I need to install a washing machine into an outdoor shed The shed has water access which feeds an outdoor tap - drainage just outside - so seems like a perfect recipe... However - the internal water pipe has an unusual tap and i'm not sure what i need to buy to connect the washing machine water hose to it - in the simplest possible way. Any help would be great

Here is a pic:

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  • That is a hose barb and usually used to connect a plain(hose with no fitting) hose. Usually use a pipe/hose clamp to keep on. Picture from side will help, think that just screws on to the tap, so should be able to unscrew it and screw washer hose on.
    – crip659
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 15:54
  • 5
    You can certainly use a hose clamp for the connection but I would be hesitant to leave the valve open and have city water pressure on the connection 24x7. Eventually, something could give. Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 16:09

3 Answers 3


In the UK, that fitting is sold as a "draincock" and is used for draining the pipes after shutting off the supply upstream. This one is likely intended to protect the pipe leading to the outside tap from freezing in winter. We have an identical one next to our water meter which allows us to drain the whole house prior to any major plumbing work. The barb lets you attach a hose as others have mentioned but only temporarily to transport the water to a convenient drain or flower bed.

If you use it for supplying the washing machine, you won't be able to drain the exposed section of the pipes that's at risk from freezing. Also the valve isn't designed to withstand the regular and high speed flow you would get from attaching a washing machine to it. There's a rubber seal that I expect would wear out pretty quickly. I would recommend fitting a separate stop valve (ball valve) and tee upstream of the draincock. Here's a rather poorly executed sketch to illustrate.

Suggested changes to pipe work

You can also get a combined tee and washing machine valve that looks like this.Combined tee and washing machine valve (source)

The stop valve could be one like this (but you can get ones with handles too). Stop valve (source).

  • This is amazing advice - thanks very much @Carl
    – Paul
    Commented Sep 13, 2021 at 15:49

This connector is called a "barb" connector. This is an elementary as it gets.

The barb is made to connect a flexible hose to it. Any hose will do. A garden hose without a connector, flexible plastic hose of many types, semi-rigid plastic pipe, even pex if it is the correct size. Push an open ended hose onto it. Seal and secure the hose/pipe with a clamp or two. If it is a basic hose, then a basic clamp will do. Heat from a blow dryer can be used to temporarily soften the hose if the hose is a little to small to push onto the barb.

Ed Beal makes note that a hose that is to big or a clamp that is so tight that it dents the hose both decrease the life of the seal. Hoses come in many inside dimensions, and if you didnot get an exact match, then it is a good idea to lean toward a hose that is to small than toward a hose that is to big. Two clamps, if they can both fully fit into the barb is better than one over-tightened clamp.

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    I would mention if the hose is loose that even adding a pipe clamp may not seal. When using a clamp on a barb fitting I find the clamps are usually over tightened cutting the hose for a shorter life.
    – Ed Beal
    Commented Sep 6, 2021 at 16:12

If I assume that barb screws into a tee underneath the insulation...

Then I would replace that barb with the correct valve to match the washing machine supply hose - usually 1/2" or 3/4".

But it is possible that that barb is a soldered type which means it becomes more tricky - still possible though to replace the tee and get to the valve needed.

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