Stop the Leak! Fixing an Outside Water Spigot Leaking Inside

Picture this: you’re relaxing on a Sunday afternoon when you hear it – the ominous drip, drip, drip behind the wall. A quick inspection reveals the source: your outdoor water spigot is somehow leaking inside your home. No need to panic! In this blog post, we’ll unravel the secrets of leaky outdoor water faucets and share insider tips on how to fix them.

Why Is My Outside Faucet Dripping Inside The House?

Before we dive into solutions, let’s understand the most common causes of this annoying household mystery:

  • Frost-Proof Faucet Failure: Frost-proof faucets (also called sillcocks) have a long stem that places the shut-off valve inside your house where it’s warmer. If this long pipe develops a crack due to freezing, you’ll see leaks inside when you turn on the faucet.
  • Internal Washer Wear: Faucets work hard, and over time those internal rubber washers degrade. A worn-out washer can lead to leaks, even if the faucet looks perfectly fine on the outside.
  • Loose Connections: Sometimes, the culprit is a simple loose connection where the pipe connects to the faucet inside the house. A little tightening might be all you need.

Warning Signs: Look Out For These!

  • Visible Water Damage: Do you have stains on your walls or ceiling near the leaky faucet? This is a tell-tale sign that it’s more than a minor drip.
  • Musty Smell: Water damage often leads to mold, giving off a musty odor. Investigate any strange smells near your faucet.
  • Higher Water Bill: Unexplained spikes in your water bill are a red flag. A leaky faucet can waste a surprising amount of water.

Troubleshooting Steps: Your Detective Work Begins

  1. Isolate the Problem: Turn off your home’s main water supply, then turn on your outdoor faucet to drain any remaining water from the pipe. If the dripping inside stops, you’ve confirmed the source.
  2. Inspect the Spigot: Check for visible cracks or damage to the external spigot. If you see signs of damage, the faucet will need to be replaced.
  3. Inspect the Connection: Look inside your house where the water pipe connects to the faucet. Is anything loose? Tighten if necessary.

Solving The Problem: Your DIY Options

  • Replacing the Washer: If the leak seems to be at the handle, it’s likely a washer issue. This is a fairly simple DIY fix. You can find many tutorials online.
  • Replacing a Frost-proof Faucet: This involves plumbing work. If you’re not comfortable with plumbing, it’s best to call in the professionals.

When to Call A Plumber

  • No Obvious Cause: If you don’t see a clear problem, a plumber can find the leak faster and save you from water damage.
  • Extensive Damage: If there are signs of mold or significant structural damage, a pro is the way to go.
  • Peace of Mind: If DIY plumbing makes you nervous, there’s no shame in calling for help. A quick fix now can save you headaches down the line!

Prevention is Key

  • Insulate Your Outdoor Pipes: This helps prevent frost damage during colder months.
  • Disconnect Hoses in the Winter: Avoid leaving your hose attached; the trapped water puts extra stress on the faucet.

A Final Word

A leaky spigot can escalate from a minor nuisance to a costly mess. By paying attention and taking proactive steps, you can protect your home and save money.


is a seasoned handyman with over 10 years of experience tackling home repairs and renovations. Frustrated by costly contractors, he turned his passion for fixing things into the SpruceSavvy blog to empower homeowners to do it themselves.

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