How to Maintain Your Hose and Extend Its Life

Hoses are a necessary part of any household, and as such, they should be treated with care. Properly maintaining your hose means not having to purchase a new one because your current no longer works due to preventable damage. By investing a small amount of time in hose protection and following a simple garden hose management routine, you can significantly increase the lifetime of your hose and, subsequently, the simplicity of your gardening routine.

Installing and Caring for Your Hose

Set your hose up for success by adhering to proper installation protocol. Ensure your hose is set up when the temperatures are 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for maximum flexibility. Unwind your hose loosely in a circular motion as you prepare to attach it to the spigot. Double-check that your washer is snugly seated in the coupling that attaches to the home, as an error in the washer installation can result in leaking later on. Once you have successfully attached your hose, run water through it and then lay it out flat for one day to allow it to heat up. Please note that it is recommended to lay your brand new hose out when you first set it up, but otherwise, hoses should be stored out of direct sunlight and off of the ground where they are susceptible to certain harmful fungi.

How Do Kinks Develop? (and How to Stop It from Happening)

One of the most common causes for a hose replacement is chronic or severe kinking that causes irreparable damage to your hose. While these issues can be indicative of old age, oftentimes they arise prematurely as a result of improper care. A number of different factors come into play when thinking about why your hose might be kinking, including excess exposure to sun and heat, improper storage, and highly centralized pressure on a specific point along your hose. To ensure your hose does not fall victim to these types of preventable kinks, follow these steps below:

  • Follow proper garden hose coiling techniques after each use
  • Never hang your hose on a nail
  • Invest in a hose hanger or storage mechanism that allows for large loops
  • Store hose out of direct sunlight, preferably indoors or under cover

Prevent Garden Hose Leaking Before It Starts

Not only can hose leaks waste huge amounts of water, but they can also be detrimental to your hose if left untreated. We recommend getting on a schedule of changing out the washer at the mouth of your hose yearly, preferably at the start of your busiest hose use season. Often, leaks at the mouth of the hose are caused by a deteriorating washer, so making sure to replace it often can prevent water loss and frustration caused by leaks.

Should you notice your garden hose leaking before your scheduled washer replacement time, don’t hesitate to inspect the washer for proper placement as soon as the first drip occurs to prevent water loss or damage to your hose. If the washer has already sufficiently deteriorated after inspection and cannot be remedied by the loosening of buildup or resituating for proper placement, replace immediately. Throughout the year, be sure to disconnect and reconnect at least two times to help maintain the proper seal of the washer, preventing the need to replace it more frequently. When you disconnect the hose, make sure to dislodge any signs of corrosion or buildup caused by environmental elements which, if left untreated, can cause the hose to fuse to the attachment.

Garden Hose Storage

When you have finished using your hose, allow any excess water to drain before storing it. Leftover water in the hose can breed bacteria that are harmful to your hose. Coiling your hose slowly over your shoulder can help drain excess water after use. If you have a hose reel, loosely wind the hose for storage. Otherwise, you can use the coiling method that you used for draining to create 3-foot loops, and store on a hose rack or in a large container. Please note: To avoid kinking hose problems, you should never hang your hose on a nail with centralized pressure in one spot.

At the end of the day, taking a few extra steps and precautions when using your hose can save you money and time on your gardening routine. With the money you will save on hose replacements by following a proper hose maintenance routine, you can afford to invest in a more suitable hose for your gardening needs and lifestyle.

All content provided in this article is for general informational purposes only. All use of products referenced in this article should be done in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

For more information on hose repair and storage, read the following articles:

Garden Hose Storage—Tips and Tricks for the Everyday Gardener

How to Mend a Garden Hose

How to Fix a Leaky Outdoor Faucet

Garden & Soaker Hose Winter Preparation: How-Tos & Tips


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