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Garden Hoses

 
pollinator
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Hello!
I'm in the market for a garden hose. I have just started looking into them and hope I can get Permies advice and recommendations.

I went in a store to look at what they had in stock and they were about wiped out! An employee recommended an extra heavy duty hose which seems a good choice to me. It was drinking water safe, and hot water safe which I expect I wouldn't need. Another option was a really good deal, until I realized it wasn't drinking water safe. I figure if I can't drink out of it, plants shouldn't either.

Can I get some help? Would the extra heavy duty one be fine? Are there better options? I don't have unlimited monies but cheap costs more in the long run!
Thanks all!
 
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I can't comment on the heavy duty hose as I have no idea what that means.

My experience: Cheap Normal PVC hoses work fine, but you want to discard the water for the first minute or so each time. Their durability is limited by the off-gassing of the softener (which also ends up in the stale water) and destruction by UV.
The rate of off-gassing should correlate to the temperature of the hose: Molecules with more energy (heat) move faster. How long it lasts against UV depends on the UV-additives and sun exposure.

If your garden is going to last a bit longer, I would recommend to install PE (poly-ethylene) piping under ground to convenient locations and using short flexible hoses from there.

EDIT 1: There are flexible food grade silicon hoses … but they are very expensive.

EDIT 2: It appears that EDPM is also an intersting material. For example this one. No idea about price.
 
master gardener
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To reflect the post above, I am installing underground lines.   If I need short term use, I buy cheap hoses.  If I need something long term, I buy higher quality high pressure hoses.
 
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For what it’s worth, I have lost patience with cheap hoses.  I find that they break/split easily, get kinked up easily, leak easily and generally need replacement fast enough that a heavy duty hose is actually cheaper.

Just having a hose split open when you really need it and having to go out and buy another is a real inconvenience and a time waste.

These are just my thoughts.  You make your own decisions.

Good Luck,

Eric
 
Bihai Il
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Thanks for the input.

Eric, I'm on the same page.

Sebastian and John, thanks for the buried pipe idea. Can't do it where we're at, but it could work for my parents' yard.

I like this hose but it is more than I can spend:
https://www.waterrightinc.com/products/25-ft-600-series-5-8-polyurethane-garden-hose

Here's the extra heavy duty one I'm looking at. It's made of rubber.
https://www.dazeys.com/shop/lawn-and-garden/hoses-and-accessories/hoses/hot-water-hose/best-garden-58-in-dia-x-50-ft-l-drinking-water-safe-hot-water-hose?SKU=730579
 
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I bought a silicon hose a few years ago when I needed one. I doubt it is food grade (the only hose I have seen specify it was food safe was for brewery supplies), but the silicon ones are stronger and more resistant to sun, which is brutal here. Even if they are not ideal, the silicone hoses should last longer than the standard ones, which means I buy fewer.
 
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Is there any advantage to using the white hoses designed for RV's?  Do they hold up better in sunlight because white is reflective? Are they considered "food grade" because they are "drinking water safe"?  Why would one need a hot water hose (as the Dazeys link mentioned) for outdoor garden use?  I too am tired of cheap hoses that kink and especially the ones that leak at the fittings.  Seems sizes of fittings are not standard anymore as there is not perfect compatibility in the threads or size/diameter despite use of the rubber washers to "seal" from leaks. Those washers are another issue also - both decent and cheap ones.
 
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Bihai Il wrote:Here's the extra heavy duty one I'm looking at. It's made of rubber.
https://www.dazeys.com/shop/lawn-and-garden/hoses-and-accessories/hoses/hot-water-hose/best-garden-58-in-dia-x-50-ft-l-drinking-water-safe-hot-water-hose?SKU=730579



I have 2 of those exact same hoses and they are both doing great I’ve had them for 5 years and they look like they will last at least another 5, probably more. I think I got mine from Home Depot or Lowe’s for a much less (but that was 5 years ago).

I only use drinking water safe hoses because I water edibles and like the ability to drink from a hose on a hot day (and I don’t eat or drink poison... so... )

Anyway... They are good hoses and should last awhile (especially if you don’t leave them out when it freezes).

Good Luck!
 
Paul Eusey
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Denise Cares wrote:Why would one need a hot water hose (as the Dazeys link mentioned)



A hot hose can be connected to the spigot on the side of a tanked water heater. These are often used for cleaning (and you need a metal spray nozzle and waterproof heatproof gloves to go with that setup, a good waterproof apron is a good idea as well). Restaurants and Butchers can hose down their walls and floors before sanitizing with bleach water. A farmer might need to clean out a barn stall and try to kill a pathogen that threatens other livestock (after use from an infected animal). A homesteader is processing meat outdoors (scalding hogs). There are a lot of uses for a hot hose and if you find yourself in a situation that needs one, you won’t want to try to get by without... They are really really nice to have when you need one.

Good Luck!
 
Denise Cares
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Thank you Paul for your helpful explanation.
 
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I have to drag hoses from this side to that, so I must have a heavy kink free hose. (Not that any are actually kink free, but they are better than the cheap hose) Nothing more frustrating than having to keep unlinking a hose. My husband always liked the 3/4" hose, but they are expensive, so I get the better quality 5/8 hose, and save a little money.
I tried one of those hoses that spring back when the water is off last year. I loved it for the month that it lasted.  Just passed the time I could return it.  I won't waist my money on it again.  Good luck, I hope you find one that works for you.
 
pollinator
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I often wonder why people do not install more water pipes and taps, rather than dragging a 100 foot hose around.
 
Paul Eusey
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John C Daley wrote:I often wonder why people do not install more water pipes and taps, rather than dragging a 100 foot hose around.



Many temperate areas still freeze in the winter. Additional pipes and taps have initial costs (and labor) as well as maintenance costs (winterizing, insulating, repairing). Sometimes the geography doesn’t allow it, sometimes the long term planning doesn’t. Sometimes folks just don’t know what the long term plan is. There are many reasons that dragging a hose makes more sense. I refuse to use PVC because it’s so toxic (BPA, Forever chemicals, etc). So I run copper and brass. It costs a lot more, so proper installation is a must, (but if done right, it will last forever).

Good Luck!
 
pollinator
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John C Daley - I don't have more water pipes and taps, because they are very expensive to install and we don't know where other pipes or electrical are buried. Our ground is 1/3 rock, digging typically requires an excavator and the pvc gets damaged unless you backfill with sand or rock free soil. I'm happy when I can get away with just one 100 ft. hose, many places I have two connected. I definitely would love more taps, but it's low on the list.

Jen Fulkerson - I agree with you, there is no such thing as a kink free hose.
 
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I ended up getting a Water Right hose. It's food safe and used for drinking water in RVs. Having heard about the heavy metals in most hoses, this seemed the safest.

water right drinking water hose


 Using only top quality materials from Bayer Material Science, our polyurethane is safe to drink from and is 100% free from toxic chemicals such as lead, BPA and phthalates often found in other garden hose.

...

Solid Machined Lead-Free Brass Fittings. Specially Chrome Plated.
Made in the USA  



It's a bit more expensive than your average hose, but they do have a Factory Outlet section, which is where we got our 100 foot and 25 foot hoses.

Since it was the only one on discount, I got the skinnier hose. It's lightweight, but the flow is SLOOOOOW. But, I just let things fill while I work. I'd like to get another hose in their 700 series hose. It's 5/8ths wide, and should have a stronger flow.

Tereza wrote:I bought a silicon hose a few years ago when I needed one.



I didn't know there were silicone hoses! I would assume it was food grade, as most silicone is. Do you have a link to where you bought it?
 
John C Daley
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I am still coming to grips with frozen pipes, I do not have them in Australia.
I have 2 inch pipes lying around where I want them and dont bury them.
Do exposed pipes burst or do you just drain them?
 
Stacy Witscher
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Exposed water pipes burst even in our fairly mild winters, I'm zone 8b. The weekend of my grandson's memorial we had a water pipe burst, we lost 3000 gallons of water rapidly. Flooded my crawl space and left me without water for days. Never mind having to call a water truck to replace the water. Our irrigation taps and house water are on the same lines, we can't turn off one without turning off the other. We have valve boxes to turn off certain areas, but they are still in line from the tanks up high down to the houses and irrigation.
 
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If the end of the hose is not good quality, neither is the hose.  The stamped metal cheap ends leak and once they get the slightest bend or dent they will leak even more, if they even screw into the nozzle or another hose.

The cheap hoses kink and get punctured easily, and within a couple months of being exposed to the sun they start to delaminate and blister, which means they will soon leak and will be unrepairable.

Good hoses used to be made out of rubber, better hoses were made out of rubber and reinforced with nylon braiding molded inside the rubber.  I don't know if they would be labeled as safe to drink from but when I was a kid drinking from the hose was part of outdoor life.  If the main purpose is drinking water a little research on rubber hoses would be necessary.  If your local farm or ranch store doesn't carry a good rubber hose check with a hose supplier.  Usually every city has some sort of hose supplier because they carry all type of hoses for everything from water to hydraulic fluid to fuel lines and many more purposes.  Usually they have a very large spool of each type and they can cut off the length you want and fit the ends with good quality ends that will last a lifetime.  This is good if you need an odd number length, or if you need a hose longer than the usual 50 feet or 100 feet you might find in a store.
 
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Traditionally I get cheap used vinyl hoses at garage sales for a buck or two, the kind with the cheap stamped sheet-metal ends.  They are a pain but the price is right.  However, after a year of pandemic with no garage sale purchases, mine were getting extremely stiff and unpleasant to deal with, plus they were leaky and not worth the cost of repair fittings.  I still have several of them that I'll string together to reach distant trees if this turns into the drought-summer that it seems to be setting up to be, but for basic watering near the house I needed something easier to deal with.

So I just bought two of these Flexilla-brand 5/8 hoses on Amazon, a 75' and a 25'.  Not the cheapest, not the most expensive, but they present as a durable-feeling very flexible rubber, with heavy anodized aluminum fittings that certainly feel like you could drive over them without crushing them.  I'm pretty happy with them so far.
 
Tereza Okava
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Nicole Alderman wrote:
I didn't know there were silicone hoses! I would assume it was food grade, as most silicone is. Do you have a link to where you bought it?


I bought it by the meter at the feed store... but poking around online, it looks like I might have gotten fleeced- any hose with fibers braided in it apparently involves PVC, the silicone layer is on the outside, and pretty much entirely intended to stop the hose from cracking... So my hose is "siliconized" rather than silicone.
I *have* bought the same manufacturer's 100% silicone stuff for brewing and household use (it is clear, looks like IV tubing, only bigger), although they don't label it food-safe. In fact, on their website they "food-safe" tubing and hoses of various sizes for dairy production--- but after trawling through their sales catalog it seems these things are all PVC. sigh. Here there isn't the same anti-plastic awareness. They sell the hoses for food use as "non-toxic," which could mean anything.
If I were searching up in the US I'd start looking at stuff for dairies or brewing supply.
 
John F Dean
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Hi John,

In my present location, have an 18 inch trench to dig through top soil and sometimes clay.  When I was in Minnesota, it would have been 44 inches dug through very rocky soil.  Location is everything.   Another factor is rainfall.  In my present location we can go 4 to 6 weeks without any rain worth mentioning.  In Minnesota, we normally saw a good drizzle every three days.
 
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Spend the xtra dollars on good hoses.  
I bought a couple of 100 foot hoses at Murdoch's, (Tractor Supply in parts of the US) and they have lasted several years.
One hose costs $50 or $60, but well worth it !!
 
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My garden is around 50m (170ft) from the tap at the closest and 94m 311ft at the furthest. normal garden hose just doesn't cut it for that distance the pressure drop means you literally can wee faster than the hose. I have a PEM pipe 32mm (the internet tells me that's 1 17/64 inch) which runs out to the edge of the field and then I use 170ft of standard rubber hose past that. eventually I want to add three taps to the mainline one at the middle one top and one bottom so I never need to use more than 80ft of small hose and don't have to drag hoses around all over the place.
I can get away with it as it's wet here and I only have to water occasionally. normally less than 4-5 times the entire summer, except for the strawberries which demand more water! Because I sell my vegetables ALL hoses and fittings have to be drinking water quality. (as does the water)
 
John C Daley
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We can go 6 months without a decent rainfall here, in Central Victoria.
We have about 14 -16 inches a year at the moment.

With LPG gas pipes we have a gadget that turns off the gas flow if it rises because of a bad leak, [break].

Do the water system have something similar?
\ I shall look.
 
John C Daley
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Auto shot off water valve
The Dome Shut-Off Valve helps you automatically control your water systems and shut them down when they go haywire.
Compatible with any quarter-turn ball valve up to 1" - 1.5" in size. It installs easily over existing valves without the need for a plumber.
Cost in aussie $165

Power supply: 12VDC - 35mA (0.13W power consumption).
Installation: DIY - Everything required is included.
Mounting Options: Quarter-Turn Valves from 1/2" ~ 1-1/2".
Application: Indoor use only.
Operating temperature: 0 - 40 °C.
Dimensions: 64mm x 89mm x 153mm.

We also have gadgets that close off if the dishwasher water supply hose breaks.
 
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I've been pretty happy with my Flexzilla hose I bought a couple years ago. They start off bright safety-green but quickly start looking dirty/splotchy. Which is just fine my me. The anti-kink material is lighter and easier to drag around than other hoses.
I know you mentioned rocky soil and unknown electrical hazards, but I'll still offer that I ran a shallow PEX line out from the hose spigot to the garden where it connects to a 3/4 hose thread valve. Not deep enough to be frost free. Just under the sod, which I literally cut with a reciprocating saw at an angle, peeled the turf back, and stuck the pex in. Now I don't have to worry about the hose between house and garden when I mow. And when winter comes, I just disconnect both ends and blow the water out (although likely the pex could take the freeze ok just disconnected.)
 
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John C Daley wrote:I often wonder why people do not install more water pipes and taps, rather than dragging a 100 foot hose around.



In my case a jackhammer was used to clear out for a footer as it seems our house sits atop a giant slab of rock which quickly killed our plans for a basement.  It took about two hours to dig a grave for our lab because we had to chisel and chip rock in order to get the grave big enough.  So I could take the chance and hope that we wouldn't encounter rock when digging the trench for more water lines or I could drag a hose around.  Right now I opt for the latter though I do keep a 55-gallon rain barrel with a spigot near the garden and attach a hose to that for watering.  

I'm currently in the market for a new hose as well as our old one has been used and abused ovee the years and needs replaced.  What I am finding in the stores doesn't impress me and seems that when I find a decent hose online, the reviews state that it's packaged where the end of the hose is bent and kinked.
 
Michelle Heath
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Dan Boone wrote:Traditionally I get cheap used vinyl hoses at garage sales for a buck or two, the kind with the cheap stamped sheet-metal ends.  They are a pain but the price is right.  However, after a year of pandemic with no garage sale purchases, mine were getting extremely stiff and unpleasant to deal with, plus they were leaky and not worth the cost of repair fittings.  I still have several of them that I'll string together to reach distant trees if this turns into the drought-summer that it seems to be setting up to be, but for basic watering near the house I needed something easier to deal with.



Before the pandemic, our major source of income was flea markets.  I don't know how many of the cheap vinyl hoses we've picked up in auction lots and sold cheap because I knew what a pain they were to deal with.  :)
 
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Jen Fulkerson wrote:

My husband always liked the 3/4" hose, but they are expensive, so I get the better quality 5/8 hose, and save a little money.

We have places where the planned buried lines have not materialized and weather which can definitely freeze stuff we don't want frozen! We use 3/4" hose for laying down where it can sit for days or months, and then hook on 5/8th inch hose to actually work with so it's lighter. We use shut-off valves and quick connects between sections with "Y's" and one of those fancy 4 valve connectors for busy animal areas (until I broke it). The up-front cost was high, but the benefits of being able to close a shut-off and disconnect a section of hose without walking another 75 feet to the hose bib which is buried in the well shed is worth it.
We have 1 farm hydrant which allows water to drain back underground when shut off so it isn't damaged by freezing weather, but I need to re-pack it as its handle froze this winter due to a leak which didn't damage it,  but was *seriously* annoying! I'd like a second by the well shed, and a third up field where the chickens over-winter. Again, up-front cost but hugely convenient.
 
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We have garden beds scattered around, and a greenhouse business for over 25 years. I quit buying cheap hoses. I buy light colored hoses, my latest fav is flexizilla .https://www.walmart.com/ip/Flexzilla-Garden-Hose-5-8-x-50-3-4-11-1-2-GHT-Fittings-Flexible-Hybrid-Polymer-ZillaGreen/246489766?comm-msg-vehicle=EMAIL&comm-msg-id=8012677f-fcf6-4c87-9520-cdd9e0ffb507
 
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I love my bionic steel garden hoses. I have a 25, and 2 50s. They're super light. I've never worried about drinking from a hose since I've been doing it for 60+ years though not everybody has the same chemical makeup as me. They never tangle and though I have crushed one against a metal edge, it still works fine. One leaks a bit but I think they have metal ends now. I use one (5/8 inch) with my pressure washer and it works great though 3/4" is recommended. I've seen 75 footers.
 
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John C Daley wrote:I am still coming to grips with frozen pipes, I do not have them in Australia.
I have 2 inch pipes lying around where I want them and dont bury them.
Do exposed pipes burst or do you just drain them?


You're lucky! I have a seasonal line to an outbuilding. It's buried, but I have to blow it out with compressed air every fall and pressure test every spring. It's a pain. Any low spot where water will collect is a potential burst point. The same applies to hoses in the shoulder seasons.

Edit: If they are filled and under pressure, they WILL burst. If they are full but unpressurized they MAY burst. Or they may be weakened and burst later at a more inconvenient time.
 
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Whatever hose pipe you end up purchasing, there is one important thing to do that will prolong it’s (kink free) life that I would really like to share.

When you first unwrap it, cut the strapping off if necessary and then roll it out in its entirety in a straight line. This  will keep the internal structure of webbing in the correct manner and reduce the chances of kinking enormously.

Do not take the end of the pipe and just pull it from the roll.  This forces twists into the whole length of the pipe, often resulting in a distorted internal structure that leads to kinking and folding of the pipe anywhere along its length.  Once a pipe has kinked, it will continue to do so whenever given the chance.

Not only is this frustrating, as it slows or stops the flow of water, it’s also a huge waste of time as you have to go find the kink and straighten it to restore the flow, it will also reduce the useful lifespan of the hose as it is more likely to split and leak.

Second point would be to try and store it in the shade when not in use, even though hosepipe is manufactured with UV stabilisers in the plastic, it does not last forever.  Sunlight is hugely damaging to all plastics, so shading your hose and other plastic items will help make them last for longer.
 
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