Repairing Garden Hoses

Garden hoses are simple to repair. Try these methods:

Removing Kinks

Once a kink forms in a hose, it only gets worse. The crease in the hose material gives the hose a tendency to kink again at the same spot, and with every kink, the crease deepens. The best way to deal with a kink is to cut it out of the line. Cut the hose at both sides of the kink and patch the hose back together with a hose repair kit.

Hose repair kits work in different ways, but instructions are always included. If you have trouble forcing the repair fitting into the hose, warm the hose end in hot water first, or lubricate it with soap, or both.

Leaky Fittings

Leaks at either end — the faucet end or the sprinkler end — are due to bad fittings. The water seal in garden hoses is made by the end of the male end pressing against a washer that is seated on a shoulder inside the female fitting. Take these three steps to stop leaks:

  1. Remove and inspect the washer inside the female end. If it’s missing or worn, replace it with a new washer.
  2. Inspect the end of the male fitting. It should be smooth and flat. If it isn’t, file it flat, holding the file square to the end, until the entire end is shiny from the file.
  3. Inspect the threads. If it is damaged, or one of the fittings is out of round, it can’t press the male end against the washer. Replace the damaged fitting. Sometimes an out-of-round fitting can be pressed back into shape well enough for temporary use, but it will be more satisfactory to replace the fitting. Replacement end fittings work just like hose repair fittings.

Hose Damage

Pinhole leaks or other small holes can be repaired with tape. Use hose repair tape, made just for this purpose, or electrical tape. Wind the tape around the leak and wrap it about 3 inches in one direction, overlapping the tape about 1/3 of its width. Then wrap back over the leak, and about 3 inches in the other direction. Pull the tape tight, but not tight enough to stretch or deform it, or it will shrink back to its old width over time.

Repair bigger leaks or worse damage by cutting out the damaged portion, as described under Removing Kinks above, and attaching the cut ends with a hose repair fitting.