If you’re a devoted gardener, you probably try to take good care of your tools and equipment. Some things are easy to forget, though. For instance, you might not put too much thought into maintaining your water hose, but when it’s left out in the cold all winter, it can experience some serious damage. While that's good news for heavy-duty garden hose makers come springtime, it's bad news for forgetful gardeners.
When a hose freezes, the water inside expands, causing holes to develop, and ultimately weakening the hose’s lining. The damage can be even worse if the frozen garden hose is still connected to the house because it can lead to issues with the water pressure in the pipes and water lines.
To prevent this kind of disaster, here is a step-by-step guide on how to keep your hose from freezing over the winter:
- Step 1: Shut off the water spigot to stop the flow of water to the hose.
- Step 2: Straighten out any kinks to allow the water to flow freely through the hose.
- Step 3: Release the remaining water from the hose. Make sure it is completely empty by removing attachments, such as sprinkler heads, and dumping every last drop of water.
- Step 4: Disconnect the hose from the water spigot.
- Step 5: Make sure no more water is remaining in the end of the hose closest to the spigot. Garden hoses can be as short as 25 feet or as long as 100 feet, so make sure you walk the entire length of the hose, lifting every section as you go, to ensure that no water is left in the middle.
- Step 6: Wind the garden hose up into a circular shape to prevent any kinks from forming during the storage period. Each loop should be roughly three feet in diameter.
- Step 7: To prevent the hose from freezing or cracking, store it in a warm location. If your shed or garage is too cold, keep it in the basement or a storage closet inside your home. Make sure the hose maintains its coiled shape so that it doesn’t develop any kinks while in storage.
A high quality garden hose typically lasts between five and 10 years. Of course, if it is not well maintained, its lifespan will be a lot shorter. Any devoted gardener knows that a hose is a critical tool for any kind of gardening or yard work. Take good care of yours.