The Complete Guide to Garden Hose Fittings

Updated on November 6, 2018
eugbug profile image

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.

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 means the same think as a "tap" in the UK
  • Spigot, silcock, bib, bibcock, hose bib corresponds to a "garden tap" in the UK
  • Tap This usually refers to a beer tap

What Is the Thread Size of Garden Hose Fittings?

  • In the USA, its territories and Canada, the standard thread used for garden hoses is commonly known as garden hose thread (GHT), but officially its title is NHR ('NH' standing for "National Hose"). There are two standards. 3/4-11.5NHR is for thin-walled couplers on hoses, and 3/4-11.5NH is for full-form threads on thicker material used to make valves and fittings. Thread pitch is 11.5 threads per inch (TI)
  • For the rest of the world, the British Standard Pipe Thread standard (BSP) is used. Domestic fittings are 3/4 inch BSP and thread pitch is 14 threads per inch. Taps used on farms, factories and in horticulture and fittings for garden irrigation pumps use a 1 inch BSP thread system

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.

How Do You Measure the Size of a Hose?

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

Quick Release Fittings and Semi-Permanent Fittings

The quick release, push-fit hose connection system used by Hozelock and other manufacturers is 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. 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 plastic ring. If for instance the hose needed to be connected to a power washer, 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 Hose 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
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 | Source

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

There's two options for connecting a hose to an indoor sink tap:

  1. Use a round tap connector that attaches semi-permanently to the hose. Not as convenient as a quick release connector because the fitting has to be pulled off the tap if someone needs to use it
  2. Use a round tap connector with a quick release outlet. Hoses then need a quick release connector fixed on the end that can be push-fit onto the outlet on the tap fitting. Depending on 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 a fourth type for mixer taps with an external male thread (used for an aerator)

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.
This fitting has to be loosened and removed from the tap if someone needs to use it. | Source

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 | Source

Quick Release Round Tap Connector For Mixer Taps

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 | Source

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 | Source

Screw on Quick Release Fitting For Indoor Taps With External Male Threads

Source
Source

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, the thread size is 3/4-inch GHT also known as NHR or MHT. There are two options for connecting a hose:

  1. Fit a brass female 3/4 inch BSP threaded connector to the hose. 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 being made from brass, 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
  2. Screw a 3/4 -inch plastic fitting onto the tap. The hose connector can then be push fitted onto this fitting

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
Thread is 3/4 inch BSP in the UK and 3/4 inch MHT (GHT/NHR) in the USA | Source

Option 1: Use A Barbed Tap Connector For Connecting a Hose to an Outside Tap

Push the fitting into the end of the hose and secure with a hose clip
Push the fitting into the end of the hose and secure with a hose clip | Source

Threaded Connector Screwed Onto Tap

The advantage of these connectors is that they are cheap and strong, being made from brass
The advantage of these connectors is that they are cheap and strong, being made from brass | Source

Option 2: Use a Quick Release 3/4 Inch Garden Tap Connector

Source

Fit a Quick Release Connector on the Hose

Source

Hose Push-Fits Onto Tap Connector

Source

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

Source

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 will be divided if you feed more than one hose.

Multiway Outlet Tap Connectors

Source
Source

How to Connect a Spray Jet

  1. 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
  2. The spray jet simply push-fits into the gun connector

Hose Spray Gun/Jet

Source

Gun Connector For Hose With Integral Valve

Hozelock's Autostop connector for stopping water when the spray gun is removed
Hozelock's Autostop connector for stopping water when the spray gun is removed | Source
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 | Source
The spray gun just push-fits into the connector
The spray gun just push-fits into the connector | Source

Can You Connect Two Hoses Together?

If the end of one hose has a male threaded connector and the tap connector on the other is female threaded, they can be simply screwed together if the threads have the same diameter and pitch. Alternatively you can use the push fit connectors of the hose

  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 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 other accessory to the gun connector at the end of the second hose

Double male connector for garden hose
Double male connector for garden hose | Source
One end of the connector 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 connector pushes into the spray connector end of the first hose. The other end pushes into the tap connector of the second hose. | Source
Source

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

Source
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 | Source
Source

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.

Source
Accessory fitting for connecting a hose to a sprinkler.
Accessory fitting for connecting a hose to a sprinkler. | Source
An accessory fitting is used to connect a sprinkler to a hose
An accessory fitting is used to connect a sprinkler to a hose | Source
Source

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 | Source
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 | Source

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

Source

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

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

Source

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. | Source

Garden Taps or Hose Connectors Must Have a Backflow Prevention Valve

This is mandatory for an outside tap. It caters for the scenario where water has been lying in a hose for some time and has become stagnant. If the hose is left connected to the tap and your supply authority shuts off water for some reason, this water can syphon back into the supply when indoor taps are turned on, potentially contaminating your supply and your neighbours. Ideally an inline backflow valve (also known as a 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 backflow connector to the outside tap.

Backflow Connector for Outside Tap

Source

Winter Care of Hoses

Hoses are usually flexible enough to withstand the stresses of water freezing and expanding inside them, however there's no harm draining water, just in case, to prevent a burst. The spray nozzle on the end is a different story. This is made from ABS or polystyrene, a much stiffer plastic, and it can easily crack if the water inside turns to ice during severe frost. So once you turn off the water supply to the hose, open the spray jet and hang it downwards to allow water to drain out.

To prevent freezing and cracking of the spray jet, it's a good idea to open it and allow water to drain.
To prevent freezing and cracking of the spray jet, it's a good idea to open it and allow water to drain.

Acknowledgements

Thanks to Hozelock for permission to use some of the photos in this article.

Questions & Answers

  • I've got new 3/4 inch taps, but the Quick Release 3/4 Inch Garden Tap Connectors for my garden hose don't fit as they are too small and the inch versions are too big. Any ideas?

    Normally the alternative to 3/4 inch BSP threads is either 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch or 1 inch. If you measure the threads they won't actually be this size because the thread size historically refers to the internal diameter of a thick walled iron pipe used with the fitting.

    Have a look at the table at this link which gives the sizes of various type BSP threads. You should be able to identify the thread by both the number of threads per inch and diameter.

    https://www.stevensonplumbing.co.uk/bspt.html

  • What adapter do I need to be able to connect a garden hose from the USA to a garden spigot in South America, specifically Chile? I'm moving there and would like to know what adaptors to purchase.

    The easiest solution is probably to cut off the garden hose thread (GHT) fitting on the end of your hose (or push fit adapter plus female fitting) and replace with a barbed female connector suitable for Chilean outside taps. This appears to be BSP from a quick search, but I've posted a question on a Chilean forum, so check back on this answer later for an update. The adapter, in any case, would be more expensive than a barbed connector. BSP to GHT adapters doesn't seem to be readily available. This is the only one I found, but the Canadian company seems to be just a manufacturer:

    http://www.mercedestextiles.com/fire-fighting-equi...

  • I have a garden sprayer that has female 3/4" BSP threads. Can you direct me to a source for an adapter?

    It depends on what you want to connect it to. A 3/4" BSP connector will screw straight onto a tap. An adapter is also available that will allow it to be used with push fit connectors. If the female BSP is on the o/p of the sprayer, you can get a spiral hose type adapter like this one:

    https://www.hozelock.com/our-products/watering/fit...

    https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Hozelock-Flat-Hose-Spir...

  • How do I fit a twin hose connection onto an outside tap that has no thread?

    The cheapest option is to replace the tap. A threaded brass tap only costs less than £10. Alternatively, use a round tap connector like the ones in the article below. Then, push fit an adapter with a threaded outlet onto this (the green "Flat Hose / Spiral Hose Adapter" in the article).

  • I have a small 12v pump with a 3/8" Hose Barb. What is the best way to make a permanent connection?

    If you want to permanently plumb the pump, you may be able to unscrew the barbed fitting and replace it with a brass fitting with threads (male or female as necessary) on one end and a compression input on the other end (for use with copper or plastic tubing). Use PTFE tape on the threaded end to seal it.

    Alternatively, you could attach a short piece of hose to the barb and secure it with a hose clip. Then attach the other end to a fitting like this (make sure you get the one with the right sized barb.)

    Then screw that onto a male coupler with a compression output.

© 2017 Eugene Brennan

Comments

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    • eugbug profile imageAUTHOR

      Eugene Brennan 

      4 weeks ago from Ireland

      3/4 inch BSP has 14TPI. Just check also that you're not cross-threading. Keep the connector square to the fitting as you screw on. I find it's easy to cross thread these fittings, especially if threads are a little loose/worn.

    • eugbug profile imageAUTHOR

      Eugene Brennan 

      4 weeks ago from Ireland

      Hi Peter,

      What's the model number?

      I'll see if I can get some info. I've tweeted an enquiry to Karcher Australia also.

    • profile image

      Peter from Oz 

      4 weeks ago

      I have a Karcher Pressure Washer. It has a Swivel fitting for the attachment of the water hose to the unit. My 3/4 standard water connecetor won't screw in properly; It goes 1 3/4 turns and stops. I have tried to measure the thread TPI, The Karcher Swivel seems to be 13TPI, and my hose connector seems to be 14TPI. What "Standad" fitting is this on my Karcher. And what can I get to Adapt the Hose to the Unit? Thx.

    • eugbug profile imageAUTHOR

      Eugene Brennan 

      6 weeks ago from Ireland

      Hi John, Do you mean for screwing it on/unscrewing it? If it's tight, a cloth wrapped around the fitting will help to give more grip. A water pump pliers with soft curved plastic jaw covers as used on chrome taps/faucets to avoid scratching could also be used to unscrew (A vise grips could also be used, but it could damage a round brass fitting over time if it slips). I'm guessing the fitting is knurled with ridges, so it would be difficult to attach something permanently by glueing or whatever. I've done a search on Google for "clamp for unscrewing round objects" and these are the results:

      https://bit.ly/2CGscD1

      You could tighten a hose clip around it and you'd get a better grip on the screw section of the clip than the grips on the connector.

    • profile image

      Jim Bosserman 

      6 weeks ago

      The brass connector on my hose is too small to grip with anything but my fingers. Is there anything that can fit over this to give a better grip?

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