A working man is known by the quality of their tools. The same relationship exists between a gardener and their metal garden hose. The gardener not only must be skilled but should also be caring towards their tools, and a garden hose is the most important tool in the arsenal of a gardener.
The best gardeners know that it is important to maintain their hose to perform a quality job. Failing to do so only leads to the frustration of a cracked hose or a tangled or a leaking hose.
Use a Garden Hose Hanger
A hose maintained properly can last years. The least you can do is to place it properly after every use.
Otherwise, you end up getting a kinked hose. When you place it properly where it should be it won’t rot in open as often happens due to soil moisture. By putting it away, you have also eliminated the chances of it getting cracked if a lawnmower runs over it. A lawn hose left in the garden is also a definite tripping hazard.
A simple hanger to hang your lawn mower can save your expensive hose. They barely cost a few dollars. It is also easy to build a simple hose hanger using the waste or unused material at your home. It is up to you how creative you can get with the hanger.
You can paint it beautifully.
Most often people don’t care to drain every drop of water out of the hose even if they decide to fold it properly to be kept on a hanger. You should take time after closing the faucet to spray out the water until nothing comes out of the hose. With water left in the hose, it gets damaged or deteriorates.
Damage to your hose comes from direct exposure to sunlight. When not in use, it is best advised to coil it properly and place it away from direct exposure to sunlight. This would extend the life of your hose.
Coil and Uncoil Properly
Avoid kinking the hose while coiling or uncoiling. With too many and too frequent kinks, your hose is going to rupture. Kinks are avoidable. When you unintentionally bend your garden hose at 90 degrees, a kink is formed often at its weakest point. The water flow then reduces or stops altogether.
There are several ways to stop kinking. You can find the kinks manually and straighten up the kinks. You may also try using an expandable hose that kink far less than the normal hoses. Alternatively, you can use splints at the kink points. This reduces the drag on the pressure point.
There are several hoses, such as steel hoses, available in the market that will not kink. Steel hoses are safe as they meet the quality standards if you purchase the hose by a reputed manufacturer.
When you uncoil your hose, it is best to keep one end of it connected to the faucet which serves as an anchor. It would be easy to remove kinks of the coiled hose connected to the faucet turned on. As the water flows in it, its pressure inside will straighten the kinks or tangles.
Expandable hoses are even better. They expand nearly three times their normal length when water fills them. So you can easily untangle and straighten up the kinks.
Here are the steps needed to coil a hose properly
- Turn off the faucet connected to the hose
- Hold it a few feet away
- Make a loop in the hose of about 3ft in diameter
- Keeping the first loop intact, move a few feet further away to make another loop over the first one. Stack them together.
- Continue making loops and stacking them together until the hose length is covered.
Fix the Hose Leaks
Leaks are unavoidable despite all your efforts to maintain your hose in proper shape. There is no need to replace your hose every time it leaks.
You can easily repair your hose, if there’s just a minor pin hole leak in it. You can use a rubber patch and some good quality glue to fix it. Tube patch kits are available in the market for few dollars. They come handy especially when want to maintain your hose in perfect shape. It is easy to fix the rubber hose leak.
If your expandable hose needs to be fixed, the tube patch should be placed on the internal portion of the tube and the exterior polyester should be sealed up.
- The water faucet should be turned off as soon as you notice a leak.
- Identify the area from where the leak comes.
- You can use a sandpaper to sand down the area that has leaked in it.
- You can now apply glue to this area gently and uniformly.
- Leave the glue to dry up and stick the piece of rubber over it.
- You have done it. The leakage is fixed for sure.
- Leave the Hose Indoors, When Not Using. Both heat and cold are damaging to your hose pipe. The thing you can do to your hose pipe is leaving them out either in scorching heat or freezing cold. The rubber will expand in the heat and contract in the cold. The frequent exposure to both heat and cold can damage the hose and severely reduce its life.
- Hose Storage Basket could be your best alternative. The purpose of this basket is to store a hose safely.
Your hose can also be stored in your basement or garage where it can remain unexposed to heat and cold. You can also place your hose in a small bin with a cover.
Your hose, if properly maintained can add years of life to it.
Add Life to Your Hose
Often, many of us have an old and dirty hose that is often discarded. You can make this dirt laden and neglected hose good for use, so you don’t need to buy a new hose.
After years of neglect and disuse fungus, dirt, and mildew laden hose may not be very easy to clean. However, with some patience and effort, you can clean this old hose to completely transform it.
The best step to clean this dirt-laden water hose is to soak it in bleach. Please ensure that the bleach you are using is the most natural one. After years of exposure to elements and dirt particles, you do not want it subjected to harmful chemicals.
Take a large bucket or use a small kitty pool. Immerse your hose in it. Ensure that every part of the hose is properly drenched inside and no part of the hose is exposed outside. Leave the hose in the bleach for the day so that the bleach works thoroughly to clean it.
The container you are using should be large enough to contain the hose properly inside. The longer hoses that are over 50 or 100 feet may be difficult to handle in a small container.
As the next step, you will need to scrub off the first layer of dirt and mildew a few hours after soaking it in the container. Use a good quality scrubber. Now leave the house for another few hours before repeating the process again.
After repeated scrubs, you can leave it again in the container. In other words, you have left the garden hose in the bleach for one day, while repeatedly scrubbing it.
You may also want to clean the inside portion of the hose. Although a pipe cleaner can be used to clean the inside portion of the hose, it can be challenging.
You may choose to run the bleach inside to clean everything. There are, however, other alternatives. You can use a long brush that inserts into the hose and a bleached soaked pad attached at the end can clean out the dirt settled and stuck in the insider portion of the hose.
At the very minimum, there are just three steps to your hose maintenance.
- Don’t forget to empty your hose every time after its use.
- Never hang your hose on a nail or leave it lying on the garden. If nothing, a hose rack fixed to a wall is a safe option.
- Don’t forget to change the washers.
Hose Tips Q & A
Q: How do you ensure that the last bit of water has been drained from the garden hose when you are coiling it?
A: The best last strategy is to coil it around your shoulder.
Q: How can you prevent your hose from dirt, fungus, and mildew?
A: The best way to avoid the rot is not to leave it on the ground.
Q: How can you stop the hose from dripping?
A: The moment you notice the drip, it is time to change the rubber washer at the point of the hose connection. By sealing a small leak, you are saving nearly 170 gallons of water a day.
For some of those that are interested in gardening, maintaining a garden hose can turn into a nightmare, especially when one fine day they decide to fix their old garden hose. However, a little bit of work every day and a few precautions will save them from frustration. When maintenance becomes a part of the routine, the life of the hose is enhanced.