How to replace a garden spigot
July 12, 2014 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Our house has a broken garden hose spigot that is missing the handle. I assume (correct me if I'm wrong) it would be easiest to get a new spigot and install that. Is that something I can do or do I need any special tools, aside from an adjustable wrench and plumber's tape?

I was planning to switch off the water at the main, screw off the old one and screw on the new one. Have you done this? Is that all I need to do? Are there different types of spigot and which one do I get? Or is there a standard size? Picture here.
posted by The Toad to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Some bibs are screw-on, some require soldering the pipe. Before you do any of that you should look at the handle to see if the nature of the break is just the knob. On many the knob is just something that fits onto a square/hexagon and is held in place with a single screw. You might be able to keep the existing hose bib and put a replacement handle on it.
posted by phearlez at 4:26 PM on July 12, 2014

That style just screws in. Make sure you put a pipe wrench on the T-fitting it screws into so you don't loosen up anything else. Pipe dope works better than tape in this application. Hose bibs come in a variety of thread sizes (1/2 3/4 1") so the best thing to do is take the old one with you to the home improvement borg.
posted by Mitheral at 4:40 PM on July 12, 2014

The easiest thing to do is to replace the handle, even if you have to buy a new hose bibb to get one.
posted by the Real Dan at 5:03 PM on July 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: hose bib handle $1.76
posted by hortense at 5:24 PM on July 12, 2014

Response by poster: hortense, that really looks like it could work...will try that before screwing around!
posted by The Toad at 7:08 PM on July 12, 2014

I make it a policy to replace all the gate valves (the traditional hose bib style valve) with a ball valve and lever as soon as they break.

They seal better, don't restrict the flow when open, dont corrode, are less likely to damage during a freeze and only cost a little more.
posted by bartonlong at 10:02 PM on July 12, 2014

Just to warn you, different spigots can fit different handles. In my laundry room, one spigot is missing a handle, and the couple replacements I tried didn't fit. Since the laundry room has two identical spigots (hot and cold), for the extremely rare time I need to turn off the water, I just move the handle back and forth between the spigots.
posted by ShooBoo at 11:11 PM on July 12, 2014

You'll want plumber's tape, aka teflon tape, if you're replacing the fixture. You wrap the tape to cover the threads before you screw on the fixture. It's not an adhesive tape; you apply it with a little tension, then wrap it on itself-- it helps with watertightness of a screwed fixture. It's not rocket science to apply the stuff, but if you've never seen it before, search youtube for "teflon tape" and there are guides for it.

Like the hose bib handle linked above, Teflon/PTFE tape will never blow out the budget. How does $1.27 sound for a roll that'll last you for a dozen jobs?
posted by Sunburnt at 11:52 PM on July 12, 2014

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