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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

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