If you are keeping up with the times and you like using nifty gadgets, one thing you might have in your home is an expandable garden hose. These are relatively recent but are quickly gaining in popularity due to their level of convenience.
Instead of dealing with a heavy 100-foot pile of rubber, an expandable garden hose can be just over 30 feet long and then expand out to 100 feet when water flows through it.
These hoses are much lighter and smaller, and therefore more convenient. That said, they can still break, and yes, just like a standard hose, they can also be repaired, although not in the same way.
The Difficulty of Repairing Expandable Garden Hoses
You might be thinking that you will repair your expandable garden hose just like you would have repaired any other hose. However, due to the expandable hose’s design and construction, traditional garden hose repair methods will not work.
Regular garden hoses are made out of a flexible rubber tube, and that’s it; therefore, making repairs is relatively easy. You can put hose patches on the holes, and in many cases, specialty waterproof tape will work. However, these methods usually will not work for expanding garden hoses.
The Two Materials of Expanding Garden Hoses
Expanding garden hoses are made out of two materials. The outer layer is made of nylon, which is designed to protect the sensitive latex inner material. When water flows through the latex and pressurizes, it causes the latex to expand three times or more.
That expanding nature of it is why traditional repair methods will not work on a broken expandable hose. For instance, if you try to tape a hole shut with duct or waterproof tape, that tape only sits out the outside layer of nylon, but it is not actually plugging the hole on the inner latex tube. Moreover, even if, by some chance, it did cover the hole, when the hose expands, the tape will just tear off and no longer cover the hole.
It’s more or less the same problem with patch kits. That patch may work fine for a little while, but after the hose expands and contracts a few times, the patch will likely tear off. Therefore, the best solution is to cut the hose, cut off the broken parts, and form a new connection. Refer to the steps below.
How to Repair an Expanding Garden Hose
There are two main problems or types of breaks that you may have to deal with. You may have a hole in the hose, somewhere in the latex, or the connection between the hose and the fittings or couplers may be loose. Either way, patching or taping it will not work. You will need to cut away the broken layers and then form a new connection. Let’s talk about how to do that.
Remove the Outer Layer
The most likely component on an expanding garden hose to leak is the inner latex tube. However, this means that you will also need to remove that outer layer to get to it. Remove the connectors from either side of the hose, and then roll the nylon sleeve back. There should be enough slack to let you get to the hole, but if there isn’t, you will need to cut the nylon and then sew it back up once the repairs are complete.
Remove the Damaged Section
Here, you simply use a sharp knife or scissors to remove the damaged section of the inner hose.
Reconnecting the Pieces
With the damaged tubing gone, use some hose connectors, which can be purchased in hardware and garden stores (go for barbed connectors). Before you push the connectors into the hose, wrap water-sealing Teflon tape around the connectors. This will prevent leaks from occurring in the future. Now, simply screw the two connectors together, and you are good to go.
Now you have everything you need to know about repairing a broken expandable garden hose.