What can you say about hoses? That’s what I asked myself when it was suggested I do an article about hoses. I’ve been pondering this question for several months now. I have some thoughts that are possibly worth sharing . . . or not.
The most basic rule as with practically all things you buy: “You get what you pay for.” If you buy a cheap hose, you will likely have problems with kinking, the fittings will eventually leak, and the hose material will not bear up against the ravaging of the sun’s rays. Other than this obvious cost consideration, there are other decisions to make.
Most garden hoses have a 5/8 inch inside diameter. ½ inch hoses are lighter, have reduced volume flow, and are generally of low quality. How much length do you need? Most hoses are 50 feet long. I’ve noticed a long monster for sale at Costco.
You must have noticed the “Pocket Hose” or the other numerous expandable hose brands that seems to be the latest hot item on the hose market. You can find it for sale in a container about the size of a lunch box. You have to use one of these to appreciate them. It weighs almost nothing, so if aging muscles have difficulty dragging a heavy hose around, this may be the hose for you. You don’t have to worry about knocking things down as you drag the hose because it doesn’t ever lie in stiff loops on the ground. When you release the pressure, the hose shrivels up to almost nothing and can be stored in a large flower pot. However, these hoses are notorious for developing leaks in a very short time. They have come out with supposedly improved models. I have to admit that I bought one of these Pocket Hoses at Target because it was on clearance for $14—I can’t resist a sale. The regular price is over $30. You see, I had found a Pocket Hose at a garage sale months ago, and LaVille really loves it. It developed a leak next to a fitting, but I was able to fix it. I think it will be only a matter of time before her hose is a goner, but now I have a back-up. I figured that $14 for a hose that my wife loves for one year is worth it. If you choose to also gamble, don’t leave the pressure on after use. Also, stepping on it can result is premature death . . of the hose, that is.
Then there is the stainless steel hose that has recently appeared. If you believe all the hype, this is the hose of the future . . or not. Since I knew nothing about these hoses, I looked at the comments for the different models you can buy on Amazon. I hope you have used consumer comments to help you select products when you buy online. These comments are often very revealing and often amusing. Among the comments about these hoses were many complaints about the low volume flow and frequent leaks—but these varied a great deal from brand to brand. It once again revealed the fact that you get what you pay for.
How about coiled hoses? I hate coiled hoses. If they don’t result in premature death from tripping on them, they will cause a heart attack for all the stress they create when they get tangled or hung up on something. Volume flow is low. These stupid hoses do not last very long either. That being said, we have one of these . . I don’t know why . . except they do recoil into a relatively small space. Actually, my proof reader says she likes this hose and uses it more than any other hose. And here I was ready to pull out that Pocket Hose that I was saving for a leaky day.
Hope you’re a happy hoser,
Stan, The Tool Man