How to Repair an Outdoor Faucet Making Noise When Turned On

Stop an outdoor faucet that's making noise when turned on with this DIY fix.

Next Project
Time

An hour or less

Complexity

Beginner

Cost

Less than $20

Introduction

An unusually noisy outdoor faucet may be due to something as simple as a worn-out washer. To find out, disassemble the faucet from the outside, then check the condition of the washer.

Tools Required

  • 4-in-1 screwdriver
  • Wrench set

Materials Required

  • Rubber washer for stem

Fix a loud outdoor faucet

Outdoor faucets are incredibly useful. Whether you need to hook up a hose, rinse your hands or fill a watering can, outdoor faucets make your life a lot easier.

But when they get noisy, it’s best to troubleshoot and fix the problem sooner rather than later. Fortunately, fixing it is fairly simple.

An outdoor faucet that makes a loud vibrating noise when it’s turned on or off probably has a worn-out faucet washer. You can easily replace it without removing the entire faucet. You won’t need many tools, and the trip to the hardware store should be a quick one. The whole repair process can be done fast enough for you to resume your regular weekend plans in no time.

First, take a moment to make sure you know how to turn the water line on and off, and confirm which kind of faucet you have. This way you’ll know whether you need a whole new faucet or just a new washer. There’s nothing worse than starting what should be a quick project, then having it take all day because you need to run to the store halfway through.

Project step-by-step (2)

Step 1

Disassemble outdoor water faucet

First, turn off the water to the faucet. You don’t want to waste any or make a mess. (The shutoff valve should be in the basement.) Then use a wrench to remove the retaining nut that’s attached to the sill cock (Photo 1).

Step 2

Replace the washer

Slide the handle and stem assembly out of the sill cock. Remove the screw at the end of the stem (Photo 2) and remove the washer. Buy a new washer that matches the old one at any hardware store. Then reassemble the faucet. VoilĂ ! You should have a quiet, functional faucet now.

Occasionally the washer is fine, but the screw holding it is loose. If so, put a drop of Threadlocker or a similar product (sold at hardware stores) on the threads and tighten it.

Some faucets come with a spring-loaded sleeve near the washer. If you have this type, replace the entire faucet.

FAQ

Do all outdoor faucets have shut-off valves?

Not all outdoor faucets come equipped with built-in shut-off valves, and the presence of a shut-off valve can vary depending on the type and age of your faucet. Traditional outdoor faucets, also known as hose bibs, often lack shut-off valves, requiring you to turn off the water supply at an interior shut-off valve or the main water supply line to prevent freezing during the winter. However, newer frost-free or freeze-proof faucets typically feature integral shut-off valves to prevent freezing. It’s essential to identify the type of outdoor faucet you have and understand its features, as this will determine whether a shut-off valve is built into the faucet or if you need to use a separate interior shut-off valve to protect it from freezing temperatures.