Wouldn’t It Be Great To Know How To Repair A Garden Hose?
The Beetles sang, “I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in…and stops my mind from wandering…where it will go…oh…” I’ve got my own “lifelong gardener” rendition of that famous Beetles’ tune. It begins… “I’m fixin’ a hose ‘cause my brain kicked in…and stopped my mind from squandering…all my dough….oh…” For folks who don’t buy “lifetime warranty” hoses, here are some tricks for how to repair a garden hose.
I had to fix several hoses that invaded the underside of my lawn mower or danced with my gas tiller. So, this technique is a down-to-earth, straightforward way to “make a mend” and have leak-free garden hoses.
I’ve got leaks in male connectors, leaks in female connectors, and leaks in the middle of several hoses. I’ve added rubber washers to the male and female connectors and they are still leaking.
I tried using the hose repair kits that include brass connectors and stainless steel metal clamps such as this hose mending kit from Sommerland.
But, even though this configuration has worked well for some of my gardening compatriots, these apparently foolproof repairs that have metal worm-gear clamps always seemed to come apart for me.
Maybe, my hoses are under more water pressure than those of other gardeners. Of course that is why I now have gauges and regulators for my outside watering needs. Water timers have helped, too…since I’m always looking for the easy ways to do things.
I also try to keep different sizes of those metal worm-gear clamps around for other fixes that need doing! I never know when I will need one for a quick repair. I’ve been using this Ansen kit for quite a while and the clamps work smoothly and efficiently.
I Found the Answer
Normally, I would trust anything metal over its plastic counterpart but, since metal didn’t work in my case, I decided to give the plastic version a try so, I purchased some Orbit Hose Repair Kits. The Orbit kit contained the same connectors as the metal Sommerland kit…male connector…female connector…and an inline connector…along with a style of clamps that are unique in the plastic hose repair line of products.
As you can see, a welcome extra in this kit is a dozen rubber washers so that, when the plastic male or female connectors are attached to either the outside faucet or another garden hose, they maintain a leak-proof connection.
On to the Repairs
The repair technique I used for the Orbit Hose Repair Kit is basically the same one I used with the Sommerland kit.
I took extra precautions to make certain that the hose ends are evenly trimmed so that I could slip them completely up and onto the connector. This is a very, very tight fit and it takes a bit of strength to position the hose fully onto the new connector…to ensure that the hose won’t leak after the repair.
The tight fit also gives the repaired section of the garden hose a much better resilience while under water pressure. This is the problem I had with the metal repair kits.
A trick I learned from my retired farmer neighbor, Jed, is to soak the hose ends in some very hot tap water for a few minutes. This softens them up and makes them much, much easier to install on the new connectors…whether they are male, female, or inline.
I added an additional step. After softening my garden hoses in hot water, I coated both the inside of the hose ends and the outside of the repair connectors with petroleum jelly for an extra measure of slipperiness. This made the repair process almost effortless.
Putting on the plastic clamps was the easiest part. Screw them together on the repaired connection a little bit at a time…alternating between screws. Doing this will give you a more consistent pressure across the clamp.
I wasn’t too sure about the new style plastic clamps…plastic parts always seem to break when I apply too much pressure to them. I was pleasantly surprised to see how strong these clamps actually were…and, after installing them and testing the connectors, my garden hoses were once again leak free!
All I had to do now is keep my wayward hoses from straying too close to my lawn mower or tiller.
These Orbit Hose Repair Kits worked so well, I am using them to custom make smaller sections of garden hose for use in concert with my garden’s soaker hose system.
At the bottom of many of the pages here at the Perfect Vegetable Garden, I have shared some of my neighbor Jed’s famous stories, and witticisms. A search for “Jed” will produce some very laughable moments.
Here’s Another of Jed’s Stories
One day…when I was asking Jed about garden hose repair, he went off on a tangent and, instead, recounted the time he was getting ready to retire from farming and move to a house in the suburbs.
“Jimmy…did I ever tell you about how I found homes for all my farm animals when I sold off my farm and land?”
I told him no…I hadn’t heard that story.
Jed went on…
“Well, I decided to go to all the other farms in the area and, if I found that the husband was the boss of the family, I gave them one of my horses. And, if the wife was the boss, I gave them one of my chickens.
At one house I stopped at, both the husband and the wife were outside working in the garden and, approaching the man, I asked him who the boss was in his family. The man proudly said that HE was the boss!
So, I told him that I have two horses left to give away…a black horse and a brown horse…and I asked him which one he would like to have?
The husband said that he would like to have the black horse.
Immediately the wife shouts out to him that she did not want the black horse…she wanted the brown one!
So, I gave them a chicken and moved on to the next farm.”
Well, that story certainly got a horse laugh from me! Jed sure knew who the boss really was in that family, huh? Would you like to read more of Farmer Jed’s stories?
You can now save a few bucks since you are equipped with the knowledge of how to repair a garden hose. How many times have you mangled a perfectly good (and expensive) hose??? Let me know by commenting below or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim, the LIfelong Gardener