Is Your Water Hose Leaking? Here’s How To Fix It
With summer well and fully upon us, people are taking to their gardens more often to play with their plants. But if you’ve found your water hose leaking, that could put a damper on things (water pun fully intended). Luckily, while there are a lot of potential causes for a leaky hose, most of them are surprisingly easy and cheap fixes.
The most common causes of a water hose leaking are: a poor connection to the faucet, missing gaskets, a bad packing nut, a leaking end fitting, or actual cuts or tears in the hose itself.
If you’re unsure of what these terms mean, don’t worry – they’re super simple. Now let’s get down to brass tacks and get your hose fixed.
Top Causes of a Water Hose Leaking
The first thing you should do if you notice a leak in your hose is to examine the whole thing. Oftentimes it’s easy to tell that there’s a leak, but ensuring its location will tell you a great bit about what’s causing the leak.
For example, let’s say you notice a leak at the hose’s end. That could be caused by a few things, but that list is smaller than the bolded one up above. Let’s start with solving that issue, shall we?
Hose End Leak
Especially in environments with cold winters, hoses can warp and crack with freezing and extreme changes in temperature. Luckily, if you notice your water hose leaking from its end, there’s an easy fix!
The fix is simple – cut off the end of the hose that’s leaking. Once that’s done, use a hose fitting repair kit to replace the end. And the best part? They cost less than £10.
Hose Fitting Leak
If the point to which you conjoin the hose and faucet is leaking, your most likely issue is its gasket – another easy and cheap fix. It’s also entirely possible that you don’t have a gasket anymore, as they’re easy to lose. Warpage of the hose (especially in cold weather) can easily cause the gasket to simply… fall out.
In order to replace (or install) a gasket, you will need a flathead screwdriver. Simply watch this 20-second video and do what he does – it really does take only that long.
If your water hose is leaking from the faucet itself, fret not! It’s likely the packing nut, which is super simple to repair or replace. This video will help you locate the packing nut (if you can’t).
To fix this issue you’ll need a wrench and Teflon or valve packing tape. Start by turning off your water and fully loosening the tap handle. Once that’s done, simply use your wrench to tighten the nut. If the hose still leaks upon reactivating the water, use roughly 20 cm of the aforementioned tape to secure the fitting. This is done by wrapping the tape around the point the nut is supposed to be gripping, similar to how you install a showerhead.
If this doesn’t work, you can consider replacing the washer on the faucet end, but it’s unlikely that’s needed.
Water Hose Leak
If your hose is cracked or punctured, it’s a surprisingly easy fix. Hose repair kits are dirt cheap and work surprisingly well. All you have to do with one of these kits is cut the damaged part of the hose (assuming it’s a small crack) and patch it together with the repair kit.
One important note is that hoses come in a lot of shapes and sizes. To ensure that you get the proper size repair kit, it’s recommended that you cut a strip of your damaged hose off (you’re gonna do this anyway) and bring it to your local hardware store. This will prevent you from having to make returns in shame with the improperly sized kit you bought. (I swear, this isn’t the voice of experience speaking…)
If your hose coupling is physically bent, this could cause some obvious problems. Whether you damaged it through misuse, or it’s simply had a long, storied life, things happen. The coupling is the seal between the hose and anything you want to attach it to, so you’re bound to need to replace at least one of these in your life.
Again – be aware of your hose’s size before buying a new coupling. And know that there are two types of couplings – male and female. The former connects to a sprinkler or nozzle, while the latter connects to the faucet itself.
Once you’ve bought a new coupling, turn off the water, remove the hose, and disconnect the old coupling. Then it’s a matter of simply twisting the new one into place and testing it to make sure there are no leaks.
There are a lot of other things to know about maintaining a water hose that’s leaking. These include:
- Electrical tape is a great temporary (or permanent, no judgement here) fix to a small pinhole leak in a hose. It will insulate, seal, and hold up to changing weather better than other tapes and will keep the leak contained.
- Planning for weather will save your hose more often than not. If you know that a severe freeze or heat wave is coming, just bring your hose somewhere it’ll be cool and dry – like a garage or shed.
- Drain excess water to prevent gaskets aging more quickly. Plus, sitting water can get gross, and if things freeze – your hose is dead if it has water in it still.
- Rubber hoses are more resilient than vinyl ones. That’s it. That’s the tip – buy rubber hoses, not vinyl. They’ll stand up better over time, especially if you’re bad about putting them away.
If your water hose is leaking, there are a few easy fixes and proactive things you can do to prevent further damage. Checking the gaskets, fittings, faucet, and hose itself will help pinpoint the problem. Once you’ve located the source of the leak, the fix is usually a ~3 minute process of replacing an easily accessible part that costs less than £10.
And by planning for severe weather and putting away your things (just like mum taught us), you’re less likely to experience a water hose leaking at all.