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How to Repair a Hole in a Garden Hose

By Chris Deziel

If you're in the habit of leaving your hose out in the sun or -- worse -- in the snow, you'll soon have to deal with pinholes, cracks and outright breaks. You can use tape to repair small holes and cracks, but major damage usually calls for removal of a section of the hose. Use a coupling to join the hose back together after removing a section.

Leaks From the Faucet

Water spraying from the connection between a garden hose and the faucet either means the hose connector is loose or the rubber washer that's supposed to be inside the connector is missing, Try tightening the connector with your fingers, and if that seems to make a difference, tighten it with pliers until the leak stops. If you can't stop the spraying, turn off the water, unscrew the connector and look inside -- you'll probably find that the washer is missing. Replacement washers are inexpensive and available at any hardware store.

Pinhole Leaks

Tiny pinhole leaks characteristically produce a fine mist that may not be bothersome but nonetheless wastes water. You can make a permanent repair with waterproof PVC tape and a semipermanent repair with electrical tape. Turn off the water, drain the hose and make sure everything is dry before applying the tape, or it won't stick. Start taping 2 or 3 inches on one side of the hole and wrapping the tape continuously around the hose until you get to the same distance on the other side of the hole. Press the tape against the hose with your fingers, turn on the water and make sure the leak has stopped. If it hasn't, remove the tape and apply more, starting and finishing a little farther from the hole.

Large Cracks and Holes

Once water begins to actively flow from a large hole or crack -- not just spray -- you can't repair the damage with tape, and the only way to repair the hose is to cut out the damaged section. Make clean, straight cuts on each side of the section you have to remove, using a sharp utility knife or a hose cutter. To repair the hose with a coupler, slide one of the crimp rings that come with the coupler onto each end of the hose, then push the barbed end of the coupler into one of the hose ends. Fit the other hose end onto the other end of the barbed coupler and push the two ends together. Tighten the screws on the crimp rings with screwdriver.

Beyond Repair

If your hose has multiple pinhole leaks or requires a coupling in more than one or two places, it's time for a new one. Pinholes and cracks appear more often in vinyl hoses than in rubber ones, and it's usually because the hose material has turned brittle in the sun. Even if you stop the leaks, new ones will probably appear in a short time. Extend the life of your hose by draining the water out of it after each use and storing it in a coiled position.

 

About the Author

 

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.