There are many benefits to having an outside tap. If you have a garden, then you will know that having a tap outside is very useful for watering plants and keeping the lawn looking good. However, if you have never fitted an outside tap before, it can be difficult to know what tools and materials you will need and how best to do the job.
The first step is to locate the main water supply to your house, which is normally located in your kitchen sink. This can be done by removing the faceplate on the cold tap and looking for a small slot that contains a brass screw. You need to unscrew this and remove it from its housing. This will allow you access to the pipe inside.
You should then take a look at where this pipe goes, which will usually be towards the back wall of your house or garage. You’ll find that there are two types of connections here: those with a valve on them, and those without. The ones without valves are your best bet for getting higher pressure for your outdoor tap.
Turn off the water supply at its source (usually under the sink) and install an outdoor tap in its place using either flexible copper pipes or braided stainless steel ones (these tend not to kink as easily).
Decide where to put the new tap. If there is already a tap in place, you may not need to move this, but it is best to think about where it will be most convenient for future use. The ideal place to fit an outside tap is just below the kitchen window (provided your kitchen is at the back of the house), giving you easy access to your water supply.
Once you’ve found a good spot, drill a hole into your wall and run some plastic pipes through it. This will allow you to hook up your new outdoor tap when you’re ready. Make sure you use the correct measurements or risk damaging your brickwork. Carefully drill a hole into the wall and into the kitchen, catching any debris so not to make a mess.
Next you need to run the pipework from the outside tap to the backplate, and then mark and screw the backplate to the wall. Again, use caution when doing this. You need to use the correct size wall plugs and screws. Make sure the wall plugs are a tight fit in the hole, and even try tapping them lightly with a hammer to make sure they go in all of the way. Make sure you seal the backplate with silicone before screwing the backplate to your wall. You can also seal the pipe threads with plumbers tape to prevent leaks.
It’s time to connect your water supply to the outdoor tap. The first thing you’ll need to do here is check that there are no leaks in your piping system. To do this, simply turn on the faucet and let it run for about 30 seconds. Listen for any dripping sounds and if you hear any, shut off the water immediately!
If there are no leaks, then you’re ready to connect your water supply. Simply take a pipe wrench and tighten down all of the fittings. When you are finished with this step, put some electrical tape around each fitting so that they don’t leak later on down the road.
When connecting any pipes together, it’s always best to use Teflon tape or pipe dope on all of your connections before tightening them down with pliers or a wrench (depending on which type of connection you have). This will keep any possible leaks at bay while also allowing for easier disassembly if necessary at some point in the future.
Test out your new outside tap. Connect a hose pipe to the tap and test it in your garden.
To fit an outside tap, you will need the following tools and materials:
- Outside tap
- Copper pipe (if required)
- PTFE tape
- Adjustable spanner
- Silicone sealant
- Isolate the water supply to the outside tap. This is usually done by turning off a stopcock under the sink.
- Remove the old outside tap, if there is one.
- Drill a hole in the wall for the new outside tap, if required. The hole should be large enough to fit the copper pipe through, but not so large that there is a lot of gap around the pipe.
- Apply PTFE tape to the threads of the new outside tap.
- Screw the new outside tap into the backplate, then screw the backplate to the wall.
- Connect the copper pipe to the outside tap, if required.
- Turn on the water supply and check for leaks.
- If you are drilling a new hole in the wall, make sure to avoid any electrical wiring or plumbing pipes.
- If you are connecting the outside tap to a copper pipe, make sure to use a compression fitting to create a watertight seal.
- Use silicone sealant around the backplate to prevent water from getting into the wall.
If you are installing the outside tap in a cold climate, you may want to consider fitting an insulated tap cover. This will help to prevent the tap from freezing in the winter.
- Always wear safety glasses when working with power tools.
- Be careful not to overtighten the tap, as this could damage it.
- Make sure to turn off the water supply before starting any work.
If you are unsure about how to fit an outside tap, it is always best to consult a qualified plumber at M Plumbing.