Written by Dale Richardson - Updated: June 23, 2023
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We all love our hoses. They bring water where we can't, and do so without complaint or argument. But when they fail, it can feel like a punch to the gut - your beloved is injured! So how do you fix a garden hose? I'm so happy you asked! We collected the most commonly-asked hose repair-related questions on the web just for you . If you're wondering if a garden hose can be repaired, we've got you covered.
So what's on the docket today?
Today's Topics Include:
Let's dive right in! Just as a heads up, you'll see the phrase "yes, but actually no" quite a bit here. The reasoning is that people on Google ask a lot of questions, and sometimes they're not black & white answers. In fact, our first question is one of those - you'll see why momentarily, but the point is to trust me .
I'll get you the answers as fast as possible, I just need patience on your part and a teeny bit of belief.
Remember what I just said about "yes, but actually no?" Yeah, this is one of those situations. The reason is that depending on the actual connector of your hose and garden tap valve, Teflon could actually do more harm than good. I highly recommend that you check out this video , as The Weekend Handyman is a really smart dude.
For those who want to just read the answer , though, I've got you covered. Here's when to use Teflon on a hose and when not to:
In short, if it has a gasket, don't use Teflon; if it uses just threading, you're golden.
The overall "should you/shouldn't you" question here is a bit difficult to answer, as everyone has their own thoughts on it. Some say that the above solution (gasket vs. no gasket) is the only important factor, but others disagree. Most arguments boil down to whether or not you'll cause undue stress on the hose and valve, but others have to do with chemicals .
Some say that Teflon will leak harmful chemicals into your water supply - this is untrue. Teflon has been used by plumbers for ages (well, decades. I can't imagine the Romans with Teflon, but it's a fun idea!) And as such, Teflon has been studied quite thoroughly. If you use the white non-dyed Teflon tape, you'll be alright - just beware of off-brand "Teflong" or other generic brands, as they cut corners that will leach chemicals into your water.
In short, you absolutely can use Teflon tape on your garden hose, but you'll need to inspect your particular connectors to ensure it won't cause harm.
Depending on where the leak in your garden hose is, you'll have different answers. Let's just dive right in!
For leaks in your hose connector/valve :
Just go to your local hardware/DIY store and buy a rubber hose seal. These are, essentially, rubber gaskets that you snap into your hose connector. If you turn off the water to your hose, unscrew the leaking end, and look for a gasket/O-ring, you'll likely see it's worn out. Just replace it with one of your new ones, and you're all set!
For leaks in the actual length of hose:
If you have a small (a.k.a. pinhole) leak in the hose itself, there's another simple solution. Ensure your hose is as dry as possible and turn off the water - this is important, so don't skip it.
Once you've done that, grab a handy-dandy roll of electrical tape and wrap the leaking bit thoroughly in tape and et voila - your hose is fixed.
If the leak is large (more than 1-2 cm) go buy a hose mending/repair kit from your local DIY shop. (Spoiler alert for the question below asking if hose repair kits work - they do.) Simply read and follow the instructions on your repair kit and replace it.*
*Use a knife to cut a small piece of hose out of the damaged area. This can be used to ensure your hose repair kit will actually fit your hose. Most DIY shops are more than happy to help out with finding the proper size.
As mentioned above, yes!
Using electrical tape on a pinhole leak in your hose is an excellent short-term solution to the leak. While it won't permanently solve the leak, and you'll absolutely need to regularly replace the tape, it can and will work wonders while you finish up whatever you're doing.
While some people will swear by Teflon (PTFE) tape, it's generally a last-ditch effort to save a dying hose. Your best bet is to use the approach mentioned above and find a rubber hose seal/gasket replacement and simply pop out the old one. Nine times out of ten, the cause of a leaking garden hose thread/connector is a failed gasket.
Otherwise, you can clean (yes, clean!) the threading of your garden hose with a wet rag. Use a bit of white vinegar for tough bits that won't come out, rinse it, and test the connection again.
Beyond those solutions, your best bet is to wrench-tighten the hose - keeping in mind that overtightening can also ruin your gasket and hose connector.
Do not use duct tape to repair a garden hose. While the old adage of "if it moves and shouldn't use duct tape, if it moves and shouldn't , use WD-40," is funny , it's not a hard-and-fast rule. In cases where you need a watertight seal, duct tape is a terrible option.
Not only is duct tape not made for watertight seals, but there are better options out there. As mentioned above, use electrical tape or specialized rubber hose repair tape.
There are two types of tape that work well to repair garden hoses. The first, you already know - electrical tape. It's readily available, cheap, and most people have multiple rolls in their homes. This makes it excellent as a short-term stopgap measure against leaks.
But there is a tape designed for this specific job, though it goes by many names. From garden hose repair tape to silicone tape, you'll hear a lot of names. But items like this garden hose repair tape are handcrafted to ensure your hose gets a second shot at life.
We talked about this above! The long and short of it is that for pinhole leaks, you wrap electrical tape around the hole, giving 1-2 cm on each side to ensure it's snug. For leaks in the threading, you replace the gasket and tighten the connection until the leak stops.
Unlike standard duct tape, Gorilla Tape is designed to be both waterproof and incredibly strong. This makes it a great (again, short-term) answer to a leaking garden hose.
In fact, Gorilla Tape's website says , "Gorilla Waterproof Patch & Seal Tape instantly seals out water, air, and moisture. With an extra thick adhesive layer and UV-resistant backing, this tape conforms to form a permanent bond indoors and out. At 4" wide use it to patch holes, cracks, gaps and tears, even underwater. "
While Flex Tape is an awesome little product, it's not designed to stop water leaks. The Flex-Seal website says , "Flex Tape may not work with all hoses, and is not recommended for applications with high water pressure (such as garden hoses and hoses in a car engine.)"
A garden hose can be repaired, often within minutes of finding the issue! We've talked about this above a number of times, but the long and short of it is that garden hoses are very simple devices - they have a connector and a gasket, and very little else.
So use a garden hose repair kit, electrical tape, and/or a replacement gasket, and it's quite likely you'll get that hose repaired.
Repairing a crack in a hose is super simple. First, buy yourself a hose repair kit from your local hardware store, grab a Phillip's head screwdriver and box cutter, and buckle up.
To repair a crack in a hose:
While this will result in a shorter hose, you still have one, so we can mark that down as a win!
You repair a tear in a rubber hose with a rubber hose repair kit, some electrical tape and gaskets, and roughly ten minutes of your time. Take a peek at the above section for more information.
Just as with normal garden hoses, expandable garden hoses can be repaired. The process is pretty much the same, though you'll need anexpandable hose repair kit .*
*(Expandable hoses are made from latex instead of rubber and operate differently. A rubber hose repair kit won't work here.)
Start the same as you did with the process above - cut out the damaged section. Now:
Garden hose repair kits work quite well - sorry if this was spoiled for you up above. They're not only quite effective but generally take no more than 10-15 minutes to fully repair when used properly.
You can absolutely fix a leak in a flexible hose! for a quick fix, use electrical tape and wrap it around the leak, giving it a few layers. Wrap 1-2 cm on each side to ensure a strong seal.
You can also use a hose repair kit to fix a leak in just about any hose - flexible or otherwise. This is the more permanent solution (other than just buying a new hose).
To repair a garden hose, you need a few things:
And that's it! Repairing a garden hose is super simple and we have loads of information listed in the various sections above.
An expandable hose can be mended, barring catastrophic failure. Head to this above subsection for the full process .
Garden hose repair kits often come with a few standard parts. They'll come with a replacement gasket or two (small rubber O-rings), a threaded adaptor that slides into the hose, some screws, and a clamp.
Garden hose repair kits work by providing another tube inside the hose to prevent water pressure from further damageing a previously cracked or torn section of the hose. The clamp ensures a tight seal against the gasket and is threaded to allow you to connect it to a valve or spray nozzle.
Essentially, a hose repair kit works by sealing off a damaged section of the hose and providing reinforcement to the water to easily pass.
So can a garden hose be repaired? Of course! And , it's pretty dang simple. It takes a gasket, a roll of tape, and (worst case) a repair kit and ~15 minutes of your time. So don't just throw out that hose with a pinhole leak - get it fixed up and you'll see it last you for ages longer. In short, if you take care of your hose, it'll take care of you.
Now go get repairing!
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