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Outside Tap Regulations in the UK

When moving into a new home, one of the common questions that arises is about the installation and maintenance of outside taps. At New Build Inspections, we frequently receive inquiries about the regulations and best practices for outdoor taps.

One critical aspect to consider is the need to isolate your outdoor taps in the winter or fit them with frost jackets. This precaution prevents the water in the taps and pipes from freezing, which can lead to burst pipes and expensive repairs.

According to UK regulations, all outdoor taps must have an isolation valve. This valve allows you to shut off the water supply to the tap without affecting the rest of your home’s water system. Additionally, a double-check valve should be installed in the internal pipework to prevent backflow, ensuring that contaminated water does not enter your main water supply.


Key Considerations for Installing a Garden Tap

Installing an outdoor tap can greatly simplify gardening chores, making it easier to water plants, wash garden tools, or fill a paddling pool. Here are some important points to consider before installation:

Timing and Planning: Spring is an ideal time for garden renovations and upgrades. Planning ahead can help you integrate the installation of an outdoor tap into your broader garden improvement plans, making your gardening tasks more convenient and less tedious.

Professional Installation: While installing an outdoor tap might seem like a straightforward task, hiring a professional plumber is advisable. An experienced plumber can complete the job in about 70-90 minutes, ensuring all components are correctly installed and compliant with regulations. This can save you from potential issues such as leaks or damaged pipes, which could lead to costly repairs.

Optimal Location: Choosing the right location for your outdoor tap is crucial. The tap should be placed on a clear surface with a nearby drain to handle excess water. Ideally, it should be connected to the cold water supply under your kitchen sink. This setup ensures easy access and efficient water flow.

Number of Taps: For smaller properties, one outdoor tap is usually sufficient. However, if you have a larger property or both front and back gardens, you might benefit from installing multiple taps. This can reduce the need to drag long hoses across your garden, potentially damaging plants and lawn. Additionally, consider the option of a hot water tap, which can be useful for various tasks like filling a paddling pool or washing pets.

Additional Tips

  • Isolating in Winter: Ensure your outdoor taps are isolated in winter to prevent freezing. Use frost jackets for added protection.
  • Regular Maintenance: Check your outdoor taps regularly for leaks or damage. Prompt repairs can prevent more significant issues.
  • Compliance: Always ensure your installations comply with local regulations to avoid any legal complications.