View Full Version : Outdoor plumbing type help?

May 25th 2012, 11:34 AM
Not related to bees, but if some handyman type had a moment to take a look, it would be hugely appreciated.


That there is the job a very helpful, but perhaps not very knowledgeable, garden member did to put in a water meter for us. The lot we lease doesn't have a tap and we can't afford the $6,000 tap fee, so we pay a neighbor to fill our cistern from their outdoor home tap. I wanted a meter put in so we could actually pay for what we use, instead of relying on estimates. This meter measures what goes in to our cistern from the provider.

On the left side is a regular sized home garden hose, ending the kind of female connector you see on every basic garden hose. On the very right, you can see the start of the brass meter, which has a male connector that's about an inch and a half, maybe two inches, so too big for the hose to screw directly onto. In between is...the attempt to make those two connect.

In the second picture, right where my fingers are, that part just popped right off yesterday while I was there reading the meter. Had I not been there at that moment, 250 gallons of water would have just gone right into the ground. (I also wouldn't have gotten a face full of water. :lol:) That really needs to not happen again.

Any suggestions (and terminology) on what I should be looking for here? I don't even know how to explain things to someone at Home Depot other than "er, this hose thing needs to connect to this meter thing" and I can't take the meter or the hose with me.

Actual connections to the hose can't be glued on, the water provider pulls their hoses indoors over winter and we disconnect all the bits of the cistern so they don't get damaged. Isn't there some sort of tape or something you put on pipe threads to seal them up and prevent leaking when you can't actually glue them tight? There's none of that, and every little step of the connection in between the hose and the meter drips and leaks. The garden hive ladies and the neighborhood cat who comes by daily don't mind, but we need to stop watering the weeds near the tank.

Thanks in advance!

May 25th 2012, 01:34 PM
If you bought the meter, why can't you take it off?
I would suggest you take either it or the brass fitting on it if there is one, to home depot and tell them you want to hook a standard garden hose to it. They can pick out the adapters you need for it.

May 25th 2012, 01:58 PM
Heh, the taking it off part is another piece I have to deal with about this. I guess I'll have to handle it sooner rather than later, and then I might could take the meter with me to the store.

The meter, on the side that's not connected to the hose, is solidly attached to a 7 foot length of PVC that leads up into the cistern and includes 2 different 90 degree joints to make it able to do so, all of which are glued.
I don't have the car space to haul around 7 feet of PVC. :lol:

But, I suppose since I'm going to have to just re-do it all anyway, I should deal with that now instead of waiting to deal with it come winter. (And I've also learned an important lesson about trusting that I can probably find out how to do something I don't know, rather than trusting someone who says they do know it when they, er, kinda don't and then having to figure it out myself anyway!)

May 25th 2012, 02:35 PM
Don't have to take the whole pice in ,if it is pvc just cut it and buy a couplin for the pipe and glue it back together, and while you are there get some telof tape to put on screw joints to seal for leaks.


May 25th 2012, 02:50 PM
That part that hooks the hose to the hard pipe looks like the wrong fitting in the picture. Garden hose thread and natural pipe thread (NPT) are not the same so if that is just a garden hose coupler then it's not going to thread onto the hard pipe correctly.

When you say the piece came off, are you talking about that piece that is between the garden hose and the hard pipe? Did it came apart between that coupler and the hard pipe?

Like kebee says use teflon tape on all the male fittings, 3 wraps of teflon tape should seal up any leaks.

May 25th 2012, 03:43 PM
I would consider replaceing the feed side into the meter with all copper and/or brass fittings. PVC fitting aren't really designed to be moved around much. Eventually they are going to fail if handled too roughly.

Either that or I would mount the meter on a fixed stand, even if its just a couple pieces of uni-strut driven into the ground, or on a small portable frame (base made from 2 bys, with strut for mounting points). Use a hose valve on the outlet side and a length of hose to feed water into the cistern (less fragile this way)

I would also include a ball valve on the feed side, before the meter in case of another leak.

May 25th 2012, 08:55 PM
The only outdoor plumbing help I need is if the outhouse has run out of paper!

Sorry, guess that wasn't much help!

May 25th 2012, 09:08 PM
Most water meters have an odd thread on their ends, you will most likely find those adapters at a plumbing supply house (not a big box store) the rest of the fittings can be found at the big box store. If you are set on running hard pipe from the meter to the cistern then just after the meter install a union, that way the meter can be removed at will. I like the idea of feeding the meter with a garden hose and the cistern with a garden hose. If you are using pvc with glue joints be sure to use cleaner on both male and female and then glue bot male and female ends, push together and give it a 1/4 turn, hold together for about a minute to keep it from pushing back apart. Pex pipe and shark bite fittings work well also.

May 26th 2012, 06:38 AM
Thank you every one! Well, except you Perry. :wink: I kid, I kid. I feel I can head out shopping now and have a MUCH better chance of success.

I think I will stick with PVC now, Pturley, since we'll be rid of the cistern by the end of this year! :yahoo:
I was already planning on getting something for the thing to sit on/attach to in order to get it up off the ground. The hose that comes into the garden is too long and likes to kink up, and I wanted to raise the meter up rather than cutting the hose.

I am not wanting to keep the hard pvc pipe at all, G3, and was planning on getting a small bit of hose (maybe I could go ahead and cut the hose and have a second piece) so that the line into the cistern is hose instead of hard pipe. I have no idea what a shark bite fitting is, but now I want one just because of the name.

And teflon tape! Yes, I knew there was something I'd gotten a few years ago when I fixed a leak in my kitchen sink.

May 31st 2012, 05:19 AM
charles writes:
Garden hose thread and natural pipe thread (NPT) are not the same so if that is just a garden hose coupler then it's not going to thread onto the hard pipe correctly.

pipe thread on metal or plastic pipe is termed npt for national pipe thread and if you look at the thread has a taper. the kind of thread on a hose bib (the kind of valve you have in your yard or on some external wall of your house) has a straight thread. as Charles suggest you simply need the proper adapter which should be available in any good hardware or lumber yard or plumbing supply house.

so the key terms here are: you wish to go from what appears to be 3/4 inch NPT to a thread equivalent of a hose bib.

the do look quite the same... but the taper or non taper gives it all away.

May 31st 2012, 12:15 PM
Gee, my area of expertise and you already got tons of great advice - which I am bowing to.
The little dual female fitting between hose and pvc looks like it could be a problem child in and of itself.

And Lowes has a better selection on fittings than Home Depot. at least in Texas. On the aisle usually with the flexible tubing they have a display board and little plastic drawers. Occasionally the people that work there know what they are doing. Use teflon tape, wound counterclockwise over the male part you are fitting, so that when the female part tightens down it tightens the tape. Anything requiring caulk or plumbers putty doesn't actually fit.

(home depot is the place to buy wood and paint...)


May 31st 2012, 04:29 PM
termed npt for national pipe thread

Good catch tecumseh, my fingers were moving faster than my brain was telling them to :thumbsup:

May 31st 2012, 10:42 PM
Home depot/ Lowes will have brass fitting that fit on the meter to the hose. Not very difficult
From my view 2 parts needed , a 3/4" NPR ( that is what I assume is size) female / female joiner, and a 3/4 male npt to hose male fitting. Like said use Teflon tape , at least 3 wraps and tighten well, but don't over do it.

Might even be able to mock it up and photo from my brewery fittings.