Having a functioning garden tap is essential; it not only provides a straightforward way to water your garden but can be used to conveniently wash your car or fill the kid’s paddling pool. However, it is accessible to anyone on the outside as much as it is accessible to the homeowner. This ease of access leads to water theft which causes your water bill to increase at a much faster rate.
The most appropriate solution to prevent water theft from garden taps is installing a lock on the tap. Various methods are used to do it efficiently; some widely used methods include the in-line shut-off valve, the padlock, and the hose bib lock.
Let’s take a look at how to use these solutions.
Locking Garden Taps: The Three Easy Solutions
1. In-Line Shut Off Valve
This is the first preventive measure that homeowners usually take and is installed before the tap is deployed. However, valves can also be easily installed after the installation of the water system in the house. The valve works just like a tap and can be turned off anytime to isolate the water supply; all you have to do is rotate the valve to the right.
Using a padlock is the cheapest and most practical option to prohibit unauthorized use of your water. A padlock is normally installed in two ways. The first one is replacing your regular garden tap with a customized faucet that has a socket for the padlock. All you have to do is to turn the key, and it is ready to use.
The second way to use a padlock is by buying a set from your local supermarket or an online store. This set consists of 2 pieces, the first piece is the cover or the casing that shields it, and the second one is a pin or an inner piece that goes through the first one so both of them can’t be moved. The pieces become inseparable when a padlock is put on them, putting a stop to wastage of water.
3. Hose Bib lock
These locks are made of brass or aluminum and come at a reasonable price. These are very easy to use, and here are some steps on how to use them.
- Place the key inside the hose bib lock.
- Place the lock on the mouth of the faucet and align it with the threads on it.
- Rotate it to the right and make sure it doesn’t fall off.
- Remove the key from it.
How to Choose the Perfect Garden Tap Lock?
The whole purpose of locking a garden tap is the security it provides, and, in some cases, buying any tap lock isn’t enough to do the job. This is why certain aspects need to be considered before buying a tap lock.
Here are some guidelines to pick the perfect lock for your outdoor tap.
1. Proper Size
People believe that bigger locks provide more security, this might be true for many things, but it’s not the case for garden taps. The size completely depends on the type of it because you wouldn’t want a small and flimsy lock on a heavy metal one. Likewise, a heavy lock wouldn’t be very suitable for a small plastic one.
2. Appropriate Material
The material also plays a major role because a breakable lock would not only cause water theft but also lead you to buy new ones. They are normally made of the following materials.
Brass locks – these are cheap ones and are not considered very strong.
Steel locks – these harder and tougher than the brass ones and are more reliable for different weather conditions.
3. Right Shape
Having an accurate shape makes sure that the lock fits perfectly on a tap. You should also choose a shape that looks easy to handle. Having one with a complicated shape makes it tough to lock and unlock it when needed.
These normally come with a warranty of up to 1 year. You should always check for a warranty before buying because outdoor conditions are comparatively wild and lead to damage to them very easily.
Garden Tap Lock Maintenance
A tap lock stays outdoor all year long and faces harsh weather conditions. This is why, after some time, it starts showing signs of deterioration. It is advised that once a year, it should be looked at. By maintaining its health, you can ensure its long survival. Here are some steps to clean and take care of them.
1. Clean the Dust
Particles of dust can make a home into a lock which causes issues for a key when it goes in. These dust particles can clog the mechanisms, which is why it is recommended to clean the dust with canned air. It is also advised to avoid aerosol air cleaners because these can cause rust to build up. The easiest way to clean the dust is by a dry toothbrush and a piece of cloth.
2. Use Lubrication
Any kind of lubrication can be used to make it smooth except petroleum-based lubricants. Petroleum-based lubricants can damage its performance and can cause dust particles to stick. The lubricants should also be used in small quantities. However, another alternative is a graphite pencil which can be rubbed on the edges of a key and would make the process smoother.
3. Make it Work
One thing that a lot of people do sometimes is that they forget to use the lock and keep it on for a long period, which is why working it even when you don’t have to use it can turn out to be a good practice. All you have to do is insert the key in and out and turn it a few times to keep it from jamming.
Whether it is the stubborn neighbors or the annoying kids who keep using your garden tap, a lock is a perfect way to secure your water from being accessed and save you from a high-water bill.