What Size Pipe Is Normally Used For An Outdoor Faucet?
Outdoor faucets come in handy for a variety of applications. Watering your garden? Check it out. Need to set up a sprinkler to water your lawn? Check. Need to wash your car? Check. Do kids want to play in the water and create a mud pit? Well, we’re not so sure about that one, but check.
If you’re building a new home, implementing a new faucet, or need to buy your garden hose, you need to know what size faucet you have/needs. We’re here to give you an overview of everything you need to know, so keep reading to learn more
A Quick Overview Of Outdoor Faucets
Outdoor faucets, also called hose taps, allow us to manage outdoor tasks with ease. Watering your garden or washing your car, for example, can be a hassle if you have to carry buckets of water back and forth. You might be surprised at how many buckets of water it takes to rinse off the muddy water left behind in a quick car wash.
So, how do they work? That question may be a bit of a no-brainer, but let’s look at the answer anyway. The answer is: they work in much the same way as indoor faucets. Yes, you probably guessed it. However, you have to pay closer attention to outdoor faucets than indoor faucets, especially in the winter.
Outdoor faucets are usually installed on the side of the house, but you may have a separate faucet in your garden or pasture for easy watering of animals (if applicable). Outdoor faucets have threads on the top to attach a hose to the faucet.
The bonnet nut secures the faucet’s stem to its base. Rubber washers help seal the water flow when the water is not on. The valve seat inside the faucet acts as a gateway to restrict the flow of water when the handle is closed. The bonnet also has rubber parts, called bonnet fillers, that help seal the water at the top of the faucet.
Now that we’ve crossed the basics off the list, let’s move on to the specifics surrounding outdoor faucets and their plumbing.
What Type Of Piping Is Used For Outdoor Faucets?
There are several types of piping typically used for outdoor faucets. Copper pipe is usually the best choice for exposed situations. If the pipe runs underground, PEX piping is the best choice.
PEX piping is much easier to install than CPVC plastic (another option for piping) and much cheaper than copper. If you use PEX, you can use a continuous line from the house to the faucet without the need for a joint.
Of course, if you’re going to lay the pipe farther than the spool will allow, you’ll have some fittings, but considering it’s available in spools over 500 feet long, we don’t think this will be a problem.
SharkBite U860R300 PEX Pipe 1/2 Inch, Red, Flexible Water Tubing, Potable Water,…
- PEX Pipe. Flexible water tubing pipe for potable water distribution systems; chlorine and UV.
- Flexible PEX Tubing. The line expands and contracts with temperature changes and is frost resistant
- Push-in connection. Use with SharkBite push-in plumbing fittings or brass barb fittings.
- The professional’s first choice. All SharkBite PEX tubing meets the same standards as commercial and industrial.
PEX is a good choice, especially for outdoor faucets, because it allows for some expansion when the pipe freezes. However, some damage can still occur, although this flexible material is less likely to do so than CPVC plastic. However, it will disintegrate in direct sunlight, so you should not use it for exposed plumbing.
How To Care For Your Outdoor Faucets
If you live in a cold climate, you’ll need to take care of your plumbing faucets during the winter. You can prepare your faucets for winter by draining them and then turning off the water supply to them. Generally, the water valve for outdoor faucets is somewhere indoors.
If the water valve is outside, leave it open. This can leave a little extra room to allow for expansion if water is left in the pipes. In some cases, allowing the faucet to drip can prevent the pipes from freezing. However, if you live in an area that regularly has sub-zero temperatures, letting it drip may not prevent freezing.
In this case, installing PEX pipe (if underground or otherwise unexposed) may be a better choice than PVC or CPVC. Since this pipe is slightly flexible, you may have better luck avoiding a pipe break (which would be a total nightmare).
Are All Outdoor Faucets The Same Size?
Most outdoor faucets are generally one of two standard widths: 1/2″ or 3/4″. In addition, these are the most common plumbing widths. If you are building your home, or just implementing a new outdoor faucet, these are the aspects to keep in mind.
If you want stronger water pressure, a 1/2-inch faucet water line may be a better choice. A ¾ inch diameter hose is not as powerful in terms of pressure. If the water pressure is an important factor for you, you may want to consider this aspect.
How Can I Tell What Size Outdoor Faucet I Have?
If you don’t know what size your outdoor faucet is, you can easily figure it out with a few minutes of your time and a tape measure. You need to measure the inside diameter. So, put the tape measure on the mouth of the fitting and measure from the inside of one side to the inside of the other.
Now, if you didn’t realize there were different sizes of hose and you’ve already bought one, don’t worry that it’s the wrong size. If you don’t end up getting the right hose diameter, you can buy an adapter to connect the hose to the connector. The adapter won’t change the water pressure much, but it will allow you to connect the wrong size hose diameter to your outdoor faucet.