Fitting an Outside Tap - How to Install a Garden Tap Yourself

Summary: How to install or fit an outside tap on your property. It is incredibly useful to have an outside tap for watering the garden or cleaning the car. Learn how to install a garden tap and understand what is in a outside tap kit so that you will have everything you need before you start your project.

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Most outside taps are joined to the domestic cold water under the sink, where hopefully, there is enough room to work.

The simplest way of installing or fitting an outside tap is to use a kit. This kit is available by clicking on the image below.

Outside Tap Kit

Outside Tap Kit

Alternatively you can make up your own connection with the more traditional copper pipe method.

First select a cold water pipe which feeds a cold tap in the house and one that has enough freedom of movement to allow the insertion of a T connector. Before you go ahead and make any cuts make sure you have turned off the water!

Pipework under kitchen or bathroom sink

Pipework under kitchen or bathroom sink

This pipe will have to be cut to allow the introduction of the T fitting needed to branch off. Use a pipe slice if you can get one, or a normal pipe cutter and as a last resort, a hack-saw. The end of the pipe will need de-burring if you are going to use a hack saw.

Selection of pipe cutters

Selection of pipe cutters

Pipe cutter

Circular pipe cutter or pipe slice

Inserting a T-piece section of copper piping

Inserting a T-piece section of copper piping

A T piece will need to be inserted into the pipe, allowing a supply to come through the T to the outside tap. It is best not to point the new branch directly to the outside, but have it pointing to the side. This will enable you to fit an isolation valve. This valve will allow you to turn off the supply to the outside tap at any time. It will also allow you to do the rest of the work after you have turned your water supply back on, allowing you to have a cup of tea without upsetting the whole family!

Simulated setup of pipework for outside tap

Simulated setup of pipework for outside tap featuring section through wall

This is a simulated picture of what you are trying to achieve. As you can see we have T'd into the existing supply. Next a short length of pipe is fitted into the compression T fitting and an isolation valve is fitted. More about isolation valves can be found in our bathroom project. When the isolation valve is fitted and the mains end tightened up, the water can be turned back on. From the isolation valve we have gone to a drain cock with a short length of pipe. We like to add one of these wherever possible as it allows you to drain down the outside tap pipework in very cold winters to stop any chance of freezing pipes. They are not expensive, and a little thought beforehand can save a great deal of time and money later.

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The pipe then runs to a suitable place in the wall where a 22mm hole is drilled, with a hammer action drill and a 22mm masonry bit. A piece of 22mm copper pipe is inserted into this hole as a sleeve. The sleeve stops any pressure, from the masonry, on the actual pipework to the tap. The pipe then runs through this sleeve, and obviously the wall, to a 90 degree bend where it goes up to the required height, and the tap. The tap will consist of two parts, the backplate, which is screwed to the outside wall, and into which, by means of a compression joint the pipe fits, and the tap mechanism itself, which simply screws into the back plate. The pipe is clipped to the wall to keep it secure.

Drain plug

Drain plug for tap with earth

If you have enough room inside the cupboard or wherever you are making your connection, there is now available a special tap backplate which already has a pipe connected to it. This can simple go through the wall (and sleeve) and be connected. The outside tap pipework can be connected in either compression joints or soldered joints.

The gap between the sleeve and the water pipe can be filled with silicone mastic to keep it water tight. Finally, dont forget to add an insulated tap cover or jacket after installing or fiting your outside tap as this will prevent it freezing up in the winter.

Tap pipe and backplate fixing

Tap pipe and backplate fixing

Take a look at our video section on repairing leaks and watch a film on how to fix a dripping outdoor tap.

Don't fancy doing this project yourself? We work with Checkatrade to ensure that we recommend only reliable and trustworthy tradesmen.

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