Tired of getting “hosed” by buying the wrong size when it’s time to replace or repair your garden hose?
I know the feeling! That’s why I wrote this quick guide to explain the correct way to measure your garden hose diameter and how to select the right size fittings, so you’ll never have hose frustration again.
How to Measure Garden Hose Diameter
Understanding how to measure the size of your current hose is critical to keep water flowing at the level you are accustomed to while watering plants or washing your car.
Standard garden hose size comes in measurements such as:
- 1/2 inch
- 5/8 inch
- 3/4 inch
- 1 inch
The trick to getting the correct size is to realize that the garden hose inner diameter is the measurement you use to determine size.
The metal ends of the hose tend to be a bit larger than the actual hose diameter, so don’t make the mistake of measuring the metal part.
Follow these simple steps for the best way to measure the size of your garden hose:
Step 1 – Disconnect Hose
Disconnect your hose from the water source and remove any fittings that are not part of the original hose.
If you’re going to be replacing an end fitting, go ahead and slice the old fitting off. This cut will expose the hole in the hose with no interference, which makes taking a measurement easier.
Step 2 – Check Opening
Turn the end of the hose upwards so you can see the opening inside the metal fitting that screws onto the spigot.
Step 3 – Measure Diameter
Measure the diameter of the rubber hose opening using a measuring tape if possible. I know this can be difficult to get an exact dimension due to the fact the tape can’t lay flat against the hose opening due to the metal fitting.
Another trick is to use a small scrap of paper and mark the diameter then transfer it to the measuring tape.
The most accurate way to measure is to use wooden dowels or metal drill bits if you have a good selection on hand. Since most hoses sold are 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 inch in size, you probably only need three sizes of dowel or drill bit to measure this way.
HINT: Most garden hoses sold today are 5/8-inch.
Start with the 1/2-inch dowel and slide it into the opening.
If the dowel fits perfectly, the size is 1/2 inch. If dowel has any wiggle room, move up to the 5/8-inch and then the 3/4-inch dowel until you get a snug fit.
Anything larger means the hose opening is one inch across, which is relatively rare but still a possibility.
Step 4 – Double Check Measurements
Double-check the dowel or drill bit size by measuring diagonally across the end with your ruler.
What Size is a Standard Garden Hose Fitting
The standard size for garden hose fittings is 5/8 inches since this is the most common size of hose sold.
When you shop for fittings, this size will be most plentiful and come in a range of styles, from sprayer wands, splitters, backflow preventers, and more.
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Look for GHT on the label, which stands for “garden hose thread,” along with MHT or FHT for male and female hose thread fitting.
Hose fittings come with either male or female connections, so you must take a good look at where the threads are on the hose at the point you want to make a new connection.
Threads on the outside is a male fitting, threads on the inside are female.
Watch the following video for a great tutorial about hose fittings and the best way to connect or repair a hose.
You’ll never buy the wrong hose and fittings again now that you know how to measure garden hose size the correct way.
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Even better, you know how to save money by fixing your current hose by replacing broken or leaking fittings. When it comes to measuring garden hoses and soaker hoses, a little knowledge sure does go a long way!