Anyone who’s found that their hose doesn’t fit into the outdoor garden faucet or spigot has felt frustration and had the immediate realization that there are different size garden hose fittings. After all, most hoses look the exactly same, shouldn’t they work without issue?
So what is the standard hose fitting size, and how do the various sizes work?
Most residential garden hoses have a 5/8″ internal diameter with 11.5NH or 11.5 threads per inch. Some professional or high-flow hoses are 3/4″ 11.5NH while some cheaper hoses are 1/2″ 11.5NH. It is rare however to find a residential hose fitting that uses a different thread pitch.
There are some exceptions however so let’s explain hose fitting sizing in greater detail and I’ll show you what most of the common fitting and connector sizes are commonly used for.
► FYI – Quick connector fittings like these over on Amazon work with all standard hose sizes. I’ve always found keeping a few on hand at all times to be helpful.
First of All – What are Threads?
Before we can answer questions about standard sizes for hose fittings, you need to understand what we mean when we talk about threads.
Threads are the small rings you’ll see on the outside of a faucet or on the inside of a garden hose’s fitting. The threads are supposed to fit together in a screw-like manner to attach a hose to a faucet to allow water to come through without leaking or losing pressure.
Most fittings are made from some durable material like brass. This makes the threads themselves rather tough and they aren’t likely to break or bend easily.
Many cheap hoses come with low end fittings on either end that are easily damaged. If you ever want to replace these fittings then the best quality brass connectors can be purchased for a lot less than a brand new hose and most universal connectors will work just fine with either 5/8″ or 3/4″ hoses.
Here is an example of one such repair connector kit on Amazon that can go on any normal sized hose.
What is the Standard Size of a Garden Hose Fitting?
Now that we know what threads are, we can answer the question above. There’s a standard thread size that’s used throughout the United States (and Canada). This size is called the GHT for garden hose thread, or sometimes the NHR, for national hose.
You might sometimes see NHR designations for full-form threads on faucets, valves, or fittings.
Threads with the NHR designations must be made with a consistency of 11.5 threads per inch, which ensures a certain level of tightness and certainty when screwing a hose into a fitting. These fittings can be relied on more than fittings which are made with fewer threads or with threads that are thinner or weaker.
The standard hose fitting size is either ¾-11.5 NH or 5/8-11.5 NH.
In these examples, the fractional parts, ¾ or 5/8, represent the given hose’s internal dimensions in inches. The 11.5, of course, relates to the thread pitch that we explained above.
What’s a Garden Hose’s Normal Size?
Most garden hoses are of a similar size. There are four primary sizes that you’ll find in most stores or with most standard homes. These sizes are 3/8”, ½”, 5/8”, and ¾”, and each of these numbers if the internal diameter of each hose type.
5/8 and ¾ Most Common Garden Hose Sizes
Out of all of these types, the ¾”-inch garden hose is the one most often used by professionals or high-quality garden hoses. Meanwhile, the 5/8-inch variety is most common in household garden hoses.
How to Measure A Hoses Diameter? (A Summary)
A tape measure is the best way to measure your personal garden hose’s size. Simply run the tape measure from the top of your hose’s opening to the bottom and record its diameter.
When measuring, the number should refer to the internal diameter, as this is size that needs to match the garden hose to a fitting nozzle or faucet.
Why Does Size Matter?
Size matters greatly when it comes to hose function and efficiency. After all, if a hose has a wider opening, then it can deliver more water and faster than hoses with smaller diameter openings.
However, hoses with larger openings may have lower water pressure when the water comes out compared to smaller hoses. You’ll have to turn up your water faucet in order to achieve the same level of water pressure for a larger hose than you would for a smaller one. Overall, though a larger hose has the potential for a larger gallons per minute flow rate compared to a smaller hose.
This size difference is something to keep in mind when selecting a gardening or watering hose. If you’ll be spraying water for some distance across a wide range of grass or lawn, you might consider getting a larger hose that you can attach a sprinkler to in order to build up enough pressure to spray water across a large area.
On the other hand, if you’re primarily going to be using your hose to water plants around the house, you can use a smaller hose to water without the needs for higher flow rates.
Types of Fittings
Fittings can be attached to the mouths of hoses and can lend the hose some special properties. Let’s go over the various common types of fittings that you’ll find on garden or home hoses.
Differences in Fitting Material
Some hoses are made from brass, which is the most common type. Others are made from plastic.
In general, brass fittings are more expensive than plastic fittings, but they usually last longer and can provide a more secure fit to your outdoor faucet or spigot. A brass or aluminum fitting is more durable than plastic and won’t break or crack as easily.
In contrast, plastic fittings are cheaper and easily broken, but they can also be easier for people with only a small amount of hand strength to tighten on. Brass fittings take a little more muscle to twist and untwist.
Quick release hose fittings are shortcuts for attaching hoses to faucets. These are generally “push-fit”, in that you push them onto your hose’s existing fitting and allows you to quickly slot your hose onto a faucet for quick watering.
These don’t require you to twist the hose’s fitting onto the faucet connector at all, so they’ll save you a few seconds or can be helpful if your hands aren’t very strong.
In addition, quick-release fittings are convenient for adding nozzles to your hose and being able to switch nozzles for different tasks. Sprinklers, power washers, and spray jets can all be popped on or off at your convenience, allowing you to water wider areas more easily or control your water flow more directly.
Nozzles & Attachments
In fact, nozzles can be one of the best ways to let your hose perform more jobs and be better at watering than it ever could be without one. There are nozzles for virtually every job; you can buy nozzles to help you water plants at far distances, or water many plants at once by splitting the water stream into a fan.
Nozzles can also be attached which have special triggers included as a part of their design. This prevents water from running constantly and holds it back until you pull the trigger and are ready to spray the water.
How to Connect Your Garden Hose to a Faucet
Let’s go over how to securely connect your hose to a standard garden or yard faucet.
- Step One: Your faucet outlet thread size is likely the US standard of ¾ of an inch. You’ll fit your female connector to your hose fitting, then tighten it to make sure that a seal is made to prevent water from leaking or pressure from dropping.
- Step Two: Screw the connector onto the faucet outlet. Tighten well.
- Step Three: Test the hose by turning the water on slowly at first, then increase to test the water pressure and see if any leakage occurs from the seal.
- Step Four: If desired, turn the faucet off and attach an additional nozzle to the other end of your hose.
We’ll go over adapters further below.
What if Your Hose and Faucet have Threads of Different Sizes?
Sometimes, your hose head and faucet outlet might have differing threads for any number of reasons.
For instance, maybe your new home has faucets that are different from the norm, or your hose is a 5/8″ threads since you didn’t know there were different sizes when you purchased it.
Whatever the case, you can still make a hose and faucet work together even if they don’t have fittings of the same size. Adapters can make this possible so let’s go over them now.
These are excellent additions to your hose that you should look for based on their advertised sides. There are adapters that come in all the most common thread sizes, including ¾” and 5/8”.
You shouldn’t have any trouble finding an adapter that combines these two or any of the other common sizes.
All you need to do is attach the relevant ends to their accompanying partners.
For instance, if your hose is a ¾” fitting and your faucet is 5/8”, then attach the ¾” end of the adapter to your hose and the other end to your faucet. You should have a solid seal that allows the hose and faucet to work well together.
Adapters can come in several different materials, just like fittings. Overall, brass or metallic adapters will be longer-lasting and more durable when compared to adapters made of plastic. This is more important than with regular fittings, since adapters might be taken off and screwed back on frequently depending on your households needs.
For instance, a professional using a garden hose will likely be taking their hose around with them to various homes. In this case, an adapter that will last for a long time is a necessity.
If your garden hose isn’t working properly, it may not be a result of a poor fitting. Instead, your hose might need to be cleaned.
Hoses that spend a lot of time outside can get dirt or debris inside which can impact water flow and water pressure.
A great idea is to make a bleach solution with about ¼ of a cup of bleach, which is then added to a bucket of water. This should be the solution your hose is dipped into. Let the hose sit in the solution for about 8 hours or so, which should be enough time for most bacteria and other dirt to be dissolved or agitated enough to come out.
Soak the hose in a bucket of regular water after the bleach solution for about an hour. After this, run plenty of water through the hose for several minutes to make sure that all traces of bleach have been expelled from the hose’s interior. This will ensure that the water you use to water your plants isn’t toxic in any way.
If you notice a bunch of grime on your fitting or faucet mouth, take a sponge and soapy water and clean it thoroughly until all dirt is gone. Run water through the faucet for several minutes before commencing watering.
Hose fittings, as you can see, are not really complicated if you spend a few moments to look carefully at the hose you have. The nice thing is that threads are virtually always the same size, so all you need to worry about is the internal diameter of your hose.
Thanks for reading, and if you found this article helpful then maybe you’ll find one of these articles helpful and interesting as well!