Skip to main content

The Complete Guide to Garden Hose Fittings

Eugene has a keen interest in DIY and gardening. Over a 30 year period he has also become self taught in garden power tool maintenance.

How to Connect Up a Hose

This guide shows you what fittings you need to connect up your garden hose to an indoor or garden tap and also how to attach it to spray nozzles, sprinklers, pressure washers and coiled hoses.

The complete guide to garden hose fittings.

The complete guide to garden hose fittings.

Taps & Faucets

As you're probably aware what's called a faucet in the US and Canada is known as a tap in the UK and the rest of the world. There are also some other regional variants in naming these fittings:

UK and Ireland

  • Tap is used in the UK to refer to the fitting that supplies water to sinks, baths and wash basins. A tap outdoors is known as a "garden tap" or "outside tap."

US

  • Faucet. This is the same thing as a "tap" in the UK.
  • Spigot, Silcock, Bib, Bibcock and Hose Bib correspond to a "garden tap" in the UK.
  • Tap. This usually refers to a beer tap.

What Is the Thread Size of Garden Hose Fittings?

The United States, its territories and Canada:

  • The standard thread used for garden hoses is commonly known as garden hose thread (GHT), but officially its title is NH ("National Hose") defined in ANSI B1.20.7. There are two designations. NHR is for thin-walled couplers on hoses formed from rolled, thin material and NH is for full-form threads cut into thicker material, typically used for bib cocks and female hose ends. Male threads for garden hoses are also abbreviated as MHT for "male hose thread" and female threads as FHT for "female hose thread".
  • Threads are non-tapered, i.e parallel. Unlike tapered threads which wedge together when tightened, parallel threads don't seal without PTFE tape so usually rubber washers or o-rings are used in fittings to stop them leaking.
  • Fittings have an external thread diameter of 1 1/16", with a thread pitch of 11.5 threads per inch (TPI). A 3/4 inch GHT fitting is suitable for hoses with an internal diameter of 1/2", 5/8" or 3/4".
  • GHT is not compatible with National Pipe Tapered (NPT) as used for plumbing fittings. NPT threads however are used on the section of a bibcock that connects to the plumbing that feeds it.
  • Some hoses may be fitted with an NPSH (National Pipe Straight Hose) female, parallel threaded connector for connecting to a tapered threaded fitting on a water supply pipe (i.e. not a spigot). The 3/4" connector has 14 threads per inch and is not compatible with spigots. An adapter however can be used.

The UK and the rest of the world:

  • The British Standard Pipe Thread standard (BSP) is used. There are two versions of BSP:
    1. BSPP (British Standard Pipe Parallel)
    2. BSPT (British Standard Pipe Tapered)
  • BSPP is used for garden hoses (but usually just referred to as "BSP".) Most garden taps have a 3/4 inch BSP thread and thread pitch is 14 threads per inch. BSPP is also referred to as "G".
  • Older taps may have a 1/2" BSP thread.
  • Taps used on farms, factories and in horticulture, and fittings for garden irrigation pumps often have a 1 inch or 7/8" BSP outlet.
  • Domestic plumbing fittings vary in diameter, but also have BSP threads.

Does thread size refer to the actual diameter of the thread?

No, it's neither the internal nor external diameter. Thread sizes historically referenced the internal diameter of a steel or copper plumbing pipe that was used with the fitting. For instance a 1/2" BSP thread has an external diameter of about 21 mm or 53/64", whereas 1/2" is approximately equal to 12.5 mm. Pipes historically would have had a thicker wall and 1/2" would have been the inside measurement of the pipe.

Explaining male and female threads.

Explaining male and female threads.

Tapered threads. One end of the plug is narrower than the other.

Tapered threads. One end of the plug is narrower than the other.

US GHT Thread Sizes For Bibcock Outlets and Garden Hose Connectors

Source: National Fire Equipment Ltd.

Thread SizeExternal Diameter (in)Thread Pitch

3/4"

1 ¹/₁₆" (1.062")

11.5

BSP Thread Sizes For Taps, Plumbing Fittings and Garden Hose Connectors

BSP parallel specs. Source: Engineering Toolbox

Thread SizeMajor External Diameter (mm)Thread Pitch

1"

33.249

11

3/4"

26.441

14

1/2"

20.955

14

What Size Is a Garden Hose?

  • The nominal inner diameter (ID) of a garden hose is 3/8" (10mm), 1/2" (12.5mm), 5/8" (15mm) or 3/4" (19mm)
  • A 3/4-inch hose is generally reserved for professional use, the greater internal diameter resulting in less pressure drop over distance and a higher flow rate for the same pressure at the source.

How Do You Measure the Size of a Hose?

You can use a ruler or vernier calipers. Usually hose goes by the internal diameter, but sometimes external diameter is quoted.

Types of Fittings on the End of US and UK Hoses

Fittings differ somewhat between the United States and the United Kingdom. In the US, typically a 3/4" female threaded fitting is crimped to the end of the hose that connects to the bibcock, allowing it to be simply screwed on. The other end of the hose that connects to the spray head has a 3/4" male threaded fitting. Quick connect adapters can also be screwed to the bibcock, spray nozzle or either or both ends of the hose to make the system push fit. There's also more flexibility in the gender of fittings to allow mixing and matching of hoses and accessories to other hose systems. So for instance an adapter/coupler can be male/male, male/female, female/female, male/quick connect or female/quick connect.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Dengarden


In the UK, threaded fittings are normally not crimped onto the end of a hose and instead, it usually comes supplied with quick connectors fitted.

Old Style Semi-Permanent Fittings

The older system before quick release connectors were invented involved attaching spray jets, tap connectors, and hose joiners to a hose and hand tightening the fitting onto the hose with an integral threaded knurled (ridged for grip) plastic ring. If for instance the hose needed to be connected to a power washer or other accessory, or an additional length of hose, the fitting would have to be replaced. You can still buy these fittings, but they are not as widely available nowadays as quick release types.

Old Style Semi-Permanent Spray Fitting

Hose is pushed into spray jet and knurled ring tightened. Fitting has to be replaced by a different connector to connect to e.g. a power washer or hose joiner.

Hose is pushed into spray jet and knurled ring tightened. Fitting has to be replaced by a different connector to connect to e.g. a power washer or hose joiner.

Old Style Non-Push-Fit Round Tap Connector

This fitting has to be loosened and removed from the tap if someone needs to use it. The fitting is held in place on the hose by the knurled ring.

This fitting has to be loosened and removed from the tap if someone needs to use it. The fitting is held in place on the hose by the knurled ring.

Quick Release Push Fittings

The quick release, push-fit hose connection system produced by Hozelock, Gardena and other manufacturers is a lot more convenient because hoses can be easily attached to taps without having to screw on connectors. Also, various accessories such as sprinklers, power washers, extra lengths of hose, branches and spray jets can be quickly added or removed as necessary, even with the water turned on.

How to Connect a Hose to a Sink Tap or Unthreaded Outside Tap

Use a round tap connector with a quick release outlet. Hoses then need a hose end connector fixed on the end that can be push-fit onto the connector on the tap fitting. Depending on the manufacturer, there are several types of these tap connectors. In the case of Hozelock fittings, there is a version for standard round and oval taps up to 18 mm, one for mixer taps up to 24mm diameter, one for short spout square/round mixer taps and the fourth type for mixer taps with an external male thread (used for an aerator).

Quick Release Round Tap Connector For Standard Sink or Unthreaded Outdoor Taps

Suitable for round or oval taps up to 18 mm

Suitable for round or oval taps up to 18 mm

This connector is suitable for larger diameter mixer taps up to 24 mm

This connector is suitable for larger diameter mixer taps up to 24 mm

Alternative Tap Connector For Mixer Taps

Designed to fit a wide variety of square, round and mixer taps up to 43mm high by 34mm wide

Designed to fit a wide variety of square, round and mixer taps up to 43mm high by 34mm wide

Screw on Quick Release Tap Connector For Indoor Taps With External Male Threads

Screwed tap connector

Screwed tap connector

Screwed tap connector.

Screwed tap connector.

Once you have one of these fittings attached to your kitchen tap, you just push fit the hose end connector onto it.

The hose end connector simply push fits on the connector on the tap.

The hose end connector simply push fits on the connector on the tap.

How to Connect a Hose to a Garden Tap (Bib, Spigot, Faucet)

Garden taps in the UK have a 3/4-inch BSP threaded outlet. In the USA, bibcocks generally have a 3/4" GHT outlet. There are two options for connecting a hose:

Option 1

If the hose doesn't have a connector on the end, (i.e. just bare hose), fit a brass, female 3/4 inch BSP (UK) or GHT (US) connector. This has a barbed/bayonet section that pushes into the hose. A hose clip is tightened on the hose to stop it from being forced off the hose under pressure or pulled off during use. The advantage of these fittings is that they are cheap and made from brass and are less likely to be damaged than quick release, plastic connectors. However, they take longer to connect to the tap and the O-ring seems to wear quicker because it gets compressed during connection.

Option 2

The barb part of the connector varies in diameter to suit the internal diameter of the hose, so use a 3/4", 5/8" or 1/2 inch version. (This will be specified in the spec of the fitting (e.g. in the US, " 1/2" Hose Barb to 3/4" Female Garden Hose GHT Hose End Fitting").

  1. In the US, hoses are normally supplied with a 3/4" GHT fitting on the bib end of the hose so that it can be screwed straight onto the bib.
  2. Screw a 3/4 -inch brass or plastic fitting onto the tap. The connector on the hose can then be push-fitted onto this fitting (UK). In the US, you need to get a quick connect adapter that screws into the female end of the hose.

Some taps have 1/2" BSP threads. A reducer adaptor insert is available which screws inside a 3/4 threaded fitting. (Sometimes these are supplied with the connector). Tap connectors are also available for 1" threaded garden taps.

A Garden Tap Has a 3/4 Inch Threaded Spout

Thread is 3/4 inch BSP in the UK and 3/4 inch MHT (GHT/NHR) in the USA. Older taps had 1/2" threads.

Thread is 3/4 inch BSP in the UK and 3/4 inch MHT (GHT/NHR) in the USA. Older taps had 1/2" threads.

Option 1: Use a Barbed Threaded Tap Connector For Connecting a Hose to an Outside Tap/Bib

Push the fitting into the end of the hose and secure with a hose clip. Buy a fitting with a barb that's suited to the internal diameter of the hose. In the US, female threaded fittings are normally fitted as standard to a hose.

Push the fitting into the end of the hose and secure with a hose clip. Buy a fitting with a barb that's suited to the internal diameter of the hose. In the US, female threaded fittings are normally fitted as standard to a hose.

Threaded Connector Screwed Onto Tap

The advantage of these connectors is that they are cheap and strong, being made from brass. In the US, these female fittings are standard on the end of a hose.

The advantage of these connectors is that they are cheap and strong, being made from brass. In the US, these female fittings are standard on the end of a hose.

Option 2: Use a Push-Fit Threaded Garden Tap Connector

Hozelock style, garden tap connector.

Hozelock style, garden tap connector.

Fit a Quick Release Hose End Connector on the Hose (UK)

Fitting a hose end connector. These are usually fitted as standard on a UK hose, but can be bought separately.

Fitting a hose end connector. These are usually fitted as standard on a UK hose, but can be bought separately.

Hose End Connector Push-Fits Onto Garden Tap Connector

Push fitting a hose end connector onto a garden tap.

Push fitting a hose end connector onto a garden tap.

Alternatively Screw a Quick Connect Adapter into the End of the Hose (US)

US hoses normally come with a female threaded fitting on the bib end. A quick connect adapter can be screwed into this to allow the hose to be push fit onto the bib.

US hoses normally come with a female threaded fitting on the bib end. A quick connect adapter can be screwed into this to allow the hose to be push fit onto the bib.

An alternative system in the US is to screw a quick release adaptor onto the bib (the adaptor has a female thread on the end) and screw a push connector (male thread on the end) into the female threaded fitting on the end of the hose.

An alternative system in the US is to screw a quick release adaptor onto the bib (the adaptor has a female thread on the end) and screw a push connector (male thread on the end) into the female threaded fitting on the end of the hose.

Older Taps Had a 1/2 Inch Threaded Spout—A Reducer Adapter Is Available to Suit

Reducer for converting a 3/4" garden tap connector so it can be used with 1/2" threaded taps.

Reducer for converting a 3/4" garden tap connector so it can be used with 1/2" threaded taps.

Amazon's Choice for Replacement Bib With Sharkbite Fitting

If you need to replace your garden bibcock, this is Amazon's Choice for an outside faucet with Sharkbite fittings. The 3/4" GHT - 1/2" NPT bibcock can be quickly connected to house pipework by anyone, even without plumbing skills because it has a Sharkbite push fitting connector for connecting to copper, PEX, CPVC, PE-RT or HDPE plumbing. So no wrenches are required. Just cut the pipe square and push into the Bib. (a non-return double check valve is also necessary in the plumbing feeding the spigot to stop contaminated water flowing back into your home).

Bibcock with Sharkbite fitting for ease of plumbing.

Bibcock with Sharkbite fitting for ease of plumbing.

How to Connect More Than One Hose to a Tap

2, 3 and 4 way tap connectors are available so you can connect more than one hose. This is useful if for instance you want to feed more than one sprinkler or drip feed system for plants. Note that flow from each outlet will be reduced if you feed more than one hose.

Multiway Outlet Tap Connectors

Hozelock splitter for connecting two, quick- release hoses.

Hozelock splitter for connecting two, quick- release hoses.

Hozelock mult-outlet adaptor for connecting several hoses to one tap.

Hozelock mult-outlet adaptor for connecting several hoses to one tap.

Alternative y-splitter for US hoses with GHT screwed fittings.

Alternative y-splitter for US hoses with GHT screwed fittings.

How to Connect a Spray Jet

  • If your hose is a made up one bought in a store, the gun/sprinkler connector at the spray end of the hose is likely to be a water-stop type. This has an internal valve that stops water flow when the spray jet is removed. This is a useful feature because you can attach another hose or accessory, without having to turn off the tap.
  • The spray jet simply push-fits into the gun connector.
  • In the US, the end of the hose normally has a male threaded connector so the spray jet can be screwed onto this. Alternatively a quick connector can be screwed onto the hose first so the spray can be push fit.

Hose Spray Gun/Jet

Spray jet for connecting to a hose.

Spray jet for connecting to a hose.

Gun Connector For Hose With Integral Valve

Hozelock's "Aquastop" hose end connector stops water coming out of the hose when the spray gun is removed

Hozelock's "Aquastop" hose end connector stops water coming out of the hose when the spray gun is removed

A valve in the connector stops water flow when the spray or other accessory is disconnected from the hose

A valve in the connector stops water flow when the spray or other accessory is disconnected from the hose

The spray gun just push-fits into the connector on the end of the hose.

The spray gun just push-fits into the connector on the end of the hose.

Can You Connect Two Hoses Together?

If the spray end of one hose has a male threaded connector and the bib connector on the other is female threaded as is often the case with US hoses, they can be simply screwed together if the threads have the same diameter and pitch. Alternatively, you can use the push fit connectors, which is more typical in the UK

  1. Turn off the water at the tap.
  2. Remove the spray gun if fitted from the first hose. If the gun connector on the spray end of the hose isn't a water stop type, it's a good idea to replace it with one so that you can disconnect/connect accessories and a second hose without having to turn off the water at the tap.
  3. You'll need a double male connector. Push one end into the tap connector of the second hose.
  4. Push the other end of the connector into the free end of the first (at the point you removed the spray head).
  5. Finally attach the spray gun, sprinkler, power washer or another accessory to the gun connector at the end of the second hose.
Double male connector for garden hose

Double male connector for garden hose

One end of the coupler pushes into the spray connector end of the first hose. The other end pushes into the tap connector of the second hose.

One end of the coupler pushes into the spray connector end of the first hose. The other end pushes into the tap connector of the second hose.

Push the two connectors together.

Push the two connectors together.

How to Attach a Pressure Washer to a Hose

The procedure for connecting to a pressure washer is exactly the same as for connecting to a garden tap.

  1. Screw a 3/4" threaded outdoor tap connector onto the water intake of the pressure washer.
  2. Remove the spray gun if fitted from the end of the hose.
  3. Push fit the gun connector on the end of the hose onto the tap connector on the pressure washer.
Pressure washer.

Pressure washer.

Pressure washers generally have a threaded inlet. You need a threaded "garden tap" type fitting so that you can connect a hose

Pressure washers generally have a threaded inlet. You need a threaded "garden tap" type fitting so that you can connect a hose

The hose end connector push fits onto the  threaded connector.

The hose end connector push fits onto the threaded connector.

How to Connect a Sprinkler to a Hose

A sprinkler has a fitting similar to a tap connector, so you can simply push fit your hose onto it. This accessory fitting is a little different from a garden tap connector and has male (external) threads. The fitting may be bonded to the sprinkler, however if it isn't, it can be replaced.

Accessory fitting for connecting a hose to a sprinkler.

Accessory fitting for connecting a hose to a sprinkler.

An accessory fitting is used to connect a sprinkler to a hose

An accessory fitting is used to connect a sprinkler to a hose

Lawn sprinkler.

Lawn sprinkler.

How to Connect a Garden Hose to a Washing Machine

If for some reason your washing machine isn't permanently plumbed (it might be located in an outbuilding) or your house is undergoing renovations, you can use a garden hose to supply water to the machine. Washing machines in the UK have 3/4 inch water inlets. You can screw on a garden tap connector and then push fit the hose onto the connector.

Washing Machine Converted to Allow Connection of a Garden Hose

Washing machine inlet is 3/4 inch BSP

Washing machine inlet is 3/4 inch BSP

A garden tap connector allows a hose to be used to feed the washing machine. Once this is screwed on, just push fit the hose

A garden tap connector allows a hose to be used to feed the washing machine. Once this is screwed on, just push fit the hose

How to Repair a Burst Hose

  1. Use a knife or hose cutters to remove the bad section of hose and cut both ends square.
  2. A hose connector is used to join the two sections of hose. You just need to push each hose end into the connector. Then tighten the two knurled rings.

Hose Connector for Repairing a Burst Hose

Hose joiner.

Hose joiner.

Cutting Hose With a Tubing Cutter

This tubing cutter which uses "Stanley" knife blades is useful for cutting hose square

This tubing cutter which uses "Stanley" knife blades is useful for cutting hose square

Alternative Hose Connector for American Hoses

You can also use threaded connectors like these ones available from Amazon for joining two hoses to get extra length or connecting two ends back together after removing a burst section. This product has barbed hose connectors for suitable for 5/8" internal diameter hose (other sizes available) and the threaded parts are 3/4" GHT.

the-complete-guide-to-hose-fittings

How to Connect a Spiral Hose to a Tap

Spiral or flat hoses are usually fitted with a crimped 3/4" female threaded connector suitable for a garden tap. A quick release adapter is available that allows you to connect the hose to a sink tap.

Spiral Hoses Normally Have a 3/4-Inch Fitting Suitable For a Garden Tap

Spiral hose with 3/4 threaded female connector.

Spiral hose with 3/4 threaded female connector.

A Flat Hose and Spiral Hose Adapter

A flat hose and spiral hose adapter for connecting these type of hoses to a push fit tap connector.

A flat hose and spiral hose adapter for connecting these type of hoses to a push fit tap connector.

Garden Hoses, Paddling Pools and Ponds are A Breeding Ground for Bacteria

Water lying in a hose can become stagnant and laden with Legionella and other harmful bacteria in warm conditions. This can siphon back into your home supply, potentially contaminating it if pressure drops indoors or your water authority turns off the supply. So to be safe:

  • Turn of your tap/bibcock and ideally disconnect your hose pipe when not in use.
  • Don't leave the end of a hose in a pond or paddling pool
  • Ideally an inline backflow valve (also known as a double check valve or one-way valve) should be fitted in the plumbing feeding the outside tap to prevent this from happening. An alternative is to fit a double check valve to the outside tap.

Backflow Prevention Valve for Outside Tap

Backflow prevention or check valve for a hose. This only allows water to flow one way.

Backflow prevention or check valve for a hose. This only allows water to flow one way.

How to Connect Hoses of Different Diameters Together

To connect different sized hoses, you need a reducer fitting. There are several options:

  • The two bare ends of the hoses can be connected using a barbed reduction fitting like this one from Amazon and hose clips. Obviously the two hoses can't be quickly de-coupled without disassembling.
  • Hoses with threaded fittings can be connected with a threaded reducer with the proper gender thread on both ends.