Design & DIY

How to fix a leaking garden hose so that it’s stronger than before

Rolled up garden new green garden hose top frame border isolated on white Photo by eurobanks/Shutterstock

With a garden hose, leaks happen in two places—at an end or in the middle. 

 1. If replacing the rubber washer on a leaky end fitting doesn’t work, try installing a new threaded hose end. Before you head out for supplies, use a utility knife to cut off the bad fitting along with an inch of hose to take with you for reference at the store: male and female repair ends are made for common garden hose sizes, typically ½”, 5⁄8″, or ¾” inner diameter. If the repair fitting doesn’t come with a clamp, you’ll also need a screw clamp sized for your hose. When you get home, slide the loose screw clamp over the hose, push the new fitting into the hose, and tighten the clamp. If the new fitting won’t slip in easily, use some water as lubrication.

2. Does your hose leak in the middle, perhaps because you stored it all winter with a kink in it? Cut out the damaged portion. Now it’s time to improvise a repair coupling—about 2″ of straight pipe that fits inside the hose, extending from one side of the cut to the other, with a screw clamp on each side. This coupling needs to match the inner diameter of your hose. A couple of inches of scrap 1/2″ copper pipe could fit nicely, or perhaps you’ll need something larger. Hardware stores also sell hose connector fittings (they’re usually around $10). Slide one screw clamp over each end of the hose, then push your repair coupling halfway into one end and tighten that clamp. Push the other cut end overtop, then tighten the second clamp. The repair is now stronger than the original.

Forgot to slip the clamp over the hose before the coupling? Unscrew it all the way, and it will fit around the hose.

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