Each time you use your hosepipe to wash your car, gardening, or on your lawn, you always hope it will last long with no splits, kinks or leaks. But, what actually happens when you leave a hose on?
It is very normal to forget to turn off the water at the end of the hose after use. As humans, we are easily distracted or have a lot in mind. Leaving a hose on can be of high risk or low risk depending on how long it was left and the temperature conditions surrounding it.
If you leave your hose for a long period of time, the water will stress the hose, which in turn it will lead to a ruptured hose—valves will break, and faucets will be loose. Consequently, a huge amount of water will be wasted, raising the water bill. The surrounding ground will be damaged or get damp.
The valves will start leaking water because the system is under pressure. This occurs when your valve has a rotating system, but the 90-degree on-off valve (ball-valve) is preferred.
You might ask yourself what happens if you accidentally forgot to turn off your hose off the whole night after gardening. You might wake up to a flooded garden, driveway, basement, or water running across your yard to the neighbors’ yard.
The flooding happens because the hose was under pressure. When water is under high pressure, the rate at which it flows is higher than when water is under low pressure. The high pressure causes the hose to be weak hence the bursting and sometimes disconnection of pipes. It is important to turn off the hose for short periods when in use to avoid the cracking and bursting of the hose.
A hose, when pressured up it can use 1000 liters of water per hour. If left overnight for 12 hours, 12000 liters would have been consumed. You will experience a significant rise in water bills, especially if the hose pipe is attached to a meter system.
You might have gone for a vacation or to visit a friend for a week or so, and forgot to switch the hose off. Three things might happen you might return to a wet lawn, a huge water bill, or both.
Leaving your hose on for one week will cause flood damage. Your garden or lawn will be flooded depending on how many gallons of water were wasted. You could be in a worse situation if it rained. The situation gets worse if your neighbor’s yard was flooded, and he wants compensation. Other times you find water flowing into your basement, garage, or the main house. Unexpected expected expenses might occur for clearing the water out.
When you leave a hose on running for a week, expect to break the bank to pay your bill. Assume a garden hose spit out about 10 gallons per minute. In a day, it will spit about 14,400 gallons. In one week, it will be about 100 800 gallons. Assume in your municipality they charge about $15 per 1000 gallons. What figure will you be expecting? A whopping $1512.
To avoid all these, purchase timers that will save you big time. Timers such as Holman or Aquatrip will automatically shut off the water (depending on the preset time) when your hose is on accidentally or not. Timers can help you save you from paying a huge amount of water bill or wasting more water.
When the first wind of winter blows, it is time to winterize your garden hose. Pipes can easily freeze when the surrounding air reaches the freezing point. Frozen pipes cause serious damage to pipe systems. Water pipes that have little or no insulation tend to freeze and break when exterior temperatures drop below the freezing point. It breaks the valves, joints, and faucets. And the repairing cost is expensive.
When the surrounding air drops to the 32 degrees freezing point, the heat within the water pipes is released to the cold air. As this exchange of air occurs, the water in the pipes reduces, and as a result, the water freezes. Pressure starts to build up due to the formation of ice. This pressure causes the pipes to burst.
It is important to turn on the faucets on when temperatures hit the 32 degrees freezing point. Then allow water to trickle down from the faucets to prevent the bursting of water pipes.
In order to prevent pipes from freezing, firstly, turn off the water. Locate the shut-off valve (it connects the outdoor faucets). It is usually located in the basement or utility room. The shut-off valve gears the flow of water. The shut-off valve can either be a ball valve or a rotating valve.
Secondly, disconnect the exterior garden hose. There will be no need to use your garden hose during winter; therefore, you will need to store it away to use it in the next season. Disconnect your garden hose from the spigot. By doing so, you are preventing the hose from being damaged by frozen ice. As you know, frozen ice takes more volume than liquid water due to its molecular structure. The expansion will definitely damage the hose.
Thirdly, drain your hose. By all means, drain all water as possible from the hose. Remember, even little water can develop splits. Then roll it to a reel and store it in a well-ventilated space. This will prolong its life.
Fourthly, allow some dripping of water from both hot and cold faucets to let out any left water. This allows some air space inside the pipes and lowers the risk of ice damaging the pipes.
Lastly, open cabinet doors to expose the piping under sinks to heat.
It is important not to leave your garden hose attached during winter because it causes interior water lines to freeze and burst whether the valves are closed or not. Even after having a ‘frost-free’ spigot, it still doesn’t count.
Generally, water expands when it freezes, whether it is in a closed space or open space. During winter, when water is left inside the hose, it will expand and freeze, taking more space than before. Since the mass of ice water is heavier than liquid water, there is little or no more room for expansion. The pipes eventually burst, and the valves and joints break.
When you leave your garden hose attached to the water valve during winter, you will notice that the walls that are attached next to the pipes are slowly eroding. With time the foundation of your house will persistently be wet at the place where the pipes lay. Eventually, the pipes will rapture due to water expansion.
Repairing of the raptured pipes is an unexpected expensive cost. Therefore, always disconnect the garden hose from the outside water valve after use during winter. Also, make sure the faucet is tightened. These actions prevent interior freezing water lines from bursting inside the house. At all times, drain the water first from the hose, remove the sprayer nozzle, then coil the hose into a reel and store it.
Remember, even a small amount of water left in the pipe by a spigot will cause the pipe system to crack or break. As soon as the temperature drops, begin to winterize the outside pipe system. Make sure you have shut off the valves of the exterior faucets and detached the garden hose from the exterior faucets. Lastly, avoid using water from the exterior water pipe system.
Flooded yards, basements, driveways and lawns, high water bills, broken pipes, broken valves and faucets, wasted water, damage, and compensation fees answer the question, ‘what will happen if you leave a hose on?’
It is a fact that leaving your garden hose on for a long period of time will cause more harm than good. You will incur unexpected expenses and flood damages. To avoid unnecessary expenses and damages, always shut off the valve on the pipe when you have finished using the hose.
After using your garden hose, remember to drain the water left inside the hose. Loop it into a circle or a reel and store it away from direct sunlight. Sunrays tend to destroy the durability of the material, causing cracks and splits. In addition, do not leave your hose outside connected to the faucet, as pressure will increase and reach the bursting point.
During winter, remember to turn off the water from the main water valve if the water pipes have frozen. It will prevent the bursting of the pipes.
Get yourself a quality hose that will withstand the pressure from municipal supply or well and all-round temperature.
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