Why Does My Garden Hose Leak & How To Fix It
A leaky garden hose is easy to prevent (if you are careful) and relatively easy to fix.
Spotting a leak in your hose isn't tricky; either the water is obnoxiously spraying you or the water pressure coming out is pathetic, and you don't see any kinks in the line. As fun as fixing leaks is short of buying a whole new hose, the easiest thing to do is prevent leaks in the first place.
You've done research and read garden hose reviews about which one to buy, so make sure you don't make these simple mistakes.
Many of us have forgotten to roll our hoses back up after using them and accidentally ran them over with the lawnmower. Clearly running high-speed blades over a hose isn't a good idea and is probably going to leave you with some pretty bad leaks.
Tip: Don't do that! Take the time to put your hose away (get a high quality hose reel), or pay attention to where you're mowing, so you don't ruin your hose.
Let Water Freeze in Hose
Using a hose in the winter time requires more care and responsibility. If you have to run water through your hose when temperatures are at or below freezing, you risk creating leaks if you don't store the hose properly when you finish.
A common mistake people make is that they don't drain their hose after use. To empty your hose, you will need to walk along the length away from the spigot side and raise it up as you go. This should drain the water that's in the hose. Then you can store your hose. If you're extra paranoid, you can do this more than once.
Side Note: You can still store your hose outside, just don’t leave water in it that will turn into ice, expand, and ruin your hose.
If your hose is rigid (typically when it’s cooler) it’s more likely to crack if it kinks. If your hose has been sitting out in the sun and is warm, this is less likely.
A common thing people do when they see a kink is to try to flop the hose from where they are instead of going to the problem and manually fixing it. This can create leaks because the bend in the hose is more susceptible to damage and can get caught more easily.
Another common issue is that people don't see the kink that is stopping them from pulling more hose, so they just pull harder…this is probably going to wreck the hose and cause a leak.
Tip: Don't try to muscle out the kinks…just grab the issue and fix it gently.
Stepping on & Running Over
If your hose lays over your driveway and you can run it over with your car, don’t! Running over your hose with a car, bike, tractor, and so on, can do damage. To avoid this, like most hose issues, take time to put your hose away when you finish.
You also don’t want to step on your hose or have animals step on it. As silly as it sounds, stepping on a hose or letting a large animal (horse, cow, etc.) step on the hose can cause leaks.
Tip: Put your hose away!
Animals can be pretty destructive. If you’ve ever had a puppy, you know what I am talking about 🙂 But besides a needle-toothed puppy, other critters will happily chew on and ruin your hose.
Tip: Be careful where you store your hose, so it's not accessible to destructive animals.
Obviously, an old hose that has been consistently used is prone to leaks simply because it's aged. So, if you have an old hose that's started to leak, it may just be time to invest in a new hose.
Tip: Get a new hose!
If and when your hose ends up springing a leak, there are a few things you can do; replace the damaged section, tape over the leak, or get a new hose.
Getting a new hose to fix leaks is an obvious solution, but if you’re not up for it, there are other solutions.
Despite what many of us would like to think, everything cannot be fixed with duct tape.
Sure, you can use duct tape on a leaking hose, but it won't last long. If you are looking for a simple solution like this, however, you can use a different type of tape.
There are tons of tape options on the market that can be used to seal up a hose leak. But, ordinary electrical tape is a great and relatively useful substitute.
If you are going to use tape, you will want to make sure the hose is clean and dry before applying the tape. Otherwise, your fix will be short-lived and relatively useless.
Side note: tape is only an effective fix if the hole that you’re fixing is small. Don’t bother taping over a large leak. It won’t work.
If your hose is severely damaged in a section, you can simply remove the damaged segment and fit it with a joiner.This video demonstrates the removal and fitting of a joiner to a damaged hose.
If you are going to use this method to fix your damaged hose, you will want to start out by determining how much of the hose needs to be removed. Then you can use wire cutters, box cutter, or some other cutting utensil to cut the hose and remove the bad part of the hose.
Once the leaking segment is removed, take the joiners and connect them to the freshly cut openings on each side of the hose. After this, you need to join the repaired pieces and you are finished with that area.
When you are looking at repairing your hose, you should weigh the cost to repair the damage vs. the cost of a new hose.