Expand Your Outdoor Tap in 1-2-3 Simple Steps

Adding an outdoor faucet to your yard allows you to conveniently water plants, wash vehicles, or set up patio water features beyond the reach of your existing outdoor spigot. While it may seem complicated, extending your outdoor tap is actually a straightforward DIY project that anyone can tackle in a weekend.

By following three key steps, you’ll have a fully functioning outdoor faucet installed in no time.

Step 1: Determine the Location and Measure the Distance

The first step when embarking on any outdoor faucet extension project is deciding where you want the new tap positioned. This involves not only picking the general spot but also precisely measuring the distance from your existing outdoor faucet.

Selecting the Location

When choosing where to place your new outdoor faucet, consider what you’ll primarily use it for. If you’ll mainly be watering plants, position it close to your garden beds. For washing vehicles, have it near your driveway. You’ll also want it conveniently accessible from outdoor patios or sitting areas.

Be sure to allow enough slack for attaching multiple lengths of hose. Nothing is more frustrating than having a hose that barely reaches your intended area. Having some extra room to maneuver will prevent aggravations down the road.

extend an outdoor faucet

Measuring the Distance

Once you decide on the general position for your new faucet, take out a measuring tape and carefully measure from the supply point of your existing outdoor tap to the planned location of the new one.

When taking measurements, run the tape along the actual path you intend to lay the piping rather than just getting the direct linear distance. This allows you to account for corners, obstacles, elevation changes and other variables that add extra length.

For example, if you need to route the new line underground and back up to an above-ground faucet, measure following the trench rather than directly horizontal. Getting accurate numbers here ensures you buy adequate piping and connectors.

Additional Planning

Before starting to dig, use spray paint or stakes to clearly mark the start and end points of your planned trench line. If any piping will run above ground, map out these routes as well.

Also assess your terrain to determine if special equipment like a trencher will be needed or if you can get by with just a shovel. Accounting for these details now prevents headaches when installation day arrives.

Step 2: Trench and Install the New Water Line

With your locations set and measurements finalized, it’s time to start the fun part – assembling your new water line and trenching it into place. This involves properly cutting pipes, attaching fittings and digging a trench for burying your new water supply.

Assembling the Pipe Pieces

First, take your flexible polyethylene water line and cut it to the length you measured between the two faucets. Use pipe cutters to ensure a nice, clean edge. Apply thread seal tape to one end of the pipe where you will attach your initial threaded fitting.

Next, piece together the various elbow joints, T connectors, male and female threaded fittings using thread tape at every junction. When tightening connectors, use two wrenches in opposing directions to prevent spinning the entire assembly.

As you build out the line, test orientations by holding pieces together. Constructing the majority of the line above ground lets you troubleshoot problem spots before burying underground.

Digging the Trench

With your pipe layout assembled above ground, now it’s time to dig the trench housing it underground. Use a straight edge and spray paint to mark a guide line denoting the trench path between start and end points.

Aim for a depth between 6 to 8 inches when digging your trench. This allows several inches of cover above the pipe once laid in place. If your climate experiences moderate freezes, consider going slightly deeper to prevent winter damage.

Clear any large rocks or debris from the base and create a relatively flat, uniform trench floor so pipe pieces sit flush with few pressure points. Consider adding a thin layer of sand or fine gravel to cushion pipes.

Laying the Pipe

With your trench dug, begin feeding in your pre-assembled pipe, taking care around corners and elbow joints. Having a helper feed the line while you guide it minimizes kinks.

If any section of pipe will remain above ground, use metal strapping to securely anchor it in place, allowing for thermal expansion. Avoid placing straps over pipe joints or junctions.

For underground portions, pack soil tightly around pipe pieces to stabilize their position, being careful not to dent or crush the polyethylene piping in the process. Avoid leaving air gaps that could contribute to winter freeze damage.

Step 3: Mount and Connect the New Outdoor Faucet

With your new water line installed and tested, the final stage involves mounting the outdoor faucet and connecting it to your new supply. Take time to properly level and stabilize the final position before hooking up the water line.

Preparing the Final Spot

Select your final installation area, clearing any grass, plants or debris to create a roughly 12 inch diameter work zone. Use a tamp to flatten and pack down soil, adding a patio stone or pouring a concrete base if drainage is a concern.

Use a torpedo level on top of the faucet’s mounting plate to ensure it sits flush and true when secured. A solid, stable base prevents shifting and leaks over time as hoses are attached and detached.

Attaching the Faucet

Before connecting to your new water line, wrap the threaded outlet in thread seal tape and screw on your new outdoor faucet by hand until tightly sealed. Use pipe wrenches to turn faucets after hand tightening to prevent damage.

Aim water line openings away from structures or foot paths as you orient the final direction of your new faucet. Make sure garden hoses can conveniently attach without kinking or twisting the assembly.

Completing the Connection

With the new faucet secured in position, connect your pre-assembled water line to the inlet side of the faucet using additional thread tape to ensure water-tight seals.

Carefully turn on your main water supply and check for leaks at junction points on the newly installed line. Fix any drips before back filling your trench line.

With your new outdoor faucet working flawlessly, replace soil in the trench, taking care around pipe connections. Pack down with a tamper as you backfill, avoiding large air pockets near water lines.

Adding an outdoor faucet takes some upfront planning, but installation mainly involves straightforward trenching, assembly and connecting steps even novice DIY-ers can handle.

Just be sure to take winterization precautions like disconnecting hoses and shutting off water supplies before freezing weather sets in. Following the three simple stages outlined here lets you conveniently expand your outdoor water access all year long.

Consider the type of soil in your yard when deciding on the depth of the trench. Clay soil may require a deeper trench to prevent freezing and potential damage during winter months.

If you have a well or a pump for your water supply, you may need to consult a professional plumber to ensure proper installation and avoid any potential issues with water pressure.

If you want to add multiple water sources in your yard, consider creating a manifold system that allows you to control the flow of water to each source independently.

To prevent frost damage during winter months, consider using a frost-proof faucet that does not require draining.

If you live in an area with high water pressure, consider using a pressure regulator to prevent excessive pressure that could damage your pipes and fixtures.

If you have a large property with a long distance between the new faucet and the main one, consider using a submersible pump to lift the water to the desired height.

To prevent water waste and save money on your water bill, consider installing a rain barrel to collect rainwater for watering your garden and plants.

If you have pets or small children, consider adding a pet fountain or a child safety hose adapter to prevent accidental ingestion of water.

If you have a sloped yard, consider installing a French drain system to prevent water runoff and ensure proper drainage.

To add an extra layer of security, consider installing a motion sensor light near the new faucet to deter any unwanted visitors.

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