Garden Hoses & Hot Water

garden hose might melt in heat

Garden hoses are incredibly versatile and offer a great deal of utility. But they’re also prone to failure, as most things in life are. As such, it’s vital to know the “dos and don’ts” of garden hose ownership – so we figured it was time to address garden hoses with hot water. Specifically, will hot water melt a garden hose? Are there hoses suited to hot water? All of these questions and more will be answered – so let’s get going.

So what’s on the docket today?

Today’s Topics Include:

Now without further ado, let’s get going!

Hot Water in Hoses 101

garden hose will melt

As you may have guessed, not all hoses are built equally. Some can handle more pressure, higher temperatures, and more rough treatment than others. This makes it vital to know the ins and outs of your hose – so let’s get talking, shall we?

Can You Run Hot Water Through a Garden Hose?

Technically, you can run warm water through a garden hose. However, hot (i.e. boiling, or near that temperature) water can and will melt your garden hose.

In short, no – you cannot run hot water through a standard garden hose – though there are ones made specifically with hot water in mind. So ultimately, your mileage will vary based on the design of your hose.

Will Hot Water Melt A Garden Hose?

The general rule of thumb is that most garden hoses can handle temperatures of up to 60 °C (140 °F for the Yanks). Anything higher will cause structural damage and/or cause the hose to melt, depending on how hot you go.

High-quality hoses can handle slightly more, getting up to roughly 87°C (190°F).

(Not-so) Fun Fact: Garden hoses are often left in the sun, but this actually causes serious damage to them in high temperatures. Hoses are generally made with at least some plastic, which when heated leaches dangerous chemicals into your hose, and therefore, your water.

How Hot Can Water Get in a Hose?

As mentioned above, the general rule of thumb is to keep your hose as far away from 60 °C as possible – (or ~85 °C for premium hoses). Anything higher will cause your hose to suffer structural damage, melt, and potentially leach harmful chemicals into your water.

Can You Hook Up a Garden Hose to a Hot Water Tank?

Yes, you can hook up a garden hose to a hot water tank. This is often done to drain your hot water heater during the summer to clear out sediment and buildup.

However, just because it can be done doesn’t mean it should be done. Unless you’re working on a sensitive timeframe, it’s safer to allow the water in your hot water tank to fully cool before draining it.

After all, that water gets hot – and you don’t want to get burned, let alone have a hose melt in your hand.

Can You Warm Water From the Hose?

Yes, you can warm water from the hose.

While most people simply leave their hose in the sun, we established up above that this can be harmful to you, your garden, and your pets! Running water that’s too hot or leaving the hose in the hot sun can cause it to leach dangerous, toxic chemicals into your water. The safer alternative is to use an adaptor to connect a hose to your faucet.

This allows you to run warm, not hot water through the hose to wherever it’s needed. While this obviously is a bit unwieldy and not a long-term solution, it’s great for moments where you need warm water all the way over there, right now.

You can also get heated hoses if you’re really in need, but these are more common in areas that get far below freezing and still need hot water. They’re generally much more expensive than a standard hose, install in a similar timeframe (near-instant), and resist temperatures as low as -40 °C.

What Kind of Hose is Good for Hot Water?

metal garden hose won't melt

This question has quite a few answers. Let’s list them out with their pros and cons really quickly:

  • Aluminium Hoses:
    • These can handle temperatures of up to ~204 °C.
    • More flexible than stainless hoses, and also generally harder to get (often used for ducting)
  • Stainless Steel Hoses:
    • Stainless steel hoses can handle temperatures of up to ~408°C.
    • Inflexible, expensive, generally used for ducting.
  • “Premium” Hoses:
    • Premium hoses can generally handle temperatures up to 87-88°C.
    • Easily accessible, drastically more affordable, but can only handle lower heat levels safely.

Your best bet is to opt for a “premium” hose unless you want to shell out a hefty chunk of change for an industrial metal hose. Generally, you’ll find that these advertise their “extreme” heat resistance and “armour technology.” Just don’t forget the guideline for temperatures above, as most hose manufacturers will…. stretch (or outright hide) the actual temperature limits of their hose.

How Do I Get Hot Water From My Outside Tap?

The best way to get hot water to an outside tap is to contact your plumber. They’ll need to perform a full inspection of your home’s plumbing and will assess whether that’s feasible and/or safe to do.

Trying to connect your hot water line to an outside tap alone (unless you’re a certified plumber) is almost guaranteed to end up with water damage in your home and an angry wife saying, “I told you so!”

In other words, let the professionals do their job, and you can do yours.

What Temperature Should You Disconnect Your Hose?

garden hose

Any temperature higher than 60 °C is likely to damage standard garden hoses.

If it’s a really sunny day, it’s best practice to find a shaded place to disconnect and store your hose. If you need to use it, do your best to work quickly and keep it out of the sun as much as possible.

How Do You Get Hot Water Out of a Garden Hose?

If you’re asking this and you meant to ask how to get hot water into a garden hose, your answer is in the above subsection.

If, however, you’re asking how to get hot water out of a hose, the answer is painfully simple – upend the hose and let it drain.

Conclusion

Garden hoses and hot water are generally not a great pair. Hoses are traditionally not made to handle heat, and when heated can leach harmful, toxic plastics into your water. This will harm you, your pets and kids that drink it, and any plants you water with the aforementioned hose. If you really need hot water, though, you can either connect a hose to your faucet (temporarily) or let it sit in the sun, assuming you have a hose designed to handle higher ranges of heat.

Check out our guide to picking the right garden hose for you if you have more questions.