. It compresses, so wrap a bit more around the stem below the nut than you believe you need.

You can stop there and just replace the stem nut with the new packing. Tighten the nut down gradually. You should be able to tell that the packing is being compressed. If not you probably need to start again and add more packing.

If you want to change the washer, remove the larger nut ( red ).

Unscrew the stem and replace the rubber washer with a new washer and new screw. ( buy both together)

Add a little Thread sealer to the threads of the big nut and reassemble all.

Turn the valve off.

Turn on your house water.

Turn on the newly renovated valve.

Turn off the hose bib. You should be good to go.

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