Best outdoor tap

What is the Best Outdoor Tap? A Plumbers Advice!

Last updated on June 27th, 2023

The best outdoor taps are the most common that you see in most houses which means they are the most mass produced and therefore not very expensive.

I have been a full-time plumber for over a decade and fitting outside taps is the most common plumbing job I do in the summer.

In this post I’ll show you what I think are the best quality garden taps based on my many jobs over the years.

Best Outdoor Tap

Unless you want a fancy or antique garden tap then there are only two real options:

Both of these taps have a 1/2″ thread connection at the back that screws into the wall back plate, and both have a 3/4″ thread connection for hose connectors at the front.

Full-Turn Tap

The full-turn outdoor tap is the best one and the most popular by far.

They are solid brass taps that are very compact and some come with double check valves built in to stop back flow.

The full-turn tap is much better for isolating the water properly, and also the size is much better for fitting the best outside tap covers to protect against freezing in the winter.

Full-turn outdoor bib tap
Full-turn outdoor tap

Lever Tap

The lever tap is nice and solid, being made of brass, and has it’s uses for people who might struggle to turn full-turn taps, or maybe if you’re turning it on and off a lot it can be a time saver.

The problem with these lever outdoor taps is they are slightly longer, they can be accidentally knocked on, and a little bit uglier for me.

Outdoor lever bib tap
Outdoor lever tap

Best Outdoor Tap Fittings

The key to having the best quality outside tap installation is the other fittings needed more so then the actual tap.

These are:

  • The back plate
  • The pipe
  • The connection to the water mains

The Back Plate

The back plate should be brass and should have the pipe going out of the back of it and straight through the wall.

You shouldn’t have any pipe on show outside as this is how they freeze and damage in the cold winter.

Outdoor tap back plate fitting
Outdoor tap back plate being fitted

The Pipe

The pipe should always be copper.

There are some outside tap kits that come with garden hoses which you should avoid at all costs.

These are prone to leaking and kinking and even if you manage to get it working without any problems it will eventually split or block and cause you a headache.

outdoor tap with hose
Outdoor tap with hose that I replaced

The Connection

When installing an outside tap, the correct connection inside is key to not having any problems.

I get called to garden tap problems and quite often it’s the connection to the water mains is a self cutting connection.

These have there uses for draining down heating systems without a drain off for example, but I wouldn’t recommend them long term for an outside tap.

You should be using a 15mm equal compression tee if connecting to a copper pipe, or a 15mm push fit connection if connecting to a plastic pipe.

Outside tap pipe connected under sink
Outside tap pipe tee connection


The best outdoor taps are solid from where the water comes out to where the pipe connects to the water supply in the house.

You should keep everything brass and copper as much as you can but if the plumbing inside is already plastic then using plastic fittings is fine.

Feel free to ask me any questions in the comment section below and I’ll try my best to help.

Please share this post if you found it helpful.

Best Outdoor Tap FAQs

What is the best material for an outdoor tap?

The best material for an outdoor tap is brass. Brass is solid and robust and won’t rust in the rain.

Every part of the tap should be brass including the handle.

What is the best place for an outdoor tap?

The best place for an outdoor tap is anywhere next to a water supply inside the house. This is typically on the outside wall behind the kitchen sink.

Does an outside tap need a drain?

No, an outside tap does not need a drain. Most outside taps are not fitted over or near a drain and the water is not usually on that long for it to cause a problem.


  • Steven Reid

    I am a full-time plumber and Gas Safe registered engineer. I incorporated Housewarm Ltd. in 2011 to provide heating and plumbing services to homes in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. I now blog about what I've learned over the years to help DIYers and plumbers.

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