Once winter is approaching and farmers are taking in the last batch of harvest it is a wise decision to prepare the rubber garden hose for the harsh cold months to come. If you have invested in a decent hose, you will want to winterize the hose to prolong the shelf life for another season.
Steps to Winterize a Garden Hose
Your garden hose has been your best companion during spring and summer which has been useful for watering your garden. But as winter sets in, it’s time to store them away till next gardening season begins.
Follow the outlined steps below to winterize your garden hose.
#1. Drain off Any Water and Disconnect the Garden Hose from the Mains
You are going to have problems with your expandable garden hose if they remain connected to the spigot. Home plumbing can be damaged because the connection to tap water can freeze. Simply disconnect your garden hose from the mains water supply system to start of the winterization process.
After you have disconnected the hose, hold one part of the hose upright and walk the entire length of the hose to drain off residual water from it.
#2. Remove the Garden Hose From the Reel
If you typically store your hose on a garden hose reel, its time you unwind it off the reel. Leaving it coiled on a reel can potentially damage the vinyl or rubber.
#3. Coiling and Storing the Garden Hose
Leaving your garden hose outside is a big no. You need to store it properly. To do that you will need to dry the hose out in the sun to get rid of any water left over before storage. We can’t overemphasize how important properly draining your hose is, freezing temperatures can rupture the linings within the hose.
After draining, coil up the hose into a three-foot diameter. We will stick to a 3-foot diameter to avoid over tightening the coils. Winter last for several months, it’s not ideal to have your hose coiled tightly although winter.
#4. Utilize Hose Fitting Couplings
Even after following the procedure listed above you might still find that your hose gets damaged after winter. One culprit to this is household pets. Just as we prepare for winter, pets and other burrowing animals also try to hide from the cold. If they find your hose they can burrow past the open ends and damage the inner linings.
To avoid this, buy couple fittings that are used to close the ends of hose pipes. Twist these couplings to the hose ends in such a way that the interiors of the hose are cut off from the pets.
#5. Dealing With Forgotten Connection
Mistakes do happen, but if you identify them on time the situation can be remedied easily. If you forget to disconnect your hose you can remedy the situation as soon as possible. With freezing temperatures outside, the hose connections must have frozen to the spigot.
The first thing you need to do to remedy the situation is to fill a bucket or bowl with warm water and slowly empty this warm water on the spigot head. Do not rush it as that might cause rapid and uneven expansion which can damage the hose. Pour it slowly to allow for even distribution of expansion. Doing this can slowly defrost the connection and free up the hose pipe.
However, if you forgot to disconnect the hose for the entire winter season, the damage to the hose might be extensive. Employ the services of professionals to help with the disconnection process.
#6. Winterize a Soaker Hose
A soaker hose pipe is quite different from winter hose. They have tiny perforations within the entire length that allows water to seep through. Leave soaker hose pipes where they are. The earth will act as an insulator to the cold.
To winterize soaker hose, run high pressured water through it to remove dirt and debris from them. After running high pressured water from the hose remove the hose couplings from the spigot and bury the hose end into the ground. In this case, closed-end fittings aren’t necessary. However, ensure you mark the ground where you buried the hose ends so you can find them when the winter season is over. We have also published a guide on winterizing your sprinkler system, where the hose is normally connected.
On That Note
Hopefully, you found this guide to garden hose winterize helpful. If for some reason you need to use a garden hose during winter, invest in a metal garden hose which is not subject to freezing but substantially more expensive than a regular garden hose.