THE GARDEN HOSE FAQ
Garden Hose Materials
Why should I consider materials when buying hoses?
- Different materials have different weights - this effects how hard they are to carry and pull.
- Different materials have different strengths - this effects how durable they are when being dragged over concrete or rocks or driven over by cars
- Different materials have different kinking properties - when a hose kinks over and over again - they will leak - kinking makes it harder to roll up
- Different materials have different burst strengths - if your water pressure is high look for hoses that can handle the higher pressures
- Different materials have different durability when stored in the sun - all hoses break down in sunlight but some material break down faster.
- Some materials, not all, are drinking water safe.
- Some materials, not all, are hot water safe.
What are the different Materials?
- Rubber - heavier, more durable, less kinking, hot water safe, expensive
- Vinyl - light, not durable, kinks, cheap
- Vinyl-reinforced - medium duty, less likely to kink, mid priced
- Polyurethane - heavier, very durable, little kinking, drinking water safe, expensive
- Other combinations - can produce lighter, can be less kinkable, can be drinking water safe, usually medium priced
What type of material best fits my climate?
- Look for hoses that are rated for low temperatures if you live where it snows.
- Look for hoses that are rated for high temperatures if you live where it is hot.
- Generally rubber hoses are more tolerant to variations in temperature.
What type of material best fits my watering needs?
- If you drink water from your hose get a hose that is drinking water safe.
- If you use hot water from your hose get a hose that is hot water safe.
- If you water very little durablitity is not as important.
How does material effect hose cost?
- Generally vinyl hoses are the cheapest.
- Generally rubber and polyurethane hoses are the most expensive.
- Manufacturers like to combine materials to bring down the costs - so generally these are medium priced.
Garden Hose Thickness/Diameter
What are the different sizes?
- Range from 3/8" - 1"
- 3/8" - 1/2" for coiled hoses
- 1/2" - 1" for regualr hoses.
- 5/8" is the most common size for residential garden hoses.
- 3/4" is the most common size for commercial hoses.
Why should I consider thickness when buying a hose?
- The greater the thickness the more water that can flow through the pipe.
- The greater the thickness the heavier the hose.
- The greater the thickness the harder it is to bend - harder to roll up.
- The greater the thickness the less water pressure is lost over the length of the hose.
Garden Hose Length
What are the different lengths?
- Range from 6' to 150'
- 25' is the most common size for deck gardens
- 50' is common for small yards.
- 100' is common for large yards
Why should I consider length when buying a hose?
- It is important to choose a hose length that will reach your whole yard easily.
- If you choose one that is too short you will be pulling hard to get it to reach and break fittings.
- If you choose one that is too long you will have to carry and roll up hoses that are unneccesary weight.
- Water flow gets less through longer hoses - by choosing the right length you get the maximum flow.
Garden Hose Coupling
What are the different sizes?
- Plastic, brass, plated brass, stainless steel
- Plastic are the least durable and the least expensive
- brass - punched - (they are thin walled and don't look heavy duty) - are common on cheaper hoses - they will crush when driven on.
- Brass - solid - very durable - will survive being driven on.
- Plated brass is more durable than brass - less likely to knick.
- Stainless steel is the most durable.
Why should I consider the coupling when buying a hose?
- A more durable coupling will survive being driven over.
- A more durable coupling will survive years and years of abuse.
- Some fittings are lead free - so they are drinking water safe.
What else is important about couplings?
- Good hoses have reinforced supports near the coupling - this prevents kinking at the coupling.
- Look for ergonomic couplings to make it easier to tighten and remove from faucets.
- Coupling quality can give you a good indication of the overall quality of the hose.
Garden Hose Weight
How do different material's effect weight?
- Rubber - heavy - harder to carry but durable
- Vinyl - light - easier to carry - but kinks and gets tangled easier
- Vinyl-reinforced - medium weight, less likely to kink
- Polyurethane - heavier, very durable, harder to carry
- Other combinations - usually produced to reduce weight
Garden Hose 'GreenNess'
How environmentally friendly are the different hoses?
- Hose couplings can come lead free.
- Hose materials can be found BPA free
- A more durable hose will have to be replaced less often.
- Kinking can lower the life of hose dramatically