Easy Fixes for Garden Hose Issues

June 30, 2015

A faulty garden hose can make gardening a frustrating experience. Keep your lawn green and your flowers in bloom with these easy fixes for common hose issues.

Easy Fixes for Garden Hose Issues

My hose is badly kinked

Add some pressure

Kinks can form in hoses that have been stored with folds in the pipe. These stubborn bends can restrict the flow of water in the pipe and are difficult to eliminate permanently.

  • To get your hose back into shape, connect it to the tap and switch off the sprayer at the other end. The hose will fill with water and the pressure within will begin to push out the kink. Then, fully extend the hose and leave it in full, warm sunlight for a few hours.
  • If a kink remains, make a splint. Cut a section of hose about 20 centimetres (eight inches) in length, then split it along its length. Wrap the split hose around the kinked area and close it as tightly as you can with duct tape.

My hose has sprung a leak

Patch the leak

If you detect a water leak, or have a drop in water pressure, first inspect the hose with the water running to find the source; it could be a small hole in the wall of the hose or a bad joint where the hose meets the sprayer.

  • If the leak is in the wall of the hose, turn off the water and dry the damaged area of hose with a paper towel. Fill the hole with a blob of rubber cement; allow it to dry, then wrap the section securely with duct tape, extending at least 10 centimetres (four inches) either side of the hole.
  • If the leak is at a coupling between two lengths of pipe, or between the hose and the sprayer unit, remove and dry the end of the hose and the coupler. Rub a blob of petroleum jelly on the surfaces of both ends of the joint and reattach.
  • If you see water gushing from your hose's tap connection, you need to replace the rubber washer at this joint. Unscrew the hose and look inside — you should see a rubber washer sitting within. Remove the old washer in whole or in pieces, then fit a replacement. Screw the hose fitting back onto the tap and tighten.

What do I do with the hose in winter?

Empty the hose for storage

When it's time to put your hose away for the winter, first drain it of water. Undo the connector to the tap, then lift that end of the hose above your head. Work all the way along the hose, allowing the water to drain out of the other end. Once it is empty, roll your hose into loose loops and store it flat on a dry, indoor surface.

Make it last

Store it safely on an old wheel rim

Leaving your hose lying on the ground will shorten its life — the walls of the hose will begin to rot, or it could get damaged by mowers or other garden tools. Coiling the hose neatly on a rack after each use is the key to extending its working life.

  • Commercial hose racks are available from garden centres, but it's easy to make your own. Get an old wheel rim from your local scrap yard and screw it to an outside wall or sturdy fence near the water faucet. Choose a shady spot, because direct sunlight will cause the hose to degrade. Mount the rim to the wall between shoulder and hip height and then simply coil the hose loosely around the rim after use.
  • For an even quicker fix, just coil the hose inside an old trash can or unused rain barrel.
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