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The Beginner’s Guide to DIY Outdoor Faucet Installation

Updated Oct 13, 2022

Updated Oct 13, 2022

Home > Lawn > The Beginner’s Guide to DIY Outdoor Faucet Installation

Adding an outdoor faucet to your home is the perfect way to improve the functionality and convenience of your outdoor living space.

An outdoor faucet makes tasks like washing your car, watering your garden, and bathing your dog much more manageable.

If you don’t have an outdoor faucet, you’re missing out. The good news is that you can install one yourself. Avoid hiring a plumbing service and take a DIY approach to this home improvement project.

This article will discuss the following topics to help you install an outdoor water faucet:

  • Parts of an outdoor faucet
  • Materials and tools you’ll need
  • Average costs of this DIY project
  • Step-by-step installation instructions

Parts of an Outdoor Faucet

Here are basic plumbing terms every homeowner should know before installing an outdoor faucet: 

  • Adapter – A fitting that connects two pipes.
  • Backflow preventer – A tool that prevents water from flowing back into the potable water supply.
  • Ball valve – A spherical valve placed in piping that, when rotated, allows water to flow through the pipe.
  • Drain valve – A valve installed at the lowest point in a pipe to drain excess water.
  • Flange – The widened pipe rim that allows for support and attachment to an exterior wall.
  • PEX – High-density, flexible piping commonly used in home water systems.
  • Shutoff valve – A valve used to turn off the main water supply to a pipe; especially useful in cold climates to prevent pipes from freezing.
  • Sill cock – An external faucet head that can attach to garden hoses.

Check out this video below for more information on different types of valves used in plumbing:

Best Types of Piping for an Outdoor Faucet  

You have three standard options for your outdoor faucet’s supply line – copper, PVC, and PEX pipes

Copper pipes are ideal for exposed plumbing and outdoor faucet piping. 

This material is a staple in the plumbing industry because of its corrosion resistance and long-lasting quality. Copper pipes can withstand high water pressure while preserving the water’s quality.

However, copper piping is the most expensive option for your faucet’s waterline. Its rigidity also prevents it from working well in tight, underground spaces. 

PVC pipes are the most common choice for residential plumbing

These pipes consist of polyvinyl chloride plastic that prevents rust from reaching your water supply. They’re durable, long-lasting, and endure high water pressure for years.

PEX is your third option for faucet piping. 

PEX pipes consist of cross-linked polyethylene plastic that’s affordable and durable. 

PEX is your best option if you need to fit tubing through a tight area or around basement beams. The material is both flexible and strong, giving it the ability to withstand high pressure. These pipes are color coded – red or blue – depending on whether they supply cold or hot water.

This guide will give instructions for installing an outdoor faucet with PEX.

Tools and Materials Needed

Tools

  • Adjustable wrench
  • Tape measure
  • Cordless power drill
  • Self-feeding wood or masonry bit
  • Drill extension
  • Tubing cutter
  • PEX crimping tool
  • Soldering torch

Materials

  • ¾-inch PEX piping 
  • Pipe elbows
  • Screws
  • Drain valves
  • Supportive tube straps
  • Frost-proof sill cock
  • Plumber’s putty or caulk

Cost of Installing a New Spigot

Installing your own faucet is cheaper than hiring a professional, but some costs are still involved. 

The project’s cost will primarily depend on how many materials you have on hand and how many you have to buy. 

We’ve listed the average price of the materials you’ll need for your DIY outdoor faucet project.

ItemAverage Cost
Tape measure$20
Cordless drill$80
Wood/masonry drill bit$40
Drill extension bit$15
Adjustable wrench$25
Tubing cutter$20
Soldering torch$30
PEX crimper$60
Drain valve$15
Sill cock$35
Plumber’s putty$4
Pipes$4 per 2-foot pipe
Pipe elbows$35 per 5-pack
Screws$10 per 1-pound box
Tube straps$4 per 10-piece pack

Your outdoor faucet could cost over $350 based on these price estimates. This would be the project price if you had to purchase every tool and material required. The price will vary depending on the structure of your house, the amount of piping you need, and the tools you already have. 

For example, you’ll need more piping to reach a water supply on the opposite end of your home from the fixture.

If you don’t have many of the tools required for the project, don’t sweat it. You can save money by renting drills and extensions from a local home improvement store. You’ll cut down on costs and be able to return the tools after using them. 

How to Install an Outdoor Water Faucet 

Some of the tools required for the project can be dangerous. Remember to use them with care and wear personal protective equipment (PPE) when necessary. 

We suggest wearing protective glasses and work gloves when operating a soldering torch or drill. You might feel silly putting on equipment for a DIY home project, but these items can protect your eyes and hands from flying debris or wood chips.

With your PPE and your materials on hand, you’re ready to start the project. The following sections will provide step-by-step instructions for installing your new faucet.

Step One: Determine the Spot for Your Faucet

The first step in installing your exterior faucet is to determine where it should go. There are a couple of things to consider when selecting the perfect location for your outdoor water spigot.

First, think about where you’ll get the most use from an outdoor faucet. Maybe you’d like it near a garden for easy watering or by the driveway to wash your car.

You’ll place the faucet near this area for functionality and ease of use. 

Next, you need to think about the location of your water supply. 

Look around your house and locate the cold water line closest to your faucet. Consider sinks in your home that back up to an exterior wall. A water line in your basement is even better – the insulation and heat will protect the pipe from freezing in cold temperatures.

Before proceeding with installation, ensure there are no other pipes or wires in the way of your selected faucet spot. After determining the area is clear, you’re ready to start drilling.

Step Two: Drill the Faucet Hole

Next, you’ll drill a hole through your home’s exterior. The sill cock will reach through this hole to the water supply on the other side of the wall. 

Start by marking the spot you’ve chosen. We recommend using a tape measure to find the exact measurements of the area before marking it.

Then, use a self-feeding drill bit to make the hole. If your home isn’t wooden, a masonry bit will drill through brick or cement.

You may need a drill extension attachment depending on the wall’s thickness.

Step Three: Install Piping

Installing piping for your water faucet is the most crucial part of the process. Pipe installation determines whether the water line functions correctly. You’ll be working around the other main water lines for your home, so be cautious when cutting and soldering pipes.

Follow these steps to install your faucet’s piping:

  • Turn off the water supply before cutting any pipes.
  • Use a tubing cutter to create the entry point for your new pipe attachment.
  • If your primary water supply pipe is copper, you’ll need to solder on a transition fitting to attach your PEX piping.
  • Run your new pipe from the faucet site – where you drilled the hole – to the main water pipe. 
  • Keep the piping against the wall and anchor it down with tube straps every couple of feet. 
  • Don’t drill holes through supporting beams under your house to run a pipe through. Reroute the pipe around the beams with elbow joint fittings. 
  • Add drain valves to the low points of your piping to prevent water from getting trapped.
  • Once you’ve extended the piping from the drill hole to the water supply, attach your PEX pipe to the transition fitting with the PEX crimper tool.

Step Four: Attach the Spigot

After connecting the piping to the water supply, you’re ready to install the outside faucet.

The sill cock – or “hose bib” – is the part of the fixture that dispenses water and attaches to a garden hose. The sill cock’s twistable gear turns the faucet on and off. Its pipe-like stem will go through the wall and connect to the PEX piping.

Make sure you select an anti-siphon, frost-free faucet. Frost resistance will prevent the stem from freezing in low temperatures, and the backflow preventer will keep water from siphoning back into your water supply.

Feed the stem through the drill hole and attach it to the PEX piping.

Insulate the faucet’s flange before drilling it into the wall. Add some plumber’s putty or caulk to the back of the flange and push it tightly against the wall. Then, secure the faucet to the wall with exterior screws.

Step Five: Test Your New Faucet

It’s time to test your new spigot once the sill cock, piping, and valves are in place. 

Turn your water supply back on and test the outdoor fixture to ensure it dispenses water properly. Then, go back inside and check for signs of leaking.

If everything is in good condition, you’ve successfully installed an outdoor water faucet. It’s time to attach a hose to your spigot and watch outdoor chores become a breeze.

Final Thoughts

We hope your new outdoor spigot helps you take care of your home and garden with ease. 

You’ll no longer find yourself trekking across the lawn with a hefty watering can or struggling to bathe your dog in the bathtub.

With a handy faucet outside your house, you’ll have an accessible water supply right at your fingertips.

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