Can You Put a Lock On an Outside Tap? We Called 3 Plumbers and Got Advices

Having an outside tap can be very handy, especially if you want to wash your car, clean the patio, or do some gardening chores. If you also want to do some quick drinking too, an outside tap would provide some relief.

However, there’s usually an issue that arises if you have your tap installed outside Since the tap is installed outside, it will become easy for people to spot it, and you know what happens when people spot an unlocked outside tap? They would have easy access to it and drink your water without your permission, resulting in increase in your water bill. if you have your tap in an easy-to-locate spot, there would be a lot of prying eyes who would be waiting to abuse your water in your absence.

If you notice that your water bill is astronomically high at the end of a period, like say at the end of the month or week, it shows that you have an uninvited guest consuming your precious water in your absence.

Water theft is a pretty common issue if you live in an area or neighborhood where it is rampant. A lot of people have made one complaint or the other about their water being stolen. So what do you do to contain this menace? How do you lock a garden hose bib?

Can You Put a Lock on an Outside Tap?

Many people have questioned if this is possible. Can you put a lock on an outside tap?

The answer is yes, and probably the only viable solution to your water theft problem. Putting a lock on your outside tap will prevent your water from being stolen, unless the lock is broken, which is unlikely.

Now you know that you can put a lock on an outside tap, how do you lock a garden hose bib? We will explore the ways or methods by which you can safely lock your outside tap.

How to Lock Your Outside Tap

One of the most common ways of locking your outside tap is to secure it with a padlock or hose bib lock. You can buy a padlock or a hose bib lock in many supermarket stores and shops both offline and online. I found a great deal on Amazon (Link to Amazon) for a hose bid lock with padlock. Once you have turned off the faucet, put the padlock or hose bib lock onto the water faucet, and line it up with the threads.

How to Use a Hose Bib lock

A hose bib lock is an efficient device that secures a hose thread. It’s an inexpensive and simple tool that you can install. The most popular type of a hose bib lock is the magnetic locking hose bib. Installing this device secures your outside tap, so that you will have peace of mind, even while away.

Hose bib locks are mostly made of brass or aluminum, and can fit into most ¾ inches hose thread faucets. A hose bib lock give you total control over your water.

What You Need

You only need a hose bib lock for this.


  1. Turn off the outside tap completely. You can do this by turning the faucet right.
  2. There’s a slot on the hose bib lock, slide a key inside.
  3. Put the lock onto the garden hose bib and line it up with the threads on the faucet.
  4. Rotate right to tighten it, but make sure that you don’t over do it.
  5. Remove the key once you are finished with tightening it and keep it in a safe location.

How to Use a Padlock

Padlocking the bib or faucet is another method of securing your water from water invaders. The method is also simple, economical, and can fit into many thread faucets.

What You Need

The only thing you need here is a padlock.


  1. Turn off the bib or faucet entirely. Rotate the handle right to do so.
  2. There are two metal or plastic lock pieces – the inner one that looks slighly smaller than the outer one. Place this inner one on the faucet and line up the threads with the garden hose bib threads.
  3. Rotate the piece clockwise and tighten it on the bib. Make sure it’s secure enough and remember not to over-tighten it.
  4. Place the outer lock piece onto the inner piece. The two pieces should merge in such a way the curved metal lock slides through the slot or hole both pieces had created.
  5. Attach a padlock over the oval metal lock handle. Close and lock the padlock.
  6. You have successfully secured your outside tap from water thefts.

Are There Any Other Alternative to Locking Your Outside Tap?

If you don’t want to use a hose bib lock or padlock to secure your outside tap, you can use an in-line shut off valve. When installing water system in the home, many plumbers install this in-line shut off valve, so that homeowners can easily turn off their water system from a central source. This in-line shut off valve can be a gate valve or ball valve that enables you to isolate water supply at any time.

In-line shut off valve is one of the cheapest way to lock your water away from water thieves, and is beneficial in preventing water freezing during winter. Once turned off, water supply to the outside tap is shut of. Nevertheless, this method has its shortcomings.

Turning off the water through the valve might be simple, probably the simplest way to prevent unauthorized water usage, but that still wouldn’t stop thieves from reaching the valve and turning on. If the valve is in an accessible position or in a visible place, thieves can simply reach it to turn the water back on in your absence. So at the end, your water isn’t safe.

This method works best if the main valve is situated inside, instead of outside like most valves. Thieves might be able to break into your house, but may not easily see the location of main valve. Moreover, no thief would go through that stress of breaking into a home just to steal water.

Another alternative to hose bib locks or padlocks is to use a quick release device. This efficient device is fastened to the ends of the faucet and the garden hose, thereby locking it and preventing any access to water.

In case you want to use your outside tap, you can detach it from the device. It’s simple and easy to use.

If you love pets or love having dogs around, you can have one or two of them around your home as another alternative. This alternative won’t lock your outside tap, but can prevent an intruder from stealing your water.

There’s the installation of security systems around the outside of your home, particularly around your outside tap. Once any water thief is sighted around the tap, some kind of an alarm will trigger off, letting you know that someone has trespassed. The downside of this method is it’s expensive to install. If you don’t mind the cost, you can go ahead and have this installed.


Whether you have some nasty neighbors, playful kids, or not, putting a lock on your outside tap is the best way to secure your water from thieves and stop easy access. A hose bib lock and padlocks are the two tools you can use to put a stop to that high water bill that is usually unaccounted for.

So how do you lock a garden hose bib? Can you put a lock on an outside tap? These popular questions have been answered in this post.

If you are skeptical of using a hose bib lock or padlock to secure your water, there are other alternatives as we have mentioned in this post. You should choose a convenient method that will work best for you. If you wish, you can combine more than one method, as far as your water is protected from thieves.