With all the different types of garden hoses available, it's hard to know which ones to get. Learn the pros and cons of each and some tips for keeping this basic tool in great shape.
Find the right garden hose
It's such a simple piece of garden equipment: a water spill. But nothing makes it worse! A garden hose that twists, leaks, is rigid and will not unwind or is difficult to pull, can be really frustrating. Over the years, I have used hundreds of hoses made from a variety of materials - vinyl, rubber, plastic, and even metal - all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. So, take a look at all the different types of garden hoses below and take a look at my secrets of finding one that you will be happy with and how to take care of a garden hose so that it lasts for years.
What to look for in a garden hose
You can get cheap hoses with aluminum, metal or plastic joints, but brass is the most durable. Obtain an octagonal connector type so that you can loosen the connection with pliers if necessary.
Tips for garden hoses
If you leave an aluminum connector connected to a brass faucet for too long, a chemical reaction called "galvanic corrosion" can join two metals and you will never remove that hose from the faucet. Avoid the problem by separating the hose after each use or by using a plastic coupling between the two metals. And take good care of the ends of the hoses - don't drop them on the concrete and sink them or leave them in the driveway where they could run over them!
Check the packaging pressure rating above 350 PSI. The higher it is, the less likely it is that the hose will leak if someone passes over it while it is full.
Use the quick connectors to replace the watertight hoses and sprinklers and attach the hose to the faucet. Save time and wear threaded couplings. Look for garden hoses with collars at each end to strengthen these areas prone to traction and bending. Use rubber washers in the couplings. They last longer than plastic. Always check that the washer is not badly shaped or cracked - this is often the reason for a leak or loose connection. A hose reel is a great way to dispose of your hose in a way that avoids tipping over. Or look for something more decorative like the hose cover in the photo below.
How to take care of the garden hose
To avoid bending the garden hose, do not twitch at the end to straighten it. Instead, go back to the crease and unfold it so as not to set a crease or rupture the hose. For the same reason, do not fold the hose to stop the flow of water - turn off the water at the source or with a stopper. Twist the hose after each use to make it tidy. The larger coil (2 to 3 feet in diameter) leaves the hose more relaxed and less likely to bend when unwinding.
To save the garden hose for the season, pour water out of it after closing the tap. This way there is no water inside that could expand and burst in the cold winter temperatures. Hang your garden hose on a wide, rounded hanger or reel to prevent creases. Never use only a nail or a thin hook, as this will lead to a wrinkle in the hose. If you are tired of having to operate the hose in the garage, this convenient device is an all-in-one key and storage.