Installing an outside tap can greatly enhance the functionality and convenience of any property, whether it be for watering the garden, washing the car, or even filling up a paddling pool on a hot summer’s day. However, knowing the best way to install an outside tap is crucial to ensure proper functionality and prevent potential issues down the line. In this article, you will explore the most effective methods and essential considerations when it comes to installing an outside tap, empowering you with the knowledge to successfully complete this task with confidence and expertise.
Choosing the Location for the Outside Tap
When choosing the location for your outside tap, there are several considerations to keep in mind. Firstly, you’ll want to ensure easy access to water for tasks such as gardening, car washing, or filling a paddling pool. It’s also important to consider the proximity to your existing plumbing system to make installation easier. Additionally, you’ll want to select a location that is convenient for your needs while also taking into account any potential issues that may arise.
Finding the Best Spot
To find the best spot for your outside tap, start by identifying an exterior wall that is close to your main water supply. This will minimize the length of pipe required for installation, reducing the chances of potential leaks and pressure loss. Consider areas that are easily accessible from both the inside and outside of your home, such as near a utility room or kitchen. Take into account any obstacles, such as electrical wiring or gas lines, that could affect the installation process.
Checking for Potential Issues
Before finalizing the location for your outside tap, it’s crucial to check for potential issues that may arise. Look for underground utilities, such as gas lines or electrical cables, that may be present in the area. Contact your utility providers to mark any underground lines to ensure a safe installation process. Additionally, consider any potential structural impacts, such as drilling into load-bearing walls. Consulting with a professional plumber or contractor can help identify and address these potential issues.
Gathering the Necessary Tools and Materials
To ensure a smooth outside tap installation, it is important to gather all the necessary tools and materials beforehand. This will save you time and minimize interruptions during the installation process.
Tools Needed for the Installation
The tools required for installing an outside tap include:
- Adjustable wrench
- Pipe cutter or hacksaw
- Adjustable pliers
- Pipe reamer or deburring tool
- Spirit level
- Tape measure
- Pencil or marker
Materials Required for the Installation
The materials needed for the installation of an outside tap are:
- Outside tap kit (including tap, wall plate, and screws)
- Copper or plastic pipe
- Compression fittings or soldering materials (depends on the chosen installation method)
- Pipe insulation (if necessary)
- Pipe clips or brackets
- Teflon tape or jointing compound
Shutting Off the Water Supply
Before you begin the installation process, it is crucial to shut off the main water supply. This will prevent any water flow during the installation, reducing the risk of flooding or water damage.
Locating the Main Water Shut-Off Valve
The main water shut-off valve is usually located near where the water supply enters your property. It is commonly found in basements, garages, or utility rooms. Look for a valve handle or lever along the water line, typically on a vertical pipe. If you’re unsure about the location, consult your property’s blueprint or contact a professional plumber for assistance.
Turning Off the Main Water Supply
Once you have located the main water shut-off valve, turn it off by turning the valve handle clockwise until it stops. This will ensure that there is no water flowing through the pipes while you carry out the installation process. To verify that the water supply is off, turn on a faucet in your home to release any remaining water in the pipes. If there is no water flowing, you have successfully shut off the main water supply.
Draining the Water System
To prevent any water from flowing through the pipes during the installation process, it is important to drain the water system.
Opening Faucets to Drain the System
Start by opening all the faucets and valves in your home, both hot and cold, to release any water in the system. This includes taps, showers, and toilets. Leave them open until no more water flows out.
Draining Any Remaining Water
To ensure there is no remaining water in the system, flush toilets and run showers until there is no more water coming out. This step is crucial to prevent any water damage or leaks during the installation process. Once all the water has been drained, you can proceed with the installation of your outside tap.
Determining the Method of Installation
There are two main methods of installing an outside tap: compression fitting or soldering. The method you choose will depend on your skill level, existing plumbing system, and personal preferences.
Deciding Between a Compression Fitting or Soldering
A compression fitting installation involves using compression fittings to connect the outside tap to the existing water supply. This method is relatively simple and requires minimal tools and materials. On the other hand, soldering involves heating and melting solder to join the pipes together. Soldering requires more skill and specific materials but provides a permanent and secure connection.
Evaluating the Existing Plumbing System
Before deciding on the installation method, evaluate your existing plumbing system. If you have copper pipes, soldering may be the preferred method as it allows for a secure connection. If you have plastic pipes, compression fittings might be more suitable. Additionally, consider your level of experience and comfort with each method to make an informed decision.
Prepping the Installation Area
Before starting the installation process, it is important to prep the area to ensure a smooth and efficient installation.
Clearing the Area
Clear any obstructions near the chosen installation location, such as plants, debris, or outdoor furniture. This will provide ample space to work and prevent any damage to surrounding objects during the installation.
Measuring and Marking the Pipe
Measure the desired length of pipe required for the outside tap installation. Use a tape measure and mark the pipe accordingly, ensuring accuracy with the measurements. Double-check the measurements to avoid any unnecessary pipe cuts and wastage.
Cutting and Fitting the Pipe
Now that you have prepped the installation area and measured the pipe, it’s time to cut and fit the pipe to accommodate the outside tap.
Measuring and Cutting the Pipe
Using a pipe cutter or a hacksaw, cut the pipe according to the previously marked measurements. Ensure a clean and square cut to ensure a proper fit with the fittings. Use a pipe reamer or deburring tool to remove any rough edges or burrs from the cut ends for a smoother installation.
Installing a T-Joint or Elbow Fitting
Based on the specific layout of your plumbing system and the desired orientation of the outside tap, install a T-joint or elbow fitting to connect the pipe with the outside tap. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper fitting installation. Ensure that all connections are tight and secure to prevent any leaks.
Attaching the Compression Fitting
If you have chosen to use compression fittings for your outside tap installation, follow these steps to ensure a proper attachment.
Preparing the Compression Fitting
Apply Teflon tape or jointing compound to the threaded end of the outside tap to create a watertight seal. Ensure that the tape or compound is evenly distributed and covers the entire threaded area. This will prevent any leaks through the connection.
Tightening the Compression Fitting
Attach the compression fitting to the threaded end of the outside tap and tighten it using adjustable pliers or a wrench. Ensure a snug fit but be cautious not to overtighten, as it may damage the fitting. Check for any leaks and make necessary adjustments if required.
Testing the Installation
Once you have completed the installation, it is important to test it for leaks and to ensure the functionality of the tap.
Inspecting for Leaks
Turn on the main water supply and carefully inspect all connections for any signs of leaks. Look for any drips or water seepage around the fittings or along the pipes. If you notice any leaks, turn off the water supply immediately and make the necessary adjustments or reseal any connections.
Checking the Functionality of the Tap
After ensuring there are no leaks, turn on the outside tap to check its functionality. Ensure that water flows freely and without any restrictions. Test both hot and cold water, if applicable, to ensure smooth operation. If any issues arise, recheck the installation and make any necessary adjustments.
Securing the Pipe and Finishing Touches
To complete the installation of your outside tap, secure the pipe and add any finishing touches.
Securing the Pipe to a Wall or Surface
Use pipe clips or brackets to secure the pipe to a wall or a surface near the installation area. This will prevent any unnecessary movement and provide additional support to the pipe. Ensure that the clips or brackets are installed at regular intervals to maintain stability.
Covering the Pipe and Insulating if Necessary
Depending on the climate and potential freezing temperatures in your area, consider covering the pipe and insulating it to prevent freezing and bursting. Pipe insulation sleeves or foam can be used to wrap the pipe and provide protection. Consult a professional plumber for guidance on the appropriate insulation for your specific location.
In conclusion, installing an outside tap requires careful consideration and proper planning. By choosing the ideal location, gathering the necessary tools and materials, shutting off the water supply, draining the water system, determining the method of installation, prepping the installation area, cutting and fitting the pipe, attaching the compression fitting, testing the installation, and securing the pipe, you can successfully install an outside tap. Following these steps and ensuring proper installation techniques will provide you with a convenient water source for outdoor tasks while minimizing the risk of leaks or damage to your plumbing system.