Dear Angie: We need to replace our dripping outdoor faucet. How much should that cost? — Keegan P., Macomb, Mich.
Answer: On average, you'll pay $150 to $300 to replace an outdoor faucet, also known as a spigot or hose bib. In many cases, outdoor faucets drip because of long-term wear and tear, and it makes more sense to replace the faucet rather than repair the component.
Outdoor faucet repair can be complicated
The job may seem easy, but pros caution homeowners against replacing a faucet as a DIY job unless they know what they're doing. For one thing, the faucet itself isn't the only component the plumber will work on. Sometimes the job involves going into the wall or under the house to work on the piping behind the faucet, and the complexity will affect the final cost.
The piping needs to be properly braced, or the pressure required to remove the faucet can twist or break the pipe. Also, a poorly installed hose bib or pipe could lead to a slow leak inside your walls that won't be visible until there's substantial damage.
As you can see, replacing an outdoor faucet is a serious plumbing task, not just a quick handyman job. It's a good idea to hire a licensed, bonded and insured plumber for the work, which will take an average of one to two hours unless there are complications.
How to avoid outdoor faucet problems
Top-rated plumbers offer these additional tips for preventing problems with outdoor faucets:
Don't over-tighten your faucet. Dripping can be caused by undue wear and tear on the rubber gaskets inside the faucet. In that case, replacing the gaskets will cost less than $100.
Detach your hose for the winter, and cover the faucet. Also, be aware that a "frost-free" outdoor faucet doesn't necessarily mean "frost-proof." One pro says it's common to replace outdoor faucets because homeowners leave hoses attached in winter, causing water to freeze and damage the faucet from within.
Angie Hicks compiles the best advice from the most highly rated service pros on Angieslist.com to answer your questions. Ask Angie your question at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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