- Created: 26-10-21
- Last Login: 26-10-21
gardening don't last forever. When you're in the market for a new one, these
tips will help you make an informed purchase.
Your garden hose is probably working overtime this summer as you water plants, irrigate
a vegetable garden or wash the car. According to hose manufacturer Teknor Apex, a good
garden hose will last five to 10 years if properly maintained. A bad garden hose, as most
of us have already found out, will waste water, function poorly and cause bouts of
So to keep the kinks out of your relationship with your PVC
garden hose, let’s take a look at what to consider before you buy a new one.
Garden hoses are used for transporting water over short or long distances. They can be
used for watering a plant, washing a car or every other activity where water is needed.
Because garden hoses are very widely used, they need to be able to do many different
things. Firstly, they of course have to deliver water at your chosen location. But that’s
where the simplicity stops, while not all water or application is the same. Are you working
with super clean water and want to be 100% sure there is no contamination with the
materials of the hose? Then a garden hose with a pvc-free inner layer specially made for
this situation will fit your needs. Is storage space limited? Then a spiral hose, reel
garden hose or expandable garden hose will come in handy. Are you looking for a drip
irrigation system? Then soaker hoses might be the solution. For every application there are
different products available specialized for that situation. Read this article to make a
jump start into the world of garden hoses.
Diameters and lengths
When selecting a garden hose there are multiple parameters that will guide you in the
right direction. The diameter of the hose is a good starting point. Typical internal sizes
are 13mm (1/2"), 19mm (3/4") and 25mm (1"). It’s important to know that a
garden hose has an internal and external diameter. If you want to connect the hose to male
coupling, the internal diameter is most relevant to you. Also important is the total length
of the garden hose, because a too short hose won’t reach to your destination and a too
large hose will take up unnecessary space and cause extra pressure drop, which is often not
Mostly, garden hoses are made from multiple materials. Some garden hoses are even made
from up to 8 different layers. All these layers are made from a different material. The
outer layer has to be strong because it’ll be dragged along concrete and stones. Often PVC
is used for this outer layer. The inner layer can be made from many different materials. If
garden hose is suitable for drinking water purposes, often PU
food-safe materials are used for the inner layer. All materials used together determine the
temperature range, which is often between -20°C and +60°C. Garden hoses can often
withstand pressures up to 30/50 bars (435/725 psi). A pressure gauge is placed to monitor
the pressure in the system, to learn more about this read our article on pressure gauges
for water applications.
A garden hose with only an outer layer would twist and distort very easily. With some
exceptions, garden hoses have been strengthened. Between the inner and outer layer, a
reinforcement is added made of metal, plastic or another type of strong material. This
reinforcement ensures the hose is pressure-resistant, well protected against damage, wears
less quickly and it will buckle less quickly. Especially for garden hoses, that are used in
harsh situations, this is a very important feature.
To connect a garden hose to a spigot, sprinkler or valve you will need couplings. In
most cases a garden hose is connected via Gardena-like couplings. These snap-fit couplings
exist of two parts. The first part is a threaded fitting (with 3/4" and 1/2"
being the standard) and is mounted on the part that you want to connect to the garden hose.
The second part is a quick connector, which is mounted to the garden hose. With this snap-
fit coupling it is now possible to easily connect the hose to all the parts that are fitted
with the hose fitting like spigots, valves, spray nozzles and sprinklers.
We’re all working hard to be conscious consumers. At the grocery store, we read labels
and say “no” to plastic packaging whenever we can. We choose safe wooden toys for our
kids, avoid poisonous cleaning products, and even grow our own organic vegetables. But
wait! After all that effort, are we unknowingly spraying that lovely healthful produce with
phthalates, BPA, lead and more?
A garden products study completed by The Ecology Center looked at 90 different
garden water hose and discovered disturbing levels of
each of those chemicals. Some of the toxin levels exceeded safe drinking water standards by
20 times or more.
We’ve all had to face some hard facts in recent years: it turns out there is no
pristine environment anymore, and even those living in isolated wild places face
contamination of the air, soil, and groundwater. But we can take steps to stop contributing
to the problem in our own backyards with unsafe hoses. Rather than throw up our hands in
despair, we can spread awareness about this lesser-known home health hazard. Not all hoses
are created equal, and you can change your watering practices to help your hose do its job
without spraying neurotoxins and endocrine disruptors. Because let’s face it: our bodies
have enough to deal with in our modern environment without adding to their burden.
Choose your hose with care
If your hose was purchased before 2007, it’s likely to contain lead.
The brass fittings can contain up to 8% lead, and lead may be used in pigments and
stabilizers. Green and yellow hoses are particularly likely culprits. Hoses bought after
2007 are governed by a labeling law resulting from a California lawsuit, though product
testing still found lead in newer hoses. Choose a new hose labeled as “lead-free”. Tip:
check marine or RV stores for lead-free hoses marketed for use in boats or motor homes.
These hoses, often white or beige with a thin blue stripe, work well as safe garden hoses.
Look for the claim: “drinking water safe”.
Most vinyl hoses are made from PVC ominously nicknamed “poison plastic”.
PVC relies on phthalates to provide flexibility and elasticity, but these chemicals
have received lots of bad press. They are endocrine disruptors, causing problems to human
reproductive development, and have been linked to liver cancer. Choose natural rubber hoses
instead. Food-grade polyurethane is another good option.
Choose non-brass fittings, made of stainless steel, nickel, or aluminum.
These metals are more likely to be lead-free, and meet drinking water standards. These
soaker hoses made from old rubber tires have nickel plating over the brass fittings to
reduce the possibility of leaching lead.
Read labels carefully, even the small print.
Watch out for hoses containing a warning citing California Prop 65, stating “this
product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth
defects and other reproductive harm.” It’s worth a few extra dollars to invest in a hose
that will help you enjoy years of watering with your mind at ease.
Ask the FDA to regulate hose safety.
The Safe Chemicals Act and Safe Drinking Water Act