Garden Hoses & Your Washing Machine

washing machine

Will a garden hose fit a washing machine? Are the two hoses the same? If you’re asking these questions to no avail, you’re in the right spot. There’s a lot of misinformation out there, so we felt it was time to correct a few painfully incorrect answers related to swapping out your washing machine hose with a garden hose.

So what’s on the docket today?

Today’s Topics Include:

Now, this is some important stuff, so let’s dive right in, yeah?

Maintaining Your Washing Machine Hoses

Let’s start with the basics – can you use a garden hose for a washing machine, should you, and why (or why not)?

Can You Use a Garden Hose for a Washing Machine?

washing machine hose

This is one of my favourite types of questions; I call it the “yes, but actually no.”

See, you can use a garden hose for a washing machine, but it is a very bad idea. This is because the diameter of your garden hose and that of your washing machine’s hose are different, meaning they have different flow rates, acceptable levels of water pressure, and are ultimately not designed to connect to each other. And that’s not even touching on the fact that washers use hot water, something for which garden hoses are not designed.

Using a garden hose in your washing machine runs the risk of two things:

  • Water Damage:
    • This one is pretty clear – using a water hose for an unintended task can result in it bursting. And as they’re not meant to couple, the seal isn’t nearly as tight as it should be. Hooking a garden hose to your washing machine can and likely will result in a burst water line in your home. That’s really, really expensive, so maybe just don’t do it?
  • Pump Stress:
    • As mentioned briefly above, hooking a garden hose to your washing machine is not intended. As such, your washer’s pump will need to work much harder to do the same job. This will eventually result in burning out your washer’s pump – and when those are done, they’re done.

With that said, you can (if needed) connect a garden hose to your washing machine. Here’s how:

The Process

You’ll need:

  • A garden hose (two if you want hot and cold water)
    • Note that garden hoses are not made for hot water, and will fail quite quickly if you try to use them for this. Again, this is a last-ditch effort idea – not a first stop.
  • Washing machine
  • Plumber’s (PTFE/Teflon) tape
  • Coupler connections
    • You need two if your washing machine doesn’t have one, and four if your tap also doesn’t have one.

Now, do the following:

  1. Wrap your PTFE around the male end of your garden hose. This will reduce (but not eliminate) any leaks.
  2. Insert the male end into your washer’s cold water port after sealing it to the best of your ability.
  3. Secure the hose in place by tightening the connector. Twist clockwise to do so.
  4. Wrap PTFE around the water spigot on your home and attach the female end to your tap.
  5. Tighten the connection just as with step 3.
  6. Wrap PTFE around the threading of your hot water male end. Repeat steps 2-4.
  7. Test the washing machine (have towels ready).

Now again, I have to remind you that not only is this not a good idea (unless you’re in dire need) but it will likely end up with expensive repairs needed to fix both water damage and your washer. Garden hoses are not designed for this degree of water pressure, let alone hot water under pressure.

Are Garden Hoses and Washing Machine Hoses the Same?

washing machine hoses

Garden hoses and washing machine hoses are not the same. They do bear some similarities, but they are ultimately designed for different things.

  • Garden hoses are designed for:
    • Relatively low (sub 200 PSI) water pressure
    • Somewhat minimal water flow/volume
    • Cold water
  • Washing machine hoses are designed for:
    • Extremely variable, occasionally high water pressure
    • Much, much larger water flow and volume
    • Both hot and cold water

Additionally, garden hoses are designed to resist (not be immune to) UV rays and outdoor wear-and-tear, whereas washer hoses are meant to remain in one place – in your washing machine.

It’s also important to remember that washing machine hoses actively hold back water until the wash is started. This is incredibly stressful and requires specialised seals to ensure it functions properly – something which garden hoses absolutely do not have.

However, the one similarity between washing machine hoses and garden hoses is that both share extremely similar threading. They have different diameters, but the threading similarity means it’s technically possible to connect the two.

Take a peek at our garden hose threading guide for more information.

Can I Use a Garden Hose to Drain My Washing Machine?

Once again, yes – you can use a garden hose to drain your washing machine, but it’s not a good idea. Garden hoses are designed for an entirely different job than washing machine hoses and will suffer catastrophic failure if used more than 1-2 times to drain your washer.

All in all, it’s always better to get the right tool for the job – and yes, that includes hoses.

Will a Garden Hose Fit a Washing Machine?

outdoor tap and garden hose

Okay, one more time for posterity.

Yes, a garden hose will fit a washing machine, but it is not designed to do that job and should not be used in place of an actual washer hose.

Both hoses use the same type of connector (same thread distance and angle, both use male/female connectors), but they are designed for different jobs. Garden hoses transport low-volume, low-pressure, cool water, whereas washer hoses transport variable, high-pressure water in both hot and cold temperatures.

Conclusion

Today was full of “well yes, but actually no” answers. Those are my favourite (though you may feel differently). At the end of the day, garden hoses will fit on washing machines, but you should not use a garden hose for a washing machine. They are similar, but (critically) specialised in different areas, meaning you can’t just sub one out for the other willy-nilly.

That is, unless, you want a burnt-out pump and water damage in your home…