Choosing the right garden hose adapter is a two-step process. First, it is crucial to determine exactly what sort of adapter is needed, as many different varieties are available. The specific characteristics of different adapters, such as durability and size as well as price, should then be compared, so that the best possible adapter can be chosen.
Garden hose fittings are typically standardized within a given country. American garden hoses, for example, are standardized at just over 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter with 11 threads per inch. In many countries, these standardized fitting sizes are not compatible with any other plumbing fittings, and adapters are required for any connections.
When shopping for a garden hose adapter, it is critical to determine the precise measurements of the hose or fitting that needs to be attached to the garden hose. Adapters come in many varieties. Some are designed to connect a kitchen sink to a garden hose, while others connect a garden hose to fixed sizes of threaded plumbing. Still others offer connections between garden hoses and smaller rubber or plastic hoses that rely on pressure fittings to prevent leaks. A garden hose adapter should be labeled with precise information about what sort of fittings it will accept.
In many cases, it will be necessary to determine whether a garden hose adapter should have male or female threading. Most types of adapters are available with both sorts of threading, and customers can generally simply check to see what connection is needed on the other end of a garden hose. This will indicate what sort of connection should be present on the adapter. If necessary, additional adapters can be added to switch between male and female threading to accommodate adapters which are available in only one variety.
Once the size, type, and threading of an adapter have been determined, different varieties should be compared for quality. Most garden hoses rely on pressure fittings and rubber washers to prevent leaking. These fittings only function properly if they fit correctly and seal snugly. Most adapters should be designed to accommodate these fittings or to have them if the adapter has female threading. Those that do not are apt to leak under pressure, which may or may not be a concern, depending on how often a hose will be used and where it will be located.
The quality of the materials used in a garden hose adapter is also important. Plastic adapters are likely to be very cheap and are resistant to the elements, but their threads are relatively fragile and easily damaged. Metal adapters tend to be more expensive but are also more durable.