I find rubber hose much too heavy to drag around over lawns, especially with
water in it... heavy rubber hose is meant for commercial applications, it
will easily slide over paved areas but not lawn. I can buy 100' lengths of
Swan brand 5/8" hose at Lowes at end of season for under $10. Since I live
where winters are very cold I drain my hoses and store them reel and all in
a barn. During warm weather my hoses are outdoors but the reels are set in
a shaded area... sun is a killer of plastics and rubber. Always remember to
close the bib valve and open the nozzle end before winding on the reel,
leaving a hose under pressure greatly shortens its life... even with the
supply turned off if the hose is filled and in the sun the water will expand
and damage the hose, always leave the nozzle open while winding so that the
hose drains... this also places much less stress on your hose reel, a filled
hose is a lot heavier than one realizes. It's best to wind less hose than a
reel's rating, by carring less weight the reel will last a lot longer, and
so will the hose... the portion of hose at the core of the reel will crush,
and if rarely used will be apt to harden and rot... for the rare times you
need a longer hose it's better to simply screw on an extra length, then
remove it when done. Most folks will have at least two lenghths of hose on
a reel, it's a good idea to rotate the lengths each season. If you're short
a hose bib it's better to connect a second reel with a "y" fitting and a
length of rubber hose tucked into the foundation than to overload a reel
with more hose. Never leave a hose lying stretched out in the sun, put it
back on its reel directly after use... and wind neatly with no crossing, and
wind loosely, if a hose is wound in a stretched mode it will be damaged, it
will kink because stretching will give hose an oval cross section, and its
life will be greatly shortened... bring your hose to the reel before winding
rather than use the reel to drag the full length of hose across the ground;
this will save your hose, your reel, and your arm. I like the heavy duty
Swan brand hose, it's well made so it lasts a long time (and has a lifetime
guarantee), and I especially like its solid machined brass couplings, formed
brass is thinner and more prone to deform and therefore leak. Replace all
hose gaskets each season, it's a lot cheaper to spend 10¢ on a new gasket
than to over tighten and ruin the coupling... if you find yourself needing a
pair of pliers to tighten hose couplings then you need new gaskets, hose
couplings should only be hand tightened. Some people flip gaskets to use
the other side but then they typically need tightening with pliers, false
economy. Don't buy too many hose gaskets in advance, they will harden with
age and become useless.
I live near the world's leading reel company but I think their garden hose
reels are just too pricey for home use.
Never saw them before. Look good but pricey at $339. A couple of years ago
I went with www.rapidreel.com. Not cheap either, but works great. Hose
does not kink and unwinds and winds easily. The one I have was $179 but
they do have less expensive models.
Don't waste your money on the $30 plastic jobs at the big box stores.
Good for you. IMO, the plastic jobs are crap, aggravating to use, and
don't last more than a year or two. I'm willing to pay for convenience and
quality. I can wind my hose up in seconds and smoothly, something a plastic
reel never could achieve. We have choices, mine differs from yours.
Everything is being made cheaper except for prices. I bought three of those
plastic hose reels at Lowes 7 years ago for $20 each and they're still going
strong. I bought a similar one for my tenant a little over a year ago that
cost $30 and it cracked after a year... it's still usable but it won't last
much longer... the plastic is less than half the thickness of my older ones.
$339 is way too much, but so is $179... I don't think a decent quality
homeowner type hose reel should cost more than $50.
I have a black hose from Sears and it's way better than any of the green
hoses I've owned. I also have a SideWinder hose reel. This combination
works for me. You still have to make sure you don't kink the hose, but it's
a small problem instead of a big problem.
I have had quality ones, cheap ones and medium ones. All kinked and
once kinked, always kinked. My solution?
The yellow ell cheapos (I get 'em at Wal Mart). Yes they kink but are
easily unkinked, usually just by walking down them and kicking them.
They also don't kink in the same places. About the same amoutn of
kinks as a heavy duty one but the fooling around unkinking beats them
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