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How to fit an outside tap

How to Fit an Outside Tap: Step-by-Step Guide

Last updated on April 12th, 2024

Learning how to install an outside tap from scratch can be very difficult, especially if you haven’t done any plumbing before.

I have been plumbing and fitting outside taps for over a decade. I have overcome many problems along the way.

Materials and Tools Needed

Materials

There are some decent outdoor tap kits you can buy, but you should try to avoid using a flexible hose when fitting garden taps.

Brass bib taps are the best outside taps and some come with check valves built-in.

Outside tap fitted
Brass bib tap

Flexible and plastic hoses are more likely to leak, especially if there’s a tight bend in them, and might even burst open and flood your house one day.

Also, most kits don’t use a garden tap with a double-check valve which you should use.

There are no outdoor tap kits that use everything I like to use, but if you can make it work then go for it.

My Outside Tap Kit List:

(Click the links to view them on Amazon)

Outside tap kit
My materials kit for most jobs

Tools

(with links to Amazon of some of my best plumbing tools)

Outside tap fitting tools
My outside tap fitting tools

Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Drill a Hole

Work out where you want to fit your garden tap, as close to a water pipe as possible.

The height doesn’t matter, whatever works for you but I like to be able to at least fit a bucket underneath. I would say the ideal height is between 500mm – 800mm off the ground.

Drilling outside tap hole

The most common place is behind the kitchen sink, you can usually connect to the kitchen tap pipe.

Leave it in a way that makes it easy to fit a new kitchen tap in the future without any problems.

You then need to drill a 10mm pilot hole from outside to in. You will most likely blow the front of the brick out if you drill from inside to out.

You must carefully measure where to drill before drilling.

Sometimes I will have to drill from the inside, but it takes a lot of practice to not blow the brick out.

You can turn off the hammer function on the SDS drill when you only have an inch or so to go and use it in drill-only mode.

Once you have drilled the 10mm hole and checked it’s in the correct place, you need to drill through the 10mm hole with the 18mm SDS drill bit.

Step 2: Fix Wall Plate and Tap to the Wall

Screw the tap into the hose union wall plate without any PTFE tape on then push the pipe through the wall.

outside tap fitting through wall

Make sure the copper pipe inside the home is in a good position.

When the brass wall plate is sitting against the wall, sit the tap straight and mark the 3 screw holes on the outside wall with a marker.

outside tap fit screw hole marking
Marking screw holes

  1. Remove the wall plate and pipe
  2. Drill the 3 x 6mm screw holes carefully
  3. Fit the wall plugs in the drilled holes
  4. Remove the tap from the wall plate
  5. Feed the wall plate pipe through the wall until there is a two-inch gap between the brass wall plate and the wall
Outside tap backplate being fitted
wall plate being fitted with silicone

Next, you need to:

  1. Put some silicone on to give it a good seal
  2. Push the wall plate flat to the wall
  3. Screw in the 3 brass screws
  4. Clean off all the excess silicone with some toilet roll
Backplate fixed to wall
Wall plate fixed to wall

The next job is to wrap some PTFE tape around the threads of the garden tap, around 10 – 15 wraps or more.

Outside tap threads wrapped with PTFE
Threads wrapped with PTFE tape

  1. Screw the tap into the wall plate
  2. Tighten up the tap with your hands, use an adjustable spanner if needed to get it straight
  3. Remove any excess PTFE tape on show with a Stanley knife
  4. Remove the old hose connector on the end of the new tap
Outside tap fitted with hose connector removed

Then you can fit the new hose connector.

These connectors are for quick-connect hose fittings that most people have on their hoses now.

You can use brass or plastic hose connectors but brass ones are better.

Outside tap fitted with new hose connector
Tap fitted with new hose connector

The garden tap has now been installed. Everything else is done from inside the house.

Step 3: Connect to the Water Supply

The first thing to do inside is cut the copper pipe from the new tap down to the correct length.

Outside tap pipes under sink
Outdoor tap pipe coming through the wall

The most common way of connecting this to the water supply is to add an elbow to the copper pipe coming from the tap using a 15mm brass compression elbow or Speedfit.

Then add some copper pipe to the elbow that you are using, which should be connected to a tee (you should also fit an isolation valve if you can fit one on).

The tee needs to be connected to the cold water supply, typically under the kitchen sink.

Outside tap pipe connected under sink
Pipe cut connected to water supply

You might need other fittings if the cold water supply is not close by, or even the hot water supply if you want to fit a hot water tap.

How to fit an outside tap YouTube video

Replacing an Outside Tap

To replace an old tap that is already fitted you only need to replace the bib tap itself and leave the wall plate.

Here’s how to replace an outside tap:

  1. Isolate the water supply to the tap
  2. Open the tap to let the water out
  3. Unscrew the old tap from the wall plate on the wall by turning it anti-clockwise
  4. Clean up any old tape or dirt from the threads on the old brass wall plate on the wall
  5. Wrap 15 (or more if needed to get it straight) wraps of PTFE on the threads on the new tap
  6. Screw the new tap into the old wall plate and tighten it up with your hands or a spanner
  7. Turn the water back on
  8. Test the tap is working and check for leaks
Outside tap replacement YouTube video

How to Attach a Hose

To attach a hose to an outside tap, you will need to fit a hose connector to the tap like the ones in the photos on this page.

You can use brass or plastic hose connectors. They will screw on with your hand.

Your hose should be fitted with a push-fit hose connector which you can push onto the tap connector to attach a hose to a tap.

how to attach hose to outside tap

The most common outside taps will come with an old-type brass tap connector. I normally throw these away when I’m fitting an outside tap because they are not made for quick-connect hose connections.

If you want to use the supplied old-type hose connector, you will need to force your hose pipe onto the connector, fit a hose (jubilee) clip-on and tighten it with a screwdriver.

How to Fix a Drip

An outside tap leak can be fixed in a few different ways:

  • Tighten the leaking nut
  • Add some PTFE tape to the threads
  • Replace the washer
  • Replace the garden tap

You can replace the washer on the outside tap, but sometimes it’s so much easier and less of a headache to just replace the tap.

If the leak is coming from the packing gland nut below the handle then this can be tightened up with an adjustable spanner to fix a dripping tap.

Outside tap gland nut leaking
Gland nut tightening

If you want to replace the washer, here’s how:

  1. Isolate the water supply to the tap and open the tap
  2. Unscrew the largest nut on the tap anti-clockwise with an adjustable spanner
  3. Replace the tap washer
  4. Refit the tap
  5. Turn the water back on
  6. Test for leaks
Outside tap washer replacement

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Summary

Fitting a garden tap from scratch can be very difficult and awkward, even for a full-time plumber sometimes.

Replacing an outside tap that’s not working is very easy, and I would recommend a DIYer to give it a go.

Only you know your level of competence but if you haven’t done any plumbing before then installing an outdoor tap might be a bit much.

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

Please share this post if you find it helpful.

Outside tap installed


FAQs


Can you fit an outside tap anywhere?

Yes. You can fit an outside tap anywhere. You just need to be able to run a cold water supply pipe to it. Garden taps are usually fitted on the outside wall behind kitchen sinks, but can be fitted anywhere.

How long does it take a plumber to install an outside tap?

Most of the time it takes less than an hour for a plumber to install an outside tap.

It can sometimes take a lot longer (2 -3 hours) depending on exactly what needs to be done.

The distance from the water supply where the tap is being fitted can be a problem, or the original plumbing might need a lot of adapting to get a new connection onto it, but most of the time (for me) it takes less than an hour.

Author

  • 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.

    View all posts
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2 thoughts on “How to Fit an Outside Tap: Step-by-Step Guide”

  1. I have a L shaped bungalow 13meters x 13meters x 5.5meters wide on each edge my kitchen and toilet etc are all located on the bottom line corner to midway but my garden and pool are within the inner part of the L, I am also connected to other homes at both ends and most of the left side of the L and the very to- left of the L is my driveway
    I need an outside tap for irrigation as I have fruit and a small fruit tree orchid and also filling the pool, jet washing the patio and car and have solid asphalt mix flooring
    Please can you help

    1. Housewarm

      Hi Dianne, yeah sure. If you’re in Newcastle I can give you a quote to fit an outside tap. Or if you send me more details, I can give you some advice.

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