How to Repair a Hose Bib Faucet Seat

In a previous blog post, we showed you how to fix a leaking hose bib by replacing the rubber gaskets, washers, and packings. But if your hose bib is still leaking, there may be an issue with the faucet seat. Knowing how to repair a hose bib faucet seat is not a common skill, but it can be very useful. Luckily, it’s also not a difficult task — especially if you make a custom tool for it. Keep reading to learn how to make this custom tool — for under ten bucks.

Making a custom tool

If your faucet seat is leaking, the issue lies in the seal: the brass has eroded, allowing water to slip through. The solution? Polish the brass to create a nice, uniform seal. You can do this by creating a custom tool that will allow you to reach the faucet seat at the back of the hose bib.

  1. The first thing you’re need is a faucet seat repair tool, also known as a faucet seat dresser. Make sure it the tool has the threaded rod part. You can pick these up at any home improvement store — they range between six and ten bucks.
  2. Next, you’re going to modify it so the tool can reach the faucet seat. How? Get about 20 inches of 3/8″ all-thread rod. Like the repair tool, you can buy this in any home improvement store. To create a handle for the rod, put it in a vice and bend a few inches at a 90-degree angle. Now you’re ready to assemble.
  3. Take the cutter from the repair kit and remove it from the tool that came in the pack. (I would start with the standard-sized cutter first.) Next, thread the cutter onto our 3/8″ all-thread rod. Boom. You have your custom tool.

Polishing the faucet seat

Now you’re ready to polish the faucet seat. The teeth on the cutter will grind down the soft brass seat to allow a smooth, flat surface for that rubber seat to sit against. Here’s how to do it:

  1. To polish the faucet seat, you will need to remove the rod assembly. Follow the instructions in our other blog post about how to remove it.
  2. Once the rod assembly is out, take a flashlight and look at the very back of the hose bib. That’s where your faucet seat will be. And if you see any dark spots, those are the spots we’ll need to address.
  3. Insert your custom tool until you can feel it press flat against the faucet seat. Keep this as level as possible, and twist back and forth. You don’t need to apply too much pressure. After a few turns, remove the tool and shine a flashlight to inspect the result. How does that brass look? If it’s polished and sparkly, you’ve done the job. If you still see dark spots, reinsert the tool and give it another try. Remember: this is soft brass. Be careful not to overdo it! Because if you go too far, you’ll ruin the seat and have to replace it.
  4. When the brass is polished, remove the tool and reassemble the hose bib.

Whew! You’re done!


So there you have it: we showed you how to repair a hose bib faucet seat using a custom tool for under ten bucks. This method should be effective for any frost-free hose bib. If you need further help, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Good luck with your custom tool!

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