How To Fit An Outside Tap?

Written by  John Davies
Last updated: July 5, 2023

Installing an outside tap is one of the best ways to make watering your garden, washing the car, filling a pool, or washing a mucky pup. The possibilities open up significantly once you have working outside tap. Here’s everything you need to know about fitting an outside tap.

How Easy Is It To Fit An Outside Tap?

Depending on how easily accessible the water source is, the installation can take one or two hours. If there’s an accessible water supply close to the outside wall, it’s a very straightforward job. The ideal scenario is if there’s a kitchen with a sink installed on an external wall. When you have a similar set-up, it’s a straight forwards task of connecting a pipe to the mainline, and you’ll have a functioning outside tap.

However, the task may become significantly more complicated if the water supply isn’t in an accessible position. The job then requires a significant amount of drilling and positioning to ensure that the pipe connects successfully. You’ll need to be careful of all the other piping in the household as well. With an accessible water source, it’s a job that you do at home yourself.

Tip: If you do not have good access to a water supply, I would recommend a plumber they’re used to doing it without causing too much damage.

How Do You Install An Outside Tap UK?

Typically, building regulations dictate that you need to fit a double check valve tap on the outside in the UK. A double check valve is a valve inside the tap’s body, which ensures that water only flows in one direction. For outdoor faucets, the direction is outward, toward the tap itself.

The main reason why UK building regulations require double check valve taps is they stop the reverse flow of water. If there weren’t a double check valve in place, if something were to happen to the water supply, it would cause a vacuum that would build pressure. That pressure could then reverse the water flow and cause the water to be sucked back into the system. It also helps in preventing any contamination of the overall water supply of the household.

When owners are looking to fit an outside tap, the best place is to join it to the domestic cold water pipe connected under the sink if there’s enough room to work. It’s not essential to make the connection under the sink, but it’s vital to secure the tap to a cold-water pipe. The pipe needs to be carrying cold water under mains pressure. Suppose you connect the outside tap to a tube that’s getting cold water from your tank. In that case, that could significantly impact the water pressure on other fixtures.

Before cutting any pipes, ensure the water is turned off and drained or you have isolated the section.

Once you manage to source the cold water pipe, make sure that it has enough room to fit in the T connector. You’ll need to make a cut on the pipe, so there’s enough room to insert the T fitting. The T fitting will ensure that there’s a flow of water going to the outside tap. Instead of directly fitting the new branch to the outside, point it to the side. By pointing it to the side, you allow yourself to fit an isolation valve.

The isolation valve is vital because it allows you to turn off the water supply going to the outside at any given time. It also means that you won’t have to keep the entire water supply switched off for the entirety of the installation. If you have had the plumbing done somewhat recently, you probably already have this setup.

After the T piece and isolation valve are connected, that’s when you install the piping and connect it to the outdoor tap. Before attaching it to the outdoor tap, it’s essential to drill a 22mm hole into the wall.

Installing the pipe and sleeve helps ensure that the connection is as smooth as possible. The tap is typically made up of two parts: the backplate and the pipe’s main body. The backplate is screwed to the outside wall and is connected to a pipe via the compression joint. After that, it’s a simple job of screwing the tap mechanism itself into the plate. Clip the pipe to the wall to help ensure that it remains secure.

What Do You Need To Fit An Outside Tap?

The easiest way to ensure that you can install an outside tap for your garden is by using a full kit. These installation kits are widely available and provide everything you’re going to need to fit the outside tap. This includes the compression joints and the T-connector, which will divert the water flow.

Aside from the outside tap installation kit, you’re going to need two pipes. Each pipe needs to be 2m in length, and it’s okay even if you have a little access pipe leftover. You’re going to need one 15mm copper pipe and another 22mm copper pipe, which will act as a sleeve through the wall. Additionally, suppose the water source is significantly further away from the outside tap. In that case, you’re going to need a few bends that help connect the pipes.

How Much Does It Cost To Fit An Outside Tap?

When you’re looking to do all the installation yourself, the only costs you’re going to worry about are the equipment. For an outdoor tap installation kit, you’re looking at an outlay of between £10-20. All the additional piping and connector joints will end up costing around £25-30.

In terms of labour costs, the expense is usually variable. It ultimately depends on the degree of difficulty of the job. For a simple job, it tends to cost between £60-80. However, the cost of more complicated jobs can go up to £200. More complex jobs can also require additional material, which will end up costing more.

If you’re looking to reduce the installation price, one of the best ideas is moving around any potential furniture that might come in the way. The professional will charge extra for any additional work, so it’s a good idea to remove all the clutter from the area before calling the professional.

While you can save a significant amount of money by getting the materials and a DIY outside tap installation kit, a professional’s work will be of significantly higher quality. It’ll also allow you to get an inspection.

Can I Use A Plastic Pipe For The Outside Tap?

Depending on how cold it gets outside, you can use a plastic pipe for the outside tap as well. However, it’s generally better to go with a copper pipe because the installation procedure is significantly more straightforward with copper pipes. That’s not to say that installing the outside tap via plastic pipes is impossible.

You definitely will not want to use copper in certain areas as it’s more prone to getting stolen. There are a few other essential things to keep in mind when using plastic pipes. It’s necessary to include pipe inserts in all the plastic pipes connecting the primary source to the outside tap.

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