How to Attach Garden Hose Fittings

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Maybe you dropped your hose and cracked the fitting, or maybe you ran over it with your lawnmower. Whatever the cause, if you’re dealing with a leaky mess every time you use your hose, it’s probably time to replace the fitting. We’re here to help walk you through the (surprisingly simple) steps, and we’ll even explain some of the most common types of fittings so you know what you’re looking for when you head to the hardware store.

Steps

Method 1 Method 1 of 3:Sizing and Material

Measure the inside diameter of your hose and/or faucet. If you already know that your hose fits onto your faucet without an adapter, you only need to measure one or the other. It’s probably easiest to measure the hose since you can move it around. Just take a tape measure and find the diameter of the hose from one inside edge across to the other. Don’t measure from the outside edges of the hose—your new fitting won’t be the right size.

  • Most residential hoses have a 58 in (1.6 cm) diameter, although some inexpensive hoses are smaller at 12 in (1.3 cm). Professional or high-flow hoses are usually 34 in (1.9 cm) in diameter.
  • There are also different thread sizes, or pitches, but in the U.S., the standard thread size is 11.5NH (national hose) per inch. It’s pretty uncommon for taps or fittings to be a different size.

Choose a hose fitting with the same diameter as your hose. This will be written on the packaging, along with the type of fitting it is. If you’re replacing the fitting that actually attaches to the hose, you’ll need the aptly named “hose fitting.”

  • Choose female fittings (threads on the inside) if you’ll be attaching them to an object with the threads on the outside, like most faucets.
  • Go with a male fitting (threads on the outside) if you’ll be attaching the fitting to something with internal threads, like most hose accessories.
  • Regardless of whether you buy male or female fittings, they should match the diameter of your hose.

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Choose brass fittings for the most durability. Brass fittings are more expensive than plastic or aluminum, but they’re made to last. Brass is tough, so it’s not likely to crack if you accidentally drop the end of your hose on concrete. Also, it won’t rust, and it even has antimicrobial qualities.

  • Be sure you choose a fitting that’s solid brass, and not brass coated over another metal—those won’t be as long-lasting.
  • Avoid aluminum fixtures—they’re very susceptible to corrosion and galling, which is a type of wear.

Go with plastic for an inexpensive option. Plastic fittings are cheaper than brass, and while they’re not as durable, there are some options that are pretty high-quality. Just keep in mind that temperature fluctuations and exposure to the sun can cause the plastic to warp over time, and there’s a chance the plastic could crack if you drop it.

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Method 2 Method 2 of 3:Installation

Turn off the water and disconnect the hose. You don’t want to get sprayed while you’re doing this! Head to your outdoor tap and turn it all the way off, then unscrew the hose to detach it. If you have any attachments on the other end of the hose, remove those as well.

  • Do this no matter which end of the hose you’ll be working on. Detaching the hose will make it easier to work with, and removing the attachments will prevent them from getting damaged.

Use a sharp blade to cut the old fitting off the hose. Place the hose on the ground and slice through the hose in a straight line. Make sure there aren’t any little burrs or left sticking up, or the hose might not sit correctly in the new fitting.

  • There are hose cutters that are made specifically for this, but you can use a heavy-duty utility knife if you don’t have one.

Add a drop of dishwashing liquid inside the hose. This will act as a lubricant, making it easier to push the hose onto the fitting. You can also use soapy water, or even a different lubricant, if you prefer.

  • If it’s easier, you can put the soap onto the fitting, instead.

Push the end of the hose onto the fitting. The majority of hose fittings ar made with a slightly narrower end that fits inside your hose. This end is called the barb. Place the barb in the opening of the hose and push down firmly until the hose is seated all the way against the rim of the fitting.

  • This might take a bit of force—just work slowly so you don’t damage the hose.

Tighten the collar or clamp on the fitting. This will depend on how your fitting is made—some have a collar that you spin, which tightens the fitting down onto the hose. Others use a clamp with a small screw—you’ll need to tighten the screw with a screwdriver to secure the fitting in place.

  • You might also need to purchase a hose clamp separately. If so, slide it onto the hose before you attach the fitting.
  • If you’re using a clamp, make sure it’s lined up over the barb of the fitting before you tighten it. Otherwise, it won’t hold the fitting in place.

Check for any leaks. Once the fitting is securely in place, reattach the hose. Then, turn the tap on about a quarter of a turn—just enough so the water starts to flow. Examine the base of the fitting carefully to make sure there aren’t any beads or drips forming. If there are, you may need to push the hose more firmly into the fitting or tighten the clamp a little more.

  • If the fitting isn’t secured, it could pop loose when you have the water on full-force.

Install quick-release fittings over your existing fittings. Quick-release fittings (also called quick-connect fittings) make it so you don’t have to unscrew your hose from the tap every time you want to move it—or remove the attachments to change them out if you have the fitting on the other end of the hose. You usually just screw the quick-connect fittings into your existing fitting, although some might simply slide into place.

  • You can find quick-release fittings that are universally sized, which makes them a good option if you’re not sure of the size of your hose or faucet.
  • However, others are sold based on the diameter of your hose.

Replace your hose gaskets every 3-10 years. There are small rubber gaskets inside your fittings that help prevent leaks, but these usually wear out a little faster than the fittings themselves. Disconnect your hose and pull out the old O-shaped gasket with needle-nose pliers. Then, press a new gasket into the fitting and reconnect the hose. It’s that simple!

  • You can also use a flathead screwdriver to pop out the old gasket.

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Method 3 Method 3 of 3:Types of Fittings

Put a hose connector directly onto the hose. It goes on the end that you’ll attach to the faucet, so it needs to have opposite threads from your faucet connector (or the faucet itself if you’re not using a faucet connector). So if the faucet connector has female threads, your hose connector needs male threads, and vice versa.

  • Hose connectors have a special valve that only allows water to flow through them one way. This keeps water from being forced back into your pipes.

Attach a faucet connector to your faucet. These screw onto the threads of your outdoor faucet—you’ll attach the hose fitting to this fitting. They can be either female or male, depending on whether the threads of your faucet are on the outside or inside.

  • They’re usually held in place by a connector clip so they won’t pop out when the water is on full power.
  • You can find both standard and quick-connect faucet connectors.

Put a water stop hose connector at the opposite end of the hose. This allows you to stop water from coming out of the hose without you having to actually go to the faucet and turn it off. It’s especially useful if you switch between multiple hose accessories, like a hand-held spray gun and a sprinkler, because you can change them without having to go back and turn off the water.

Use an adapter if your faucet and hose are different sizes. This isn’t super common, but it does happen. For instance, your faucet might be 34 in (1.9 cm) and your hose fitting might be 58 in (1.6 cm). In that case, you’d buy an adapter that’s 34 in (1.9 cm) at one end and 58 in (1.6 cm) at the other end.

  • Just make sure the adapter has the right male or female threads.

Link two hoses with a double male connector. These are used to connect two hoses together. Put a water stop hose connector on the end of each hose, then attach one water stop hose connector to either end of the double male connector. This is a great option if you might need to disconnect the hoses later, because it’s easy to remove.

  • For a more permanent solution, use a coupler. The ends of the coupler are barbed, and you secure it in place with rings that crimp the hose onto the barbs.

Branch off multiple hoses with a 3-way adapter. This is useful if you need hoses for different purposes at the same time, like washing your car while you run a sprinkler—or if you just don’t want to have to disconnect your hose every time you change jobs. To use it, connect one end of a hose to the faucet and the other end to the 3-way adapter. Then, attach another two hoses to the remaining to openings on the connector.

  • This connector is also called a Y-connector because it’s shaped like the letter Y.

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