Is the faucet coming out of the wall in your backyard buried in the shrubbery? Every time you need to connect or disconnect the hose, do you feel like breaking out the machete and hiring a jungle guide so you can hack your way back there?
Well, rather than clear-cutting the landscaping, you can simply set up a new faucet in a location that’s more convenient. Then you just connect the new faucet to the old one with a length of hose, and you’re all set.
There are commercial faucet extenders available that basically consist of a metal post with a faucet attached. The post is driven into the ground, and the connection is made to the old faucet. The problem, however, is that most people tend to pull on the hose as they extend it to water the lawn or the flowers. This constant pulling puts pressure on the post, and combined with the water that drips or gets spilled around the base of the post, it eventually loosens up where it was driven into the ground.
A better solution is to build your own faucet extender using parts available from your local home center or hardware store. It’s simple to do, and you’ll end up with a sturdier installation.
You’ll need a four-by-four pressure-treated post; a sack of ready-mix concrete; an outdoor faucet (also called a hose bib), the type with a flange and two mounting holes; a decorative post cap (optional); some galvanized pipe and a couple of fittings, which will vary depending on your particular installation; some thread sealant; and a short garden hose.
Getting everything installed
First, decide where you want the new faucet to be located. Keep in mind access to the old faucet, a place to conveniently store the hose, and a spot that’s easy for you to reach. At the new location, use a post-hole digger to dig a hole down below frost line, or at least 24 inches. You want to be down far enough that your new post, which will hold the new faucet, can be securely anchored without tipping or heaving. Place a few small rocks or some gravel in the bottom of the hole and tamp them down to help with drainage.
Next, decide how far above the ground you want the new post. You may want your new faucet to remain fairly low, so it’s unobtrusive, or you may want it fairly high, so it’s easier to reach without bending over. A higher post could also give you a convenient place to attach a hanger to coil up and store the hose.
Cut the four-by-four to length. The length is dependent on how far above the ground you decided on, plus the overall depth of your hole. Set the post in the hole, plumb it in both directions, and brace it temporarily to hold it in place. Mix a sack of ready-mix concrete with water — follow all the directions on the bag for mixing and safety precautions — and cement your post into place. Allow the concrete to dry completely before proceeding with the next step.
Just below the top of the post, drill a hole all the way through from front to back, using a spade bit. This hole will accommodate the new faucet, and the diameter is sized to the stem of the faucet. Drill carefully through from the front until the point of the bit just begins to come through, then complete the drilling from the back; that technique prevents the wood from splintering.
Set the faucet in place in the hole, then measure from the back of the post to the back of the faucet. You’ll need a short piece of threaded, galvanized pipe to extend from the faucet through the post. An elbow is attached to the pipe, pointing down. Another short length of pipe is attached to the elbow, so that it almost reaches the ground, then a second elbow is attached, pointing away from the post. At the second elbow, attach a fitting that transitions from the elbow to a female hose fitting.
When you have all the pipe and fittings laid out the way you want, coat the treads with pipe sealant and assemble them firmly to prevent leaks. Secure the faucet to the post by driving two screws through the flange into the post. Secure the pipe to the back of the post with pipe clamps.
To complete the installation, simply connect the house faucet to the pipe on the back on the post using a garden hose; short lengths of garden hose are available at most retailers. The hose will have a female fitting on one end, which attaches to the male end of the faucet at the house, and a male fitting on the other end, which attaches to the new female fitting on the end of your pipe. Leave the faucet at the house on, and you can control the water from the new faucet. At the end of the season, remove and store the hose connecting the two faucets; the pipe is self-draining, so it won’t freeze.
If desired, you can add a decorative touch to your installation by attaching a cap to the top of the post, which not only looks great, but it also protects the post from weathering. There are lots of different cap styles available, depending on what you like. There are even some solar-powered post-cap LED lights that are pretty cool!