How To Measure A Garden Hose Diameter

Measuring the diameter of your garden hose is essential when replacing or purchasing new accessories, such as spray nozzles, and connectors or to assess the volume of water that the hose can handle. 

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

Standard Garden Hose Sizes

Standard 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

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

The 4 garden hose sizes are:

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

It’s important to note that different hose materials will mean that they have different outer diameters. For example, rubber hoses tend to be thicker with a larger outer diameter.

Soaker Hose

A soaker hose is designed to release water slowly along its length, perfect for watering plants and flower beds. These hoses are usually made of porous materials that allow water to seep through. Soaker hoses typically have smaller diameters, ranging from ¼-inch to ½-inch.

Expandable Hose

Expandable hoses 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. Expandable hoses usually have diameters similar to standard garden hoses.

Commercial Hose

Commercial hoses 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 Garden Hose Diameter

Tape Measure

A measuring tape is a simple tool that can be used to measure the external diameter of a garden hose.

However, it might not be as accurate when measuring the internal diameter.

Digital Caliper

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

Paper Tube

A paper tube, such as a toilet paper roll, can be used as a makeshift tool for measuring garden hose diameter. 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 size of your hose!

But if the 5/8″ dowel is too loose inside the hose, don’t worry. You might have a less common 1/2″ diameter hose instead. To check, see if the dowel fits better inside that hose.

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 Diameter

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 Diameter

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 inside diameter 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 Hose Connector

Garden hose connectors are essential for attaching your hose to a standard faucet or accessories. To ensure compatibility, measure the diameter of your hose connector using a digital caliper or tape measure. Keep in mind that standard garden hose connectors are typically ¾-inch in size.

Step 4: Understand Garden Hose Thread and National Hose

When measuring garden hose 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 garden hose fittings are compatible with the thread standard of your faucet and other accessories.

The Importance Of Knowing Your Hose Diameter

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

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

If you wish to extend your hose by connecting a new hose to it, it is also essential to know the side 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. Here are the four main factors that determine your garden hose’s flow rate:

  1. Hose Diameter: Your garden hose comes 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 diameter means a higher GPM.
  2. Water Pressure: The water pressure also affects your garden hose’s flow rate. The higher the pressure, the faster the water will flow through the hose.
  3. Hose Length: The length of your hose 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 hoses are either 25,50,75 or 100 feet in length.
  4. Flow Rate Estimation: It can be tricky to estimate the flow rate of your garden 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 garden hose’s flow rate and can make sure your plants are getting the right amount of water.


Measuring the diameter of your garden hose is crucial for ensuring optimal performance and compatibility with accessories. With the right tools and a step-by-step approach, you can accurately measure your garden hose’s diameter and select the best hose for your needs.


  1. What is the standard size for a garden hose? The standard size for a garden hose is typically ⅝-inch or ¾-inch in diameter. However, other sizes are available, such as ½-inch or ⅜-inch hoses, depending on your needs.
  2. Do hose connectors come in different sizes? Yes, hose connectors come in various sizes to match the diameter of your garden hose. Standard garden hose 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 hose diameter will allow for more water to flow through the hose. However, it’s important to ensure compatibility with your faucet and hose connectors, as well as consider water pressure and the tasks you’ll use the hose for.
  4. How do I know if my hose fittings are compatible with my faucet? Check the thread standard of your hose 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 in your hose can be due to various factors, such as a kink in the hose, a clogged nozzle, or a smaller hose diameter. Check for any obstructions or damage to the hose, and ensure you’re using the correct hose diameter for your water pressure and needs.