How To Remove & Install A New Outside Tap

Learn how to replace your outside tap in just 6 steps using basic tools and our step-by-step guide.
Written By: Richard Morgan | Updated:
How To Replace An Outside Tap
Richard Morgan/DIY Works

Whether your existing tap has begun leaking or you want to change it for aesthetics, replacing it is quick and straightforward. The tap itself is also relatively cheap (most basic outdoor taps can be bought for around £10), and when equipped with an adjustable spanner, you can change it in less than 5 minutes as long as everything goes according to plan.

To walk you through the process, below are all the steps required to replace an outside tap.

What You’ll Need

  • New tap
  • Adjustable spanner
  • PTFE tape

How To Replace An Outside Tap


1. Turn Off The Water

Before even attempting to remove the tap, you’ll want to isolate the water supply to the outside tap. This can be achieved via a dedicated valve for the tap, your stopcock or, worst case, your external stopcock, which is usually under a cover near your water meter in the pavement. Once switched off, open the outside tap to allow any water out of the system, as quite a lot can be left in the pipes (this stops you from getting wet!).

2. Remove The Existing Tap

With the water supply isolated, you can proceed to remove the old tap with an adjustable spanner and turn it anti-clockwise. Depending on when the tap was installed may determine how easy it’ll be to remove. In the example below, we had to use quite a lot of force, but it eventually loosened after some persuasion, and we could then remove it by hand.

changing an outside tap

Richard Morgan/DIY Works
replacing outside tap

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

3. Clean & Asses The Backplate

After removing the old tap, you may notice old tape or dirt on the threads, and it is good practice to clean it up before attaching the new tap. If the dirt or tape is refusing to budge, lightly use sandpaper to remove it.

how to change outside tap

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

4. Apply PTFE Tape

With the old tap successfully removed, you can now focus on the new one by applying PTFE tape on the threads. As you can see in the photo below, we applied multiple layers (around 10 to 15 times around the threads) for the best possible seal.

replace outdoor tap

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

5. Fit New Tap

With the PTFE tape applied, you can install your new outside tap by initially tightening it on by hand and then using an adjustable spanner. Whilst tightening, try not to cross-thread it, as this will cause the tap to leak.

how to change an outside tap

Richard Morgan/DIY Works

6. Test & Check For Leaks

With the new outside tap installed, you’ll want to test it out to ensure that it works and there are no leaks. As shown in the photo above, we fitted a Hozelock adapter onto the tap for our garden hose, but you can test it out in any way you wish.

Fitting A New Outside Tap

If you haven’t got an existing tap but want to fit a new one, it’ll be far more involving than the above steps. This is because you’ll need to drill through your external wall with an SDS drill and make alterations to your pipework to get a water supply.

Although it’s not necessarily difficult, we wouldn’t recommend fitting an entirely new outside tap if you are new to DIY and haven’t cut pipes before.

Further Assistance

As shown in our guide, removing and fitting an outside tap is a DIY task that anyone can do with basic tools. The only trouble you may encounter is the difficulty in removing the outside tap, as it can sometimes be very stiff. However, it should eventually loosen with the assistance of a large spanner or even a hammer.

Hopefully, our tutorial on replacing an outdoor tap has answered all your questions and given you the confidence to do it yourself, but if not, feel free to contact us, and we will try to provide our assistance where possible.

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