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Garden Hose Guide

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As a matter of fact, the garden hose pipe that you think is the best might not be a great choice for your neighbor as everyone’s requirements are different. However, there are a few factors that can help you buy the best garden hose pipe as per your needs. Let’s have a look!

1. Length – The longer one is not always the better

Garden hose pipes are generally available in 25, 50, 75, and 100 feet length. Many users feel that buying the longest hose pipe will be the best idea as one pipe can serve all the purposes.

However, this is a misconception. Longer hose pipes are quite costly. Apart from this, they are quite heavy and it is difficult to move them around. They need extra storage space. You might face difficulty in draining the water completely from the pipe before keeping the pipe aside. Since the pipe is very long, it might result in lower water pressure by the time it reaches the endpoint.

The best way to decide the length is by measuring the farthest distance from the tap or spigot and then buy a pipe that is a bit longer than that length. You must not tug on the hose pipe to stretch as it can lead to leakage or snags.

Note:

If you want a pipe that can go beyond 50 feet, it will be a wise decision to buy two hose pipes and join them together. This way, you will not have to deal with a heavy garden hose and struggle moving it around while using.

2. Hose Diameter:

Hose Diameter

The most commonly available hose pipes feature a diameter of ¾ inch, 5/8 inch, or ½ inch. These numbers are measured on the basis of the inner diameter of the pipe and not the outside diameter. The bigger the diameter of the pipe is, the more water flow it will offer.

A garden hose with a 5/8-inch diameter can be used for any garden or house-based works. These pipes offer a good combination of water flow along with the pressure. The water pressure is not too heavy.

Hose pipes with ½ inch diameters can be used for lighter gardening tasks like watering pots, containers, or hanging baskets. It is suggested that you should not use these pipes with sprinklers or additional tools that require higher water pressure (for example – car washing) as they won’t deliver appropriate results.

¾ inch hose pipes are generally used for commercial purposes. These pipes can deliver almost thrice the amount of water that an ½ inch pipe can deliver.

Note:

To meet the water output levels, if the tap delivers 0.5-inch water flow, you should buy a hose pipe with 0.75-inch diameter. Avoid using a hosepipe with a smaller diameter on any higher water output source as it creates very high pressure that can eventually lead to damaging of the hose pipe.

If you know the water output levels already, it will be helpful in choosing the right diameter for the hose pipe. This will make it easier to use the pipe and will also improve the lifespan of the product.

3. Material:

Most of the garden hose pipes are made using either rubber, vinyl, a combination of both these materials, or polyurethane.

  • Vinyl:

A basic vinyl hose pipe is generally reinforced using a radical cord. It is the least expensive option amongst all the types of materials used to make the pipe. Vinyl hose pipes are very light in weight but are not that sturdy.

These pipes are more prone to cracking, splitting, or cracking when compared to other materials. They can damage quickly if you leave the pipe out in the sun or use it in harsh weather conditions.

However, if you are looking for an inexpensive option to perform lighter gardening tasks, you can buy a vinyl garden hose pipe.

  • Rubber:

Rubber hose pipes are considered as the strongest out of all and are more long-lasting. They are the costliest options available and can be used to perform heavy-duty gardening tasks. Another benefit of using rubber hose pipes is you can even pass hot water through them. T

he chances of kinking are very low. Rubber hose pipes are resistant to cracking along with ozone deterioration. Hence, the pipe won’t damage even if you leave it out in the sun.

If you are looking for a pipe that can be used for heavy-duty purposes that can last for a very long time, it is suggested to buy a rubber pipe.

  • Reinforced:

Reinforced hose pipes are made using a composite rubber and vinyl materials. These pipes are reinforced using a mesh lining between the layers of rubber and vinyl materials.

Reinforced pipes are resistant to splitting and kinking. They can even handle higher water pressure levels.

They provide perfect durability and flexibility due to rubber and are lightweight due to vinyl. These pipes are available at an affordable price. Some pipes are reinforced using multiple layers to provide better resilience. Some hose pipes even have an outer mesh layer that can prevent the hose pipe from punctures or snags.

Some reinforced hoses come with metal coils or cords between the layers of rubber or vinyl. These coils prevent the hose from kinking.

Some manufacturers even use rayon or nylon while reinforcing the hoses as it provides strength and durability to the pipe.

  • Polyurethane:

Polyurethane offers most of the beneficial properties of rubber and vinyl. These pipes are strong, flexible, light in weight and are free from any toxic materials.

Similar to rubber pipes, these pipes don’t leach and can be used for carrying hot water too.

Polyurethane pipes are free from BPA and phthalate and thus, are considered safe for passing drinking water, depending on the amount of lead present in the connections.

These pipes are strong and can be used to perform heavy-duty tasks. They are light in weight and don’t kink too. Hence, these are considered as best hose pipes to do all the household tasks. They provide years of service and thus, the price is totally worth it.

Note:

You should be very careful while using rubber or vinyl hose pipes. They can leach chemicals in the water and thus, are not safe for use while passing drinking water. If you or your pet drinks water from the hose, you should buy a “drinking water-safe” hose pipe. These pipes are made using polyurethane and are built in a way that they don’t leach any harmful chemicals at all.

4. Strength:

The strength of a garden hose is measured in terms of burst pressure.

Burst pressure is defined as the maximum water pressure that the hose can take. If you are going to use a sprinkler or a hose nozzle, you should buy a hose that has a burst pressure of more than 350 psi.

However, if you are going to use it as a pressure washer, you should buy one with higher psi. You can check the manual to know the burst pressure before buying one.

5. Flexibility:

You must prefer buying a garden hose that is flexible so that it is easy to store, move around, and easy to use. However, it should not be that flexible so that it can kink easily. Because of regular kinking, the pipe can split and shorten its life span.

If you twist any hose pipe, it will kink a bit, even if it says that it is a kink-free hose pipe. However, the quality of a few pipes is better than the others.

Generally, the chances of kinking in rubber and reinforced hose pipes are very less when compared to the pipes made using other types of materials.

Before buying a hosepipe, perform a kink test. To do so, bend the pipe in a U shape. If it is kinking, choose another one.

6. Couplings:

Couplings of the garden hose are those end pieces that are attached to the nozzles, sprinklers, or spigots.

Most of the cheaper hose pipes have plastic couplings. It is better if you avoid buying such pipes as the chances of leakage, cracks, or breakage are very high. Most of them cannot be tightened properly too. The couplings made using plastic break down very easily, especially if you expose it under the sun for a long time.

Metal couplings are generally made using brass. Most of them are chrome plated. These couplings are either stamped or cast.

You can easily figure out cast brass as it is thicker than sheet metal. It is also usually available in an octagonal shape so that you can turn the coupling using a wrench. Cast brass couplings are resistant to leakage and are durable.

You might find it a bit difficult to tighten the thinly stamped metal fittings at the spigot as they can bend easily. Thus, you should be very careful and not step over it as it can bend or break down easily.

When compared, you must prefer buying a hose with large octagon-shaped couplings as it is easy to tighten them, especially for those with lower grip strength or stiff fingers.

7. Quick Connectors:

Even though these are new additions to the hose pipe industry, they have gained popularity very quickly. The reason behind this is these connectors are easy to use and features an improved build quality.

By adding an extra connector to the hose’s existing connection, you can change the attachments easily and quickly without dealing with the hassles of tightening or twisting.

Apart from being a convenient and time-saving option, these connectors are very helpful for those users who face difficulty while adding or removing the hose attachments.

8. Washer:

Many hose pipes have a washer that is inserted in the coupling. However, most of the time plastic washers are used. These washers can break down easily. Thus, it is recommended to use a good quality rubber washer at the connection point of the hose and the spigot/nozzle. It will be helpful in preventing leakage.

9. Check for a Collar:

Most of the good quality hose pipes come with a plastic or rubber collar. This collar is helpful in extending the hose by four to six inches from one coupling. It also reduces the chances of splitting or kinking near the spigot.

10. Ply:

Ply is basically a layer. The number of layers or ply in a pipe determines its durability. More number of plies means extra strength.

Hose pipes used for household purposes have around one to six plies and usually have reinforced mesh layers in between.

11. Weight:

Garden hose pipes are generally heavy. Water-filled hoses add to its overall weight and are a bit difficult to move around. Some users have a dedicated space to store the pipe. Thus, getting it to the garden area also becomes a task.

Hence, it is very important that you buy a hose that is light in weight so that you can move it around easily. If you are looking for a lightweight option, you can buy flat garden hoses. They are easy to store and move as well.

12. Garden Hose Nozzles:

The best nozzle for the hose at your home depends on your watering needs. Some of the popular options are:

  • Fan nozzles: they have a wide mouth that is useful in spraying wide and gentle spray of water. These are perfect options for areas that require gentle watering.
  • Pistol grip nozzles: these nozzles feature pull-style handles. They let you change the pressure and style of spraying while squeezing.
  • Watering wand nozzles: they can be helpful in extending the reach by almost 30 inches. They can be of great help while watering in areas that are difficult to reach.
  • Pattern nozzles: these are considered as the most versatile and give you the flexibility to choose from different types of spray patterns. They cover all your watering needs.
  • Fireman nozzles: they are also versatile nozzles and can be helpful in passing a large amount of water in a short time. They are useful for larger watering tasks.

13. Hose Reels:

Using a hose reel can be helpful in extending the life span of the hose by preventing it from the damage caused due to the sun or other elements. A hose reel is also helpful in preventing you from tripping over the hose.

They are available in many styles – you can buy one that can be mounted to the wall or you can buy a portable model too.

14. Quality:

If you are buying a hose pipe that offers multiple fancy features but the quality is not up to the mark, then it is a waste of your money. Make sure that you prefer buying a hose pipe from a well-known brand that uses good quality materials while its construction.

You must buy a garden hose that can withstand summer or harsh weather environments without breaking down easily.

15. Price:

You can easily get a good quality garden hose within a price range of Rs. 500 – Rs. 2,000.

Best Ways to Take Care of the Garden Hose

Even though garden hoses are not very costly, replacing them every 3-4 months can cost a lot of money. Here are a few maintenance tips that can help in extending the life span of the garden hose:

  • Make sure you drain the pipe after every use. After turning off the spigot, engage the nozzle and release the water pressure. Drain the water completely. This will prevent the build-up of mold or bacteria in the stagnant water. The extra weight of the water can also damage the storage device that you are using to keep the pipe. In summer, leftover water inside the hose can cause chemical leaching due to heat.
  • It is suggested to store the garden hose on a reel while you are not using it. This will help in keeping the hose neat and clean and will extend its life too.
  • While coiling or uncoiling the hose, check for kinks. The hose can get damaged due to the kinks which result in tearing or splitting. In worst-case scenarios, it might cause a hole in the pipe too.
  • Pinholes are very common in hose pipes. You can repair them on a regular basis using rubber patch kits.
  • With the change in temperatures, hoses expand and contract. Thus, it is suggested to keep the hose in the basement during the winter season so that it doesn’t get affected by any elements.
  • Exposure to sun or UV rays can take a toll on the hose and damage it. Thus, store it indoors.

Types of Garden Hose Pipes:

Getting a clear idea on garden hose pipe types will help you to make the selection process quicker and easier, as per your requirement.

1. Standard Hose Pipe:

It is made with vinyl which is incorporated in some form of several layers. It is a cheap type of hose pipe but staple in offering most household activities with light duty hose like casual watering with less pressure. The drawback is that these pipes tend to crack or kink or break easily due to thinner diameter and plastic fittings.

2. Flat Hose Pipe:

This flat hose pipe are round and rigid when there is water flow but gets flatten down when it is empty. It is lightweight and easy to roll up (reduces your storage space), especially if you have a hose pipe reel. They tend to get kink or puncture quickly and also have low burst pressure. Also, unroll the pipe completely before you turn the water. Suitable for people with small garden sheds and storage issues.

3. Expandable Hose Pipes:

As the name implies, they get expanded to over 3 times of their original length when it is filled with water. They usually come with 1/2 inch in diameter and they expand to allow more water flow and pressure when compared with other hose pipes. Although, they tend to lose their elasticity with time and thereby causes difficulty in storage. Used for its lightweight and flexible nature.

4. Flexogen Hose Pipe:

If you want classy hose that guarantee for lifetime usage then choose these Flexogen hose pipes. They are lightweight and flexible with designed with foam on their inner layers. While the outer layer is made with abrasion resistant material for its polish and durability. If used for non-commercial purpose, then you can use it for longer time without replacing it.

5. Soaker Hose Pipe:

The Soaker hose pipe are made with recycled rubber and plastic with porous walls, widely used for farmers and gardeners for irrigation purpose. The thousands of small holes will allow the water to slowly sweep out. Simply the hose pipe laid on the ground or buried deep under the surface to water the entire garden area.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I prevent the garden hose from kinking?

To start with, prefer buying a kink-free hose. You can prevent the hose from kinks using the following ways:
*Keep the garden hose straight on the floor or ground.
*To prevent twists or turns, store it on L-hooks.
Even after following these steps, if you notice kinks, you can use splints and prevent the formation of kinks.

2. How to measure the water pressure from the water tap used for garden hose pipe?

Knowing about water pressure will help you in choosing the right hose pipe. So, to determine the water pressure from your tap, you can simply use a pressure gauge, which can be found in hardware stores and connect it directly to the tap. Then turn on to know the reading or water pressure.

3. How to connect the garden hose pipe securely to outside garden faucet?

Most of these hose pipes comes with an attachment that secure them from an outdoor tap. In case, if it doesn’t come then simply buy the attachment from any garden stores or online that suits perfect for your needs.

4. How to fix the garden hose spray nozzle?

To fix the hose pipe spray nozzle, you have to check whether the washer inside the nozzle gets damaged or not, if damaged then replace it with new washer. If the washer not got damaged then try to clean inside the nozzle (if you’re in hard water area) where the limescale, debris or dust may build up.
Also, try to cover the threads by using Teflon tape to prevent the leaky nozzle. After trying all of these things then simply screw the nozzle back. If you found again leaking then replace the spray nozzle with a new one.

5. How to raise the hose water pressure?

However, it is quite frustrating to water the plants with less or tiny dribble from this hose pipe. So, here are a few tips that helps to increase the water pressure.
*First of all, check the leaks and there should be no twists or kinks that prevent water flow.
*Check the connections whether there are tight and secure so that we won’t lose water while watering the plants.
*Also, check the length and diameter of the hose pipe to deliver the even more gallons of water per minute.

6. How to store this garden hose pipe?

We have to store the garden hose pipe out of the direct sunlight to prevent it from cracks and damages. You can find many host storage solutions like put it in a pot or hang it in a ranger or use a hose reel (either wall mounted or free standing). In case, if you don’t want to use this hose pipe for some time then clearly remove the water from the pipe thoroughly, coil it up and stash it in a place where it is not exposed to sun or any other harmful elements.

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