Things to Know Before Buying an Expandable Garden Hose
Many people are switching from traditional hoses to an expandable hose.
If you’re considering buying one yourself, take a look at the following tips to help you make an informed purchase.
The Benefits of an Expandable Hose
Expandable hoses are light, easy to store and don’t kink in the way traditional ones do. They can expand up to three times their original length, and shrink back to their starting size when they drain after use.
They’re an excellent choice if you have a large garden, with some reaching length of up to 100 ft. In addition, you can connect two or more hoses together for an even greater reach.
They are also useful for small spaces as they don’t take much room to store.
So, how do they work? Well, expandable hoses fill with water and expand within seconds of the water supply being turned on. After use the hose drains itself and shrinks back down to its original light and convenient size for storage.
Personally, I decided to switch from using a traditional hose to an expandable hose because I was fed up with coiling and uncoiling a heavy plastic one. I spent so much time dragging the traditional hose around the garden, untangling it when it inevitably got twisted, and draining it before storing it away.
Why Hose Durability is Important
If you have a large, sprawling garden with lots of trees and shrubs to manoeuvre around, I would recommend choosing one of the more durable products on offer. I say this because you will be dragging your hose a long way, and it will need a strong outer webbing to be able to withstand this type of terrain.
Similarly, look for a more durable hose if you will be pulling it across hard surfaces such as concrete, or using it frequently to clean your car, garden furniture or patio. A more durable design will cope better with the wear and tear inflicted by these hard surfaces. However, if you simply need to water a few flower beds or pots then a less durable option will be fine for your needs.
What factors make an expandable hose more durable?
- Layers of latex – the more layers of latex that a hose has, the more durable it is. Most expandable hoses have 2 – 3 layers of latex. That said, the Fitlife Garden Hose featured on the above list has 13.
- Strong outer webbing – expandable hoses need strong outer webbing to protect the core from rough garden terrain. The outer webbing also has to withstand expanding and contracting with the expansion of the hose, so it’s worth making sure it’s hardy
How does durability compare with that of a traditional hose?
It’s worth bearing in mind that expandable hoses can be less durable than traditional ones. They need to be made from materials that facilitate the expansion and contraction of the hose, which means they can’t always be as tough as traditional plastic ones.
Signs of Good Quality
The best expandable hoses are made of double- or triple-layer latex, protected by a woven nylon outer covering. The coating provides good breathability and protection from the elements. You should avoid any products that are not made of these durable materials because cheaper products may split or puncture easily.
Equally, look out for cheap plastic fittings. Most good-quality expandable hoses will have brass fittings, but make sure this is the case before you make your purchase. Cheap plastic fittings get cheap results; they will often break and leak causing you more money in the long run!
Check Your Water pressure
You should also check your water pressure. If you are attaching your hose to the mains it will work fine. However, if your tap is fed from a tank or other water storage system you may struggle to get enough pressure to fill the hose sufficiently for it to expand.
Some hoses also state a maximum pressure that they can withstand in the instructions. Failure to keep to this pressure may result in leaks or even in the hose bursting.
You can buy a pressure reducer to attach to your tap if necessary.
Check Your Fittings Compatibility
Make sure to check the hose fittings. The above products fit standard taps, but it is wise to check the product description to make sure they are compatible with your tap.
Back To Contents
Expandable Garden Hose FAQs
Can I leave my hose out in the garden when not in use?
While it’s fine to leave your hose in the garden occasionally, it is best to keep it out of direct sunlight. In general, a hose will last longer if you drain it and store it properly after use.
It is certainly not advisable to leave your hose out over winter when temperatures may drop below freezing. If water freezes within your hose it is likely to cause lasting damage.
If possible, store your hose hanging up so that any residual moisture can drain away. Store in a frost-free environment over winter.
Can I connect an expandable hose to my existing one?
Yes, it’s easy to connect an expandable hose to your existing one.
You can buy connectors from DIY stores or online. You can also connect two or more expandable hoses together if you need an extra-long hose.
Can I buy a replacement spray nozzle if the original one breaks?
Yes, replacement spray nozzles are readily available from DIY shops, garden centres, and online.
All of the above products have removable and replaceable spray nozzles.
Can I attach an expandable hose to a mixer tap in my kitchen?
Yes, you can attach an expandable hose to a mixer tap. However, you may have to purchase an additional connector for it to fit.
Back To Contents