A garden hose can be a handy tool in your arsenal if it is fully intact and working the way that it was meant to. It can be used to rinse debris from around your property, water your garden, hook up to a pressure washer, and just about any other outdoor task where water is needed.
But when that garden hose isn’t working the way that it is meant to, it isn’t much help. This can be from things such as a bend, a tear, or anything else that causes the hose to leak water. Without a hose at your disposal, performing outdoor chores can be way more difficult than it needs to be.
The bad thing about these types of situations is that they only tend to rear their head after you have begun a job. It’s bad enough finding out that your hose no longer works but having to run out in a pinch to get a new one can be hugely inconvenient.
Thankfully, there are ways that are relatively easy to implement that will get extended life out of your hose. Not only that, those fixes are cheap do-it-yourself fixes that can be done in a pinch so that you can keep moving on your project.
1 – Use Electrical Tape on Small Holes
The smallest holes that you will experience are known as pinholes. These can be the result of a puncture from something such as a nail or another type of sharp, small object. Even worse, they tend to only be visible after you have turned the hose on.
Seeing those small, consistent streams of water from the punctured part of the hose can be very annoying. Not only do they take water away from the task at hand but they can squirt you too. But instead of letting that minor annoyance persist, there is a quick fix to implement.
Electrical tape is a common household item. Even for those who aren’t terribly handy, electrical tape is there to be used in a pinch for situations just such as these.
This is because it usually has a PVC backing as well as a rubber-based adhesive. With insulating power, elasticity, and a resistance to weather, it is the perfect fix for a leaky garden hose.
To begin your fix, turn off the water first and foremost. Getting water all over the place and yourself can be annoying and inconvenient and distract you from making the fix to those pinholes in your hose that you were trying to do.
When you have turned off the spigot, disconnect the end of the hose from the spigot and wipe it dry using a rag or a towel. When you have properly dried the hose, mark the puncture with something that you can see, typically a marker.
After you have marked your section, it is time to wrap it with electrical tape. Overlap the area a couple of times to make sure that it is amply covered and that the tape is adhering properly.
But be aware: you don’t want to wrap the hose so tightly that it creates a crease. This can restrict water flow and you’ll have to start over again to remedy the problem.
When you are confident that the problem has been resolved, you can reconnect the hose to the spigot or any kind of spray nozzle you might be using once again. Lastly, turn the water on to verify that there are no more pinhole leaks left in your hose.
2 – Use a Hose Mender for Larger Tears
While those pinhole leaks are really annoying and difficult to spot until you actually use the hose, those larger tears can be noticeable without the effort or surprise. These larger tears can be simple mishaps like snagging on a bush or a tree, getting chewed on by a pet, or even cracking due to exposure to extreme cold or heat.
In any event, these large tears will result in water gushing from the tears when you turn the tap on. If the tear is large enough, you may notice it before you turn the spigot on. Thankfully, there is a specific tool for this that can remedy those tears.
A hose mender was created specifically for this task. It is short and often made of either metal or plastic. It is meant to simply replace the damaged section of the hose and is readily available at most hardware stores or online.
Much the same as you would with a pinhole leak, start by turning the water off. This is to mitigate the potential mess of water getting everywhere. Next, disconnect the hose from the spigot. Spread the hose out and look for the torn areas of the hose.
When you have located the tear or tears, remove those torn sections using something such as garden shears or a hose cutter. Remember to exercise caution at all times because you are using a sharp blade to get the job done and that is dangerous no matter who you are.
You would then attach the cut ends from the hose to the hose mender’s connectors. Working clockwise, you would twist the collars on the mender in order to tighten it, sealing the connectors and closing the hole in the hose.
When you are confident that the repairs are complete, it is time to reconnect your hose back to the spigot. Turn the water on and test your hose to ensure that the repairs have taken place.
Even small leaks should be remedied right away as it will only be a matter of time before those small leaks become much bigger.
3 – Replacing a Broken or Bent Coupling
Sometimes the problem isn’t in the actual hose: it is in that little ring at the end of both sides of the hose. This is what is known as the coupling. It is the piece that you rotate around the spigot in order to connect the hose to the spigot itself.
There are times where the coupling can be leaky but we will cover that later. Instead, let’s focus on when the coupling becomes bent or misshapen for a number of different reasons.
When the coupling gets bent, it loses that watertight seal and winds up causing a leak instead of allowing water to properly flow through the hose.
Replacing the coupling is a good idea because it completely eliminates all potential problems with the coupling itself. Bending it this way or that may make it look okay but it could still wind up leaking when attached to the spigot.
The two types of coupling that connect to a nozzle or sprinkler are male and female. Finding the proper diameter of that coupling is important too. You can find this on the packaging of the new coupling that you purchase.
When replacing the coupling, turn off the water and disconnect your hose from the spigot. You can remove the bent coupling with something such as a hose cutter or even a pair of pliers in a pinch.
From there, all you need to do is push the end of the hose into the connector part of the coupling and twist the collar in order to tighten it.
After making the switch, reconnect the hose to the spigot and turn the water on. If the job was done properly, no water should leak out and your hose is back to working properly once again.
4 – Use a New Hose Gasket to Fix a Leaky Coupling
Sometimes that coupling doesn’t have any obvious issues but leaks persist anyway. If there is consistent leaking, it might be time to replace the gasket.
These can wear down over time and with consistent water exposure so it is a good idea to replace your gaskets eventually. They can last a couple years all the way up to a decade.
Begin by turning off the water and disconnecting your leaky hose from the end of the spigot. From here, use a pair of needle-nose pliers to remove the existing gasket that is inside of the coupling. With the new gasket, you just need to use your fingers to push it into the hose coupling.
A good rule of thumb is to use a thicker O-ring gasket. These often provide more of a watertight seal than flat gaskets since the latter tends to not mold to the coupling in the same way. Whichever option you decide to go with, make sure that it is secure and snug inside of the coupling.
When you feel as though the proper repairs have been made, reattach the hose to the spigot and turn the water on. If the coupling and gasket are working properly, there should be no leaking present.
Even if there are leaks, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the gasket is bad. It could just have been installed improperly.
Don’t let a leaky hose become a major point of contention when you should be doing chores in your yard. Implement a quick fix and get back on your way.
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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