How To Measure A Garden Hose Diameter

Measuring the diameter of your garden hose is essential when replacing or purchasing new connectors or adapters. It is also essential to know this when calculating the flow rate and the volume of water that the pipe can handle. 

In this article, we will cover various types of garden hoses, tools for measuring their width, and a step-by-step guide to obtaining the correct measurement.

Hose Sizes

Standard Garden Hose

A standard garden hose is the most common type found in households. They are typically made from rubber, vinyl, or a combination of both materials.

old garden hose

They are available in various diameters, with ⅝-inch and ¾-inch sizes being the most common.

The 4 standard garden hose sizes are:

  • 3/8″ (10mm)
  • 1/2″ (12.5mm)
  • 5/8″ (15mm)
  • 3/4″ (19mm)

It’s important to note that different materials will mean that they have varying outer widths. For example, rubber hoses tend to be thicker with a larger external diameter and circumference.

Soaker Hose

These are designed to release water slowly along their length, perfect for creating an irrigation system for watering plants and flower beds. Soaker hoses are usually made of porous materials that allow water to seep through. They typically have smaller diameters, ranging from ¼-inch to ½-inch.

Expandable Hose

Expandable types are lightweight and easy to store. They can expand up to three times their original length when filled with water and contract when the water is released. They usually have a size similar to a normal garden type.

Commercial Hose

These are heavy-duty hoses designed for more demanding applications, such as construction sites or large gardens. They have larger diameters and thicker walls to handle higher water pressure.

Basic Tools for Measuring Your Hose

Tape Measure

A measuring tape is a simple tool that can be used to measure the distance across the inside of your hose. A ruler is another option.

However, these tools may not be completely accurate when performing internal measurements.

Digital Caliper

A digital caliper is a more accurate and precise tool for measuring the internal diameter of a garden hose. They can provide accurate measurements in both inches and millimeters, making it a versatile option.

Digital calipers usually support both metric and imperial unit systems.

Paper Tube

A paper tube, such as a toilet paper roll, can be used as a makeshift tool for measuring your hosepipe size. By comparing the size of the paper tube to the hose, you can estimate the diameter. While not as precise as a digital caliper, it can still be a helpful alternative in a pinch.

Wooden Dowels

Grab a 5/8″ dowel and see if it fits snugly into the end of the hose. If it does, then that’s the actual internal size!

But if the 5/8″ dowel is too loose inside the hose, don’t worry. Yours might have a 3/4″ diameter instead.

Of course, not everyone has dowels lying around the house. So if you don’t, there are other ways to measure the inside of your hose. Keep reading and I’ll share some more tips with you.

Drill Bits

A drill bit can be used the same way as a wooden dowel above. If your 5/8″ drill bit fits snugly in the hose, you will know the diameter already.

Measuring Your Garden Hose

Step 1: Gather Materials

Before you start measuring, make sure you have the necessary tools at hand. A tape measure, digital caliper, or paper tube will suffice. You may also need a pen and paper to note down the measurements.

Step 2: Determine The Internal Size

The internal diameter is the most important measurement for garden hoses, as it directly affects the flow of water. Use your digital caliper to measure the internal width of the hose. If you don’t have a caliper, you can use the tape measure or paper tube method for a rough estimate.

Step 3: Measure the Connector

Connectors are essential for attaching your water hose to an outdoor spigot, hose bib, or accessories. To ensure compatibility, assess the diameter of your fitting using a digital caliper or tape measure. Keep in mind that standard connectors are typically ¾-inch in size.

Step 4: Understand Garden Hose Thread and National Hose

When measuring the pipe diameter, it’s also important to consider the thread size of your hose fittings.

Garden Hose Thread (GHT) and National Hose (NH) are two common thread standards used in the United States. Make sure your fittings are compatible with the thread standard of your faucet and other attachments.

The Importance Of Knowing Your Hose Width

The dimensions of your garden hose can significantly impact the flow of water and the overall efficiency of your watering system.

A larger diameter allows more water to pass through, while a smaller internal width restricts the flow, leading to potential pressure losses and flow erosion. Ensuring the correct size will help maintain your hose performance and extend its lifespan.

If you wish to extend your hose by connecting another one to it or by daisy chaining them, it is also essential to know the size of your existing hose to ensure an easy leak-free connection between them.

How Hose Diameter Affects Water Flow

Knowing your flow rate can help you determine how long to water your plants and make sure you’re not over or under-watering them. It is also useful to know when running sprinklers for a lawn or an irrigation system.

Here are the four main factors that determine your garden hose’s flow rate:

  1. Internal Diameter: They come in three standard sizes: 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 inches. The diameter of your hose determines how many gallons per minute it can put out. Generally, a larger internal size means a higher GPM.
  2. Water Pressure: The water pressure also affects your hose flow rate. The higher the pressure, the faster the water will flow through it.
  3. Length: The length can also impact the flow rate. If your hose is longer, the flow rate may be lower. So keep this in mind when choosing a length. Most come in lengths of 25,50,75 or 100 feet.
  4. Flow Rate Estimation: It can be tricky to estimate the flow rate of your hose because there are so many factors at play. But don’t worry – there’s an easy way to determine your flow rate. Just use a gallon bucket and time how long it takes to fill up. For example, if it takes 10 minutes to fill a 20-gallon bucket, your flow rate is 2 GPM.

By considering these factors and using the bucket method, you’ll have a better understanding of your hose’s flow rate and can make sure your plants are getting the right amount of water or how long it might take to fill a pool.

Conclusion

Measuring the diameter of your outdoor hose is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and compatibility with attachments. With the right tools and a step-by-step approach, you can accurately measure your it’s size and select the most suitable type for you.

FAQs

  1. What is the standard size for a garden hose? The normal sizes are typically ⅝-inch or ¾-inch in diameter. However, other sizes are available, such as ½-inch or ⅜-inch.
  2. Do hose connectors come in different sizes? Yes, connectors come in various sizes to match the size of your pipe. Standard connectors are usually ¾-inch in size, but other sizes are available.
  3. Can I use a larger hose for better water flow? A larger internal width will allow for a better water flow. However, it’s important to ensure compatibility with your faucet and connectors, as well as consider water pressure and the tasks you’ll use it for.
  4. How do I know if my hose fittings are compatible with my faucet? Check the thread standard of your fittings (GHT or NH) and ensure they match the thread standard of your faucet. Most standard faucets in the United States use GHT or NH threads.
  5. Why does my hose have low water pressure? Low water pressure can be due to various factors, such as a kink in the hose, a clogged nozzle, or a smaller internal diameter. Check for any obstructions or damage to the hose, and ensure you’re using the correct width for your desired water pressure.