What Size Is A Garden Hose Fitting: Thread, Inside, Outside?

Most people don’t think about the size of their garden hose. 

Many assume all garden hose fittings are the same size. 

Unfortunately, many of us will realize that hoses come in different sizes by purchasing the wrong garden hose. 

A garden hose thread size is the diameter of the hose from end to end. The most common household garden hose measures 5/8″ inch and 11.5NH. The thread size determines what size fittings the hose will work with. If the thread size does not match the faucet or connector, the hose won’t securely fit. 

The size of a standard garden hose is determined by its threading. 

There are a few factors to consider with garden hose size. 

We’ll go over all these details to let you know everything there is to know about garden hose fittings.

what size is a garden hose fitting
Garden hose thread size is critical in getting the best use of your hose.

What Is A Garden Hose Thread Size?

 The size of the garden hose thread depends on whether it has a male or female connector. 

The threads are the rings on the hose. 

These rings screw into faucets and adapters to attach securely. 

Male garden hoses have threading on the outside, while females have threads on the inside. 

To get the correct size of a male garden hose fitting, you must measure from the outer wall to the exterior wall since the threading is on the outside. 

For female fittings, you must measure on the inside to get an accurate reading because the rings are inside the hose. 

The average garden hose has a diameter of 5/8″ inch in diameter. 

This measurement shows how wide the hose is. 

Another measurement used on garden hose threads is NH. 

The NH stands for national hose and indicates the threads are consistent from tip to collar and straight, and the number before the NH represents the number of threads per inch. 

The most common standard thread is 11.5NH which means 11.5 threads per inch. 

What Size Is The Male End Of A Garden Hose?

The male end of a garden hose has the thread on the outside edges of the fitting to screw into faucets, adapters, and other connectors. To determine its size, you must measure from outer edge to outer edge. Most male garden hoses measure about 3/4″ inches.

The rings forming the thread on the ends of a garden hose connect to adapters, faucets, and connectors. 

The male ends of a garden hose have the thread outside the fitting. 

Sometimes the male hose thread is abbreviated as MHT while FHT abbreviates the female hose thread.

The garden hose connector is measured differently depending on the type it is. 

Female garden hose threads have threading on the inside of the fitting and are measured differently. 

Male ends are measured from the exterior of the fitting, while females are measured inside the fitting. 

Is Garden Hose Size Inside Or Outside Diameter?

The size of the garden hose depends on whether it is a male or female end. Male ends have threading on the outside of the fitting while females have threading on the inside. Inside diameter is the accurate reading for female ends, while outside diameter is accurate for male ends. 

When first figuring out the size of your garden hose fitting, you may be wondering how to accurately measure it. 

To measure it, you’ll need a ruler. 

The diameter determines the size of the garden hose. 

In the United States and Canada, this is in inches. 

Inside diameters must be used for female hose ends with threads on the inside. 

Outside diameter must be used for male hose ends with threads on the outside. 

How To Measure A Garden Hose Fitting

Have you ever brought a garden hose home from the store only to discover it is too big or too small to attach to the faucet? 

If so, you’ll need to get an accurate measurement of the hose end fittings to find a suitable replacement. 

This is critical for determining if it’ll fit your pressure washer, spray gun, or spray jet. 

Measuring proper hose pipes and fitting is also good if you notice the water flow rate isn’t what it should be.

Step One: Determine If You Need A Male Or Female Hose Fitting

Before measuring the garden hose fitting, the first thing to do is to determine whether you need a male or female fitting. 

Most faucets have a male fitting, meaning you’ll need a female garden hose fitting to correctly and securely attach them. 

If you are attaching an extension, connector, or adapter to your existing garden hose, you’re most likely going to measure a female garden hose fitting and need a male fitting to fit into the hose. 

An easy way to identify whether you’re looking at a male or female fitting is by seeing where the thread is. 

  • Male standard hoses and fittings have threading on the outside. 
  • Female hose fittings have threading on the inside. 

Step Two: Use A Ruler To Measure The Fitting (For Male End)

Once you’ve determined you’re measuring a male garden hose fitting, you’re ready to get your ruler. 

Hold the ruler to and set the edge to the outside of the thread. 

You’ll want to take down the measurement of whether the outside edge of the diameter falls on the ruler. 

Step Three: Use A Ruler To Measure The Fitting (For Female End)

Measuring a female garden hose fitting is similar to the male fitting. 

Line the ruler up with the inside wall of the female fitting. 

Measure the inside edge of the garden hose fitting. 

Step Four: Find A Garden Hose With The Correct Fitting

Once you have the measurement, you’re ready to get the correct sized hose, fitting, connector, faucet connector, or adapter. 

You’ll also know whether you need a male or female fitting. 

Male garden hose fittings need to go into female hose fittings. 

Does Garden Hose Size Matter?

garden hose fitting size matters
Garden hose fittings are important as it affects the pressure you get.

The size of your garden hose matters because you want to make sure whatever hose you get fits your existing system. If you install an entirely new system, it is still important to consider the size. Different diameters of hoses influence the water pressure. 

Some people use water pumps at the faucet to increase the water pressure. 

Another way to increase water pressure without adding a pump is by using a hose with a smaller diameter. 

The smaller the hose diameter, the more pressure builds up within the hose. 

This is important to keep in mind for sprinkler and irrigation systems. 

It takes more water to build pressure in wider diameter hoses. 

Check out our list of ideas for increasing water pressure for hoses and sprinkler systems.

This is important to keep in mind when setting up a new garden hose system or implementing a sprinkler or irrigation system. 

Larger hoses do allow you to transport more water at faster speeds. 

If your existing water pump is strong, a larger hose allows you to transport more water quickly through a hose, sprinkler, or irrigation system. 

Garden Hose Fitting Materials

Garden hose fittings come in a variety of materials. 

Each type of connector has benefits and drawbacks. 

Brass or metal fittings are far stronger than other materials. 

They tend to last a lot longer than other material fittings. 

Unlike plastic, they are prone to rust but allow tighter and more secure connections. 

Brass and metal garden hose fittings tend to cost more than plastic versions. 

Plastic garden hose fittings are cheaper than brass fittings. 

They don’t rust or get as much build-up in the thread, but they generally do not last as long. 

It is easier for the plastic fittings to wear down and lose their tightness, leading to leaky connections. 

It is easier to break plastic fittings by over-tightening. 

How To Clean A Garden Hose Thread

One way to prolong the life of your garden hose and face less frequent replacements is by regularly cleaning the thread. 

Sediments and minerals from water, especially hard water, tend to take a toll on hose fittings, faucets, and tap connectors.

An outdoor tap connector is more likely to suffer from build-up.

Regularly cleaning off the build-up will help keep your fittings in tip-top shape. 

It will also keep your fittings from getting rusty or corroded. 

Step One: Fill A Bucket With Diluted Dish Soap

Fill a bucket with hot water and dish soap. 

Some people use bleach to thoroughly clean the fitting, but others fear this will contaminate the hose and potentially harm lawns or plants. 

Vinegar is a natural option also effective at removing debris. 

Step Two: Submerge The Fitting Or Faucet

Once the bucket of water and soap is full, submerge the fitting or faucet in the solution. 

Make sure it is completely submerged in the cleaning solution.  

This is great to do for your outdoor faucet as they are more susceptible to the elements. 

Step Three: Soak For At Least 30 Minutes

Keep the fitting or faucet in the soapy solution for at least 30 minutes. 

Some people choose to let the fittings soak overnight to break down any build-up and make cleaning as easy as possible. 

Step Four: Scrub With Wire Brush

After removing the soapy water bucket, you’ll need to scrub off any remaining debris or residue. Using a wire brush helps to fully remove any build-up. 

Continue to scrub until the fitting is fully cleaned. If any build-up remains, soak again and repeat the process. 

Step Five: Run Water Through Faucet Or Hose Until Thoroughly Rinsed 

Once the hose fitting or faucet is sufficiently cleaned, you’ll need to ensure no soapy residue exists in the faucet or hose. 

Run water through the faucet and hose until it is thoroughly rinsed. 

This way, you make sure nothing is left over in the hose. 

Otherwise, the soapy contaminated water may damage plants or the lawn. 

This is especially important if you use bleach in your soaking solution. 

Different Types Of Garden Hose Connectors

Thread sizes don’t just apply to garden hoses, and there are several types of hose connectors you’ll come across. These include:

  • Adapters
  • Three-way connectors
  • Double male connectors
  • Water stop hose connectors
  • Hose repair

There are many other parts with thread sizes to use in your hose, sprinkler, and irrigation system. 

Using the knowledge of male fittings vs. female fittings will let you know what you need to extend, reroute, or replace any garden hose parts. 


If you don’t want to replace the garden hose completely, adapters like this may be the answer for you. 

Adapters will change the diameter of the hose fitting. 

They come in a few different materials. 

Brass is the most resilient and strongest material common for garden hose fittings and adapters. 

Using one of these ensures longevity. In general, opting for a metal adapter is your best bet. 

This is especially true if your system requires you to take the adapter on and off to switch hoses or connectors around. 

Three-Way Connectors

Three-way connectors, also called y-connectors, redirect water in multiple directions. 

Connecting your original hose to the threaded fitting of the connector allows you to split the water flow into two additional hoses. 

These are important parts of sprinkler and irrigation systems. 

To redirect water flow in two directions from your main garden hose is vital for implementing an effective water system. 

Three-way connectors like this come in various thread sizes. 

You may need an adapter to attach different-sized hoses to the y-connector.  

Double Male Connectors

Double male connectors are used to join two separate hoses together. 

Both garden hose ends will need female fittings for the double male connector to work. 

Most people use double male connectors like this as a temporary way to join the hoses. 

They are easy to remove and put back in place to separate and join hoses. 

Water Stop Hose Connector

water stop hose connector like this is used to control water flow. 

They are also called stop valves and are useful to have included in your hose system. 

They allow you to open and close off water flow. 

This ultimately allows you to save water, which benefits the environment and your utility bills. 

Water stop hose connectors attach to the hose before the spray nozzle or sprinkler head. 

Having these included in your irrigation or sprinkler system allows you to target specific areas by shutting off water flow and only allowing water to spray from specific heads. 

Hose Repair

A hose repair is an effective way to join two hoses together securely. 

They are more secure and long-lasting than double male connectors. 

Most quality hose repairs are made with metal and have clamps. 

The clamps create a tight seal between the two hoses allowing you to add length but limiting any leaks or loss of water pressure. 

Even though they are more secure and provide a tighter seal than double male connectors, they are still removable if needed. 

To install or remove a hose repair like this one, you’ll need a screwdriver to tighten the clamps around each end of the two garden hose fittings you are joining together.