Well, my hoses qualify for "several" years, if not "many". I'm in
peninsular Florida, where duration of freezing temps is minutes or
hours, not days, and we typically have few consecutive nights with
freezing lows. Obviously, I cannot address the issue of wintertime: My
zone simply does not have winter as most of North America knows it.
I irrigate from a well and, if the buildup in my plumbing, water
heater and kettle are any indication, it has some serious quantities of
limestone dissolved/suspended in it. If this material gets deposited in
the soaker hoses, it (so far) has produced no noticeable reduction in
output. FWIW: I directly measure the output of each hose before
installing it into a bed for the season. Output is easily adjusted by
means of hose washers with variously sized orifices, provided the source
pressure is well-regulated. I use a cheapo "Mister Mister" inline 25
p.s.i. regulator from a handyhomeowner store.
However, the soaker hoses definitely are affected by prolonged
exposure to the sun. Because they are constructed from reclaimed motor
vehicle tires, soaker hoses are not exactly paragons of flexibility and,
after a few years' exposure to hot spring and summer sun, some of the
hoses break if bent into a small-radius curve. The same absence of
flexibility makes breaks difficult to repair because the material will
not expand to accomodate a repair splice (hose barb), for example;
instead, it splits along its length. I have found, though, that short
pieces of el cheapo foreign-made 3/8" I.D. PVC pipe work well as repair
splices without altering the hose's output.
The most consistent problem, if it is one, is the development of
pinholes that produce tiny sprays of water, which sort of defeats the
purpose of soaker hoses. However, these are of a scale as to be minor
annoyances and not "problems", although, it certainly can be irritating
to see a tiny spray of wasted water arcing out from a bed into a
pathway. That stretchy rubber adhesive plumber's tape repairs them
Running on single malt in U.S.A.
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