Garden Hose Maintenance 101

garden hose

Garden hoses are quite simple, but incredibly useful little contraptions. Today, we’re talking about how to ensure you get the most out of your little gardening buddy. There’s not too much to really worry about with garden hoses, but we’ve got answers to the two most commonly-asked questions related to hoses that we get on Dreamy Home.

So what’s on the docket today?

Today’s Topics Include:

This is gonna be a short and sweet little guy, so let’s just dive right in, shall we? There’s no sense in wasting time.

Garden Hose Maintenance Basics

garden hose

Let’s get you some answers, yeah?

How Long Should a Garden Hose Last?

This is one of those questions that really depends on the specific hose you got. As with all things in life, you get what you pay for with garden hoses, and that means that the more expensive ones generally last much longer than others.

On average, a good garden hose will last between 5-10 years, though this will depend on how well you take care of it, the quality of its make, and whether you’re okay with repairing a hose when it inevitably fails.

With low-quality hoses, though, you’ll often find that they crack, leak, and rot within 1-2 years, often sooner.

Is It OK to Leave the Hose On in Summer?

garden hose leak

And here, we come to a “yes, but actually no” type of question. The short answer is that the longer a hose is left on, the more wear and tear it’ll take. This is exacerbated by the heat of summer, as most hoses (especially cheap ones) are made from material that doesn’t handle heat very well, if at all.

The long answer, though, is a bit more complicated. You’re more than able to leave a hose on for minutes or hours at a time, assuming you need to do so – after all, that is its whole job, yeah? But if you leave it running for no reason other than laziness, you’re going to find that it fails faster than if you’d just turned it off when done.

It’s also worth noting that this can cause stress on the actual water delivery valve on your home, which can lead to a host of other issues. If you left the hose on for say, 8 hours, you’d likely find that your water delivery valve will begin to leak – this is because you blew out the gasket keeping the seal.

In short, yes you can leave the hose on in summer, but it’s best to turn it off when you’re done, otherwise, you risk damage to both the hose and water delivery valve on your home.

How to Choose a Quality Garden Hose

garden hose kink and cracked

There are six primary things to look for when buying a new hose. Your mileage will vary based on your needs, but each of these factors is useful to keep in mind when shopping for longevity:

  • Length:
    • Buy a hose whose length is suited to your needs. The longer the hose, the more likely you are to encounter issues. It’s just simple maths – the more surface area you have, the more statistical chance you have for failure somewhere.
    • Hoses range in length between ~7.5 metres and ~30.5 metres.
  • Water Flow:
    • The general rule for discovering a hose’s water flow rate is with the following equation:
      • Hose diameter – hose width = water flow.
      • Most hoses are measured in the imperial system (inches, feet). If you are one of the many, many countries that refuse to use this outdated system, check out this handy chart for an imperial-metric conversion of hose sizes.
  • Material:
    • Not all hoses are created equally. They’re made with everything from vinyl to rubber, and some come with reinforcements. Here’s what to look for:
      • Vinyl hoses fail the fastest
      • Composite (usually vinyl & rubber) hoses last a middling amount of time.
      • Rubber hoses last the longest
      • Reinforced rubber hoses will last for ages.
        • Generally, reinforcements come in the form of metal mesh on the inside of the hose.
      • Usually, the more layers or “plies” your hose has, the stronger it is – though this is a general rule of thumb, rather than a hard-and-fast guarantee.
  • Strength (Burst Pressure):
    • Look for burst pressure when shopping. Anything above 24 Bar (350 PSI for the Yanks) is generally going to withstand most of what you throw at it.
  • Flex – The Kink Test:
    • Perform the kink test – i.e. see how well the hose performs when twisted up. If it seems to be stressed or outright cracks, find another – that one is going to fail you.
  • Couplings:
    • Look for brass or chrome-plated couplings when shopping. Brass and chrome will last for ages and won’t rust, whereas plastic couplings (common on cheap hoses) will snap quite easily.

And that’s that!

Conclusion

All in all, hoses are pretty simple contraptions. They help bring water from point A to B, and when properly taken care of, will last you for ages. Just be sure to look for a few specific things when shopping, such as rubber hoses with metal couplings and high Bar/PSI max pressure, and you’ll be quite happy with your hose.

Now all that’s left is to figure out where you left that dang thing last summer…