Knowing how to repair a garden hose is easier than you might think once you discover a few handy tips and tricks. Tempted as you may be to throw out the offending hose and get another one, that could be wasteful when all it needs is a simple repair or replacement part.
It’s often a familiar story during the summer months. Your lawn is going brown and crispy and your flowers are limp through lack of water. You unwrap your hose and direct it hopefully at your wilting foliage and out the water spurts…from the perished seal around the tap or the unseen hole your hose acquired while stashed away over winter – anywhere but onto your thirsty blooms.
Follow our tips on how to spot a leak and mend everything from a tear in the pipe to water dribbling out where it’s joined to the tap, and your hose could be good as new.
If your hose is beyond repair, check our best garden hoses buying guide for all the latest buys.
How to repair a leak at the tap
If the problem with your garden hose is either where it joins to the tap or at the other end where the hose meets the nozzle or spray gun, the leak should be fairly obvious from the water bubbling out all over it and onto the ground.
If the leak is from where it is connected to the tap, the problem could be as simple as it not being fastened tight enough. Turn off the water and using a dry cloth to give you more grip, simply tighten it. You could even try smearing some petroleum jelly along the threads which should also eliminate or reduce the amount of water escaping.
If the leak persists where the hose connects to the tap or the nozzle, the issue could be that the O-rings inside have cracked or perished. Just turn the tap off, unscrew the connector and check inside to see if the o ring is damaged or even missing, then replace it.
How to repair a leak in the garden hose
If there is water pouring out anywhere along the hose, this may be due to a split or hole in it. Run some water through the hose to see where it is emerging, then mark with tape so you can find it again when the water is turned off. Take a sharp knife and cut through the hose on either side of where the leak is. Make sure the cuts are straight and that you don’t have uneven ends of hose. Get a hose repair connector and put the two parts on the ends of the separate sections and attach together. The leak should be sorted.
If it there is only a small hole in the hose, you could try repairing it by drying it and then coating some rubber cement around and on the hole. Be careful not to get too much cement through the hole and into the hose as this could clog it up and increase water pressure inside, leading to leaks and bursts.
You could also use a puncture repair kit available from bike shops or car repair shops, and follow the instructions to patch up the hole.
For a quick fix, you can buy waterproof self-amalgamating tape from DIY shops that you can wrap round the section of hose with the hole in it (dry it off first) and it will provide a watertight seal.
Alison is Assistant Editor on Real Homes magazine. She previously worked on national newspapers, in later years as a film critic and has also written on property, fashion and lifestyle. Having recently purchased a Victorian property in severe need of some updating, much of her time is spent solving the usual issues renovators encounter. She is also currently chipping away at a back garden covered in crazy paving, ready to landscape it with a lawn and fruit and veg patch to mow and grow her own.
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