I have an outdoor faucet connected to a garden hose and pistol type spray nozzle. The connection is leak free until I turn the water off and pull the trigger on the spray nozzle to get some of the rest of the water out and relieve the pressure on the hose. When I do this, water comes gushing out of the connection from the faucet to the hose.

Does anybody have any idea what this is and what I can do about it?

Some other information:
-I thought it could be the the washer, but I just bought a new hose and made sure the rubber washer was in good share and in place
-I've tried both wrench tightening the hose as well as the other end of the spectrum with light hand tightening
-The faucet itself is only about 3 years old, and as I mentioned, doesn't leak while the water is on

Thank you!

Adding photos of the faucet: one with the hose attached and one without


faucet with hose

  • A picture of the faucet in question would be helpful.
    – Jack
    Mar 18, 2014 at 15:50
  • 1
    Top photo, attached brass piece with the ring of holes is a vacuum breaker, it exists to prevent contaminated water from siphoning back into the house plumbing if pressure is lost. May 30, 2015 at 21:22
  • Other than doing its job what is the harm? Not hurting stucco.
    – user101687
    Jun 16, 2019 at 13:33

2 Answers 2


Actually, it sounds more like a siphon or vacuum breaker working fine. It's not leaking with pressure on. When you turn off the sillcock and release pressure on the hose, it moves the water in the hose away from the sillcock, creating a vacuum at the faucet, which causes the siphon breaker valve to open. Then the water rebounds a bit and some comes out. They have only failed when they leak under pressure, or do not open at all. The brass cap thing on top of this sillcock is the built-in vacuum-breaker. The type described in Steven's answer seems more likely given where you say water is coming out. In either case, I don't see any sign of failure from your description of the behavior.

Sillcock with Siphon breaker - from home depot

  • 1
    Thanks for the advice. You are correct that there is no leaking while there is pressure. It sounds like you're saying ultimately that the faucet is functioning as designed though and there isn't anything I can do about it. If that's the case, I may just have to tie a rag around it to capture some of the spray since the faucet is built close to a sliding door to get into the house and the spray can sometime get in. I was hoping for there to be a better way to take care of it. Mar 18, 2014 at 21:48
  • Try going more slowly when releasing pressure in the hose. The difference between squirt and snap off .vs. squeeze slowly and release slowly may be all it needs.
    – Ecnerwal
    Mar 18, 2014 at 23:41
  • I tried a few different things (releasing the pressure very lightly, choosing a different spray mode on the spray dial and trying it that way, trying to unscrew the nozzle to release the pressure, holding the remaining length of hose above the faucet instead of having it on the ground, keeping the trigger on the nozzle held down as I turn off the water) and unfortunately no luck. Mar 19, 2014 at 15:46
  • Also, as I mentioned in Steven's thread, I do see that the water is coming out of the holes on the anti siphon/breaker (I've also seen it called a vacuum breaker). I was able to see this clearly when I only lightly attached the hose. Essentially, these things become a sprinkler head for a couple seconds and spray several feet out whereas previously it just looked like a leak since the spray was bouncing off where the hose was attached. Mar 19, 2014 at 15:47
  • Just move fitting to male end of hose, So you do not have to use rags.
    – user101687
    Jun 16, 2019 at 13:31

Do you by any chance have an anti-siphon/breaker on the faucet end of your house?

(source: homedepot.com)

If so, it might have failed and requires replacement. They are easy to find at a home improvement store.

Some faucets have them built in, so look for something similar protruding from the faucet but without the male threads.

  • Hi Steven. I do have an anti-siphon/breaker (I just added some photos to my original post as well). Thanks for the advice. I can try to replace this. Mar 18, 2014 at 21:45
  • Not sure why I got a downvote here. It turns out the OP does have one of these, and as far as I know, they should not leak unless the valve has failed - they are supposed to let air in, not water out.
    – Steven
    Mar 18, 2014 at 22:48
  • The picture made all the difference...
    – Jack
    Mar 18, 2014 at 22:51
  • After doing some research, I did read that these valves are intentionally made very difficult to remove since they are now required by many municipal water codes. But upon looking very closely with the hose only lightly tightened, I do see that the water is coming out of the holes on the anti siphon/breaker (I've also seen it called a vacuum breaker). Mar 19, 2014 at 15:32

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