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Choosing the Right Garden Hose

Here is an overview of the watering tools offered in store for campers, RVs, boats, the lawn, cleaning and maintenance, and for cooling down on hot summer days.

Types of Garden Hoses

Watering is a pleasure when using a garden hose, accessories, and related storage items designed to suit the task.

First of all, it is important to think about how you will use this new tool. Find the appropriate garden hose and accessory tools suited to fit each task. You must include any additional work that the new hose will be used for, such as cleaning the exterior of the house or supplying water to your RV when making your final choice.

Essential Features

Considering the features you need in a hose to complete the task at hand is necessary to choose the right tool.

Burst Pressure Rating from 150 to 500 PSI

Hose materials are designed to withhold certain levels of water pressure.

  • The burst pressure rating dictates how much pressure a particular type of hose can contain.
  • The flexibility and thickness of the material greatly dictates the amount of pressure it can withhold.
  • A vinyl hose with very little reinforcing will hold 150 PSI whereas a commercial-grade rubber hose will be capable to hold 500 PSI.
  • Rubber hoses can therefore withstand more temperature changes and more water pressure than vinyl.

Reinforcement from 2- to 10-ply Vinyl

Camper/RV/Boat, soaker, and sprinkler garden hoses are often reinforced to obtain higher burst pressure ratings.

  • The number of layers or folds varies with each hose.
  • The 6-ply hose is the most common and offers a good strength.
  • Outer mesh layers prevent snags and punctures.
  • Nylon and rayon are used as reinforcement materials.

The Length

Garden hose lengths, regardless of type, begin at 25 feet and are available in 25 foot increments up to 100 feet.

  • Commercial hoses can exceed 100 feet
  • For residential uses requiring more than 100', it is possible to connect two smaller garden hoses to one another.

When purchasing a new garden hose:

  • Select one that is as close to the correct size needed for any particular job or lawn size.
  • The hose needs to be long enough that it will not be pulled too much.
  • Likewise, the hose also needs to be short enough so as to not cause the homeowner to exert more pulling strength than is necessary.
  • Most experts recommend homeowners purchase one that is 50 feet long.

The Diameter

Garden hoses are available in ½', 5/8', and ¾' sizes.

  • 5/8 inches is the most commonly recommended size for homeowners for everyday lawn and garden watering.
  • The smaller the hose’s diameter, the greater the water pressure will be that is emitted.

The Fittings

Garden hose fittings are either brass or plastic.

  • Brass threads perform well and are durable.
  • Plastic fittings are more economical.
  • Octagon-shaped female fittings are easier to handle than round

Antimicrobial Protection

Hoses designed for carrying drinking water are equipped with antimicrobial protection within the lining.

The Beveled Sided Fittings

Garden hoses with beveled sides on the fittings (octagon-shaped) allow the homeowner greater ease when tightening and loosening by hand and with a wrench.

The Hose Saver

A hose saver is a wire-reinforced section at the end of the hose

  • Takes some of the tension placed on the hose when it is pulled too tightly.
  • The hose saver prevents damage where the hose is attached to the faucet.

Necessary Accessories

Here are a few tips to help you choose your must-have accessories, according to the tasks and projects at hand

Care and maintenance

Garden hoses come with 3-4 year warranties. Here are a few tips to extend the lifetime of your garden.

  • Plan for the hose to be stored in the shade to avoid ozone deterioration and to avoid that any leftover water get hot from the sun and start to deteriorate the lining.
  • Store garden hoses without bends or kinks to prevent cracking; which is especially important during cold weather.

Pro tip

The ideal method for storing hoses is to have them coiled and hanging both during the high-use season as well as during off-seasons.
  • Drain hoses and store them inside a basement, garage, or shed before outdoor temperatures reach freezing. Drained hoses coil more easily.
  • Keep all garden hoses clear of rough surfaces that could cause punctures.
  • Apply petroleum jelly to the threads of the fitting to prevent mineral buildup between the nozzles, hoses, and spigots.
  • Only camper/RV/boat hoses are designed for transporting potable water. All other types of hoses may contain bacteria that are harmful if ingested.

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