Garden hoses are useful garden tools, especially during the summer period where your garden and plant need water virtually all the time. Despite the high-quality of a garden hose, at one time, it may get difficult to bend. There are several factors that contribute to that. So how do you soften a stiff garden hose?
What Are Garden Hoses Used For?
The most common use of a garden hose is to transport or convey water or liquid from one point to its destination. Garden hoses are used for watering the lawns and landscapes to maintain or preserve its color and keep it from drying out. Garden hoses are also used for watering garden plants like tomatoes.
If you have an old garden hose, you can put it into good use as well. You can use it to support new plant or weak trees by cutting chunks of them and tying around them lightly to hold them from falling.
They are great landscaping tools as well. You can use them to create layouts or visual demarcations for garden beds.
You can also use an old hose to patch up new, leaky hoses. After you must have identified the part that’s leaking in the new hose, cut a good part in your old hose and tie it around the leaky part.
Old hoses can protect your electrical cords for lighting. All you have to do is run the electric cord inside the cut hose. Make sure the length of the hose is adequate to cover the electrical cord. In other words, cut it into the required length that will suit your electric cord.
Old hoses are good materials for bucket handle grips. Since most bucket handle grips are iron, carrying the bucket, especially when it’s filled can be difficult. However, covering the handle with an old hose will make carrying easier. Cut the hose to the required length, split the old hose in the middle, and then cover the bucket handle grip. You can also use it make lifting a heavy object more comfortable.
You can use old hoses as soaker hoses. Drill small holes along the hose and place it in between rows of plants. Bury it under the soil around the plants. It will help water the plants constantly.
Old hoses are useful as a tool hanger. Attach a board to the wall outside or in a garage; make loops with your old hose that’s large enough to hold the handles of your gardening tools, such as shovel, garden fork, hack saws, etc.
You can use it as a blade protector. Cut the hose to the appropriate length of the blade, slit down the middle so that the blade can slid into the hose.
An old hose can be useful as a snake scare for birds. Simply cut the hose by making an “S” shape and lay it out in the garden.
What Causes Garden Hose to be Stiff?
There are so many factors that can cause your hose to be stiff. First of all, it’s all up to how the owner care for it. Most garden hoses that get stiff are usually the ones that have been abandoned for a long time by the owners.
Besides abandoning it, these homeowners do not store it properly. They leave it exposed to weather elements and avoid rolling it up, which is the best way to store it. Because of their inactive use, they get stiff overtime.
Old age, they say is beautiful, but not in the case of garden hoses. This is another cause of garden hose stiffness. If you have probably used your hose for more than 10, 20, years, expect it to get stiff. Some don’t eventually, but you should be prepared for it when the time comes.
Another cause of garden hose stiffness is the material used. If your garden hose is made with PVC material, it’s likely to get stiff after a few times. The PVC material itself is difficult to bend, so when you try to go beyond its limit, it will crack.
Signs That Your Garden Hose Is Stiff
The most obvious sign of your garden hose being stiff is its inability to bend. Even when it bends, it may develop cracks. Because it’s difficult to bend, storing it becomes an issue. Rolling it all up on a garden hose reel will seem impossible, unless something is done to soften the stiffness.
How to Soften a Stiff Garden Hose
Softening a garden hose require some innovation on the part of the owner. That’s because there is no definite method you can use to soften a stiff garden hose. Like the saying goes, there are many ways to kill a rat – there are many methods you can use to remove the stiffness in your garden hose.
The melting power of the sun will soften your garden hose, but just for the main time. Once the sun goes down, the hose will cool off and become stiff again. This is a downside of it.
If you want to store your hose after use, do so when the atmosphere is still sunny. Lay it all out in the sun for a couple of hours after every use. The heat will keep the garden hose warm, thereby softening it. If you can deal with the hot garden hose, you can start to coil, until you have rolled it all up. Otherwise, wait until it’s warm, and then, start to roll it up for storage.
Probably your garden hose is too old, and that’s the reason why it has become stiff. There’s no need to panic; just get a new one. A brand new hose will never become stiff. At least, not until after a few times of use.
PVC garden hoses may have its benefits, but they usually get stiff after a while. If you must buy a new garden hose, buy a rubber one or one that is polyurethane. This way, the chances of your hose becoming stiff are reduced to the minimum.
Many garden hose issues are usually centered on how it’s stored, including that of stiffness. If properly stored, you can enjoy your hose for a long time, but if uncared for, you may find yourself replacing a garden hose after a few weeks of use.
You should put your hose away after every use. Avoid leaving out in the open, especially at night when the cold weather will creep in. It will further make your garden hose stiff. Avoid leaving it outside during snowy weather as well.
If you lack ideas on how to store your garden hose, get a hose reel, a large pot enough to contain it, or store it under the grass. There are many hoses reels available in the market, including wall-mounted and mobile ones. You can read one of our posts on how to store expandable hoses.
It’s not surprising to see a garden hose kink. Most homeowners are familiar with their garden hoses getting kinked. Seeing a hose kink is one those garden hose issues that many homeowners face. It can be frustrating and annoying to see your hose kink, especially when you are in a race to get watering done swiftly. Like stiffness, kinks can make garden hoses ineffective and reduce its performance.
So What Does It Mean to Have a Kinked Garden Hose?
A kinked garden hose is a hose that is bent along a straight line. Kinking usually occur at the weakest point in the hose, causing a 90° bend. Kinking stops the flow of water in a garden hose because the water gets stuck when it reaches the bend.
What Causes Kinking?
Kinking is caused by several factors. Sometimes, hoses kink because they are old. Other times, a kinked garden hose is caused by frequent roll up. Rolling up a hose in small loops can create several bends along the length of the hose. Cracks and leaks are the aftermath of this, and water flow is impeded.
Signs of a kinked Garden Hose
The only sign of a kinked garden hose is its bends along the hose. It usually occur at the weakest points in the hose. When it begins to bend, it will impede water from flowing through it. If you leave it for some time, discoloration will begin to appear in those weak points.
How to Remove Garden Hose Kinks
For you to remove kinks in your garden hose, you must first of all, identify the points of bending. You can have more than one bends in your garden hose. After discovering this, you can now go ahead to unbend or remove the kinks.
It’s amazing how the heat of the sun can be used as a solution to various garden hose issues. If you notice some kinks in your hose, leave it out in the sun for a few hours before use. The heat of the sun will expand the hose, thereby removing kinks.
One of the major causes of a kinked hose is storage. When it’s wound round or rolled up in small loops, kinks will start to appear.
Retractable hose reels are excellent equipment that you can use to store your hose properly. All you have to do is to find a retractable hose reel that can store your garden hose in large loops. This way, the chances of your hose getting kinked are minimized. Instead of pulling out the entire garden hose, you will only pull the length of the hose that you need – this is a great benefit of using a hose reel.
Once you are ready to use it, unwound the garden hose from the reel and straighten it in the sun for a few hours before use.
If wounding up your garden hose in a hose reel and straightening out in the sun is stressful and time-consuming, you can simply keep it out straight all the time when not in use. Stretch it along a path, and then loop the other end to the tap.
If you must use this method, ensure that the path where you want to straighten the hose is not frequently used or not used at all. Sometimes, people may not realize the presence of a garden hose while walking along the path and might trip. Tripping regularly will cause your hose to kink. That’s why it’s essential you store the hose along a safe path to avoid damages.
Other Ways to Avoid Garden Hose Kinks
Another way to keep your hose from kinking is by going for expandable hoses . Expandable hoses kink less when compared to other types of garden hoses. That’s because it can stretch when water is passing through it and retract when there is no flow of water inside. By retracting, the chances of getting kinks are limited.
Avoid buying cheap garden hoses. A quality garden hose rarely kinks if it’s stored properly. You can’t say so about a cheap garden hose.
If you want your hose to last long, you will need to spend a few bucks. A good quality garden hose doesn’t come cheap. However, buying a good quality hose is not enough. You can buy an expensive garden hose and may end up replacing it after a few weeks of use.
Stiffness and kinks are two major issues homeowners encounter in a garden hose. These two issues usually arise from the handling of the hose.
How do you soften a stiff garden hose? How do you avoid hose kinks? We have provided solutions that handle those issues. Providing good care to the hose will help prolong the lifespan of the garden hoses, as well as eliminate stiffness and kinks.