Garden hoses are a must for lawn and garden care, but since they’re so long, they can be a nuisance to store away. The easiest way to store them is to curl them up, which can lead to kinking.
To keep a garden hose from kinking, use a garden hose holder when storing or moving it. Turn on the water to its fullest pressure to work out the kink. Store your hose flat, and invest in a thicker, less flexible garden hose, as a high-quality hose won’t kink as much as a cheaply-made hose.
The rest of this article will discuss these tips in greater detail. In the following sections, I’ll also discuss the primary causes of kinking and how to fix kinking.
1. Use the Hose With High Water Pressure
Outdoor water spigots work similarly to indoor faucets. If you twist the spigot knob or lever just slightly, only a small amount of low-pressure water will flow out of it. But while this low-pressure flow can reduce wasted water, it can become problematic when working with kink-ridden hoses.
Kinks are essentially sharp turns in a hose that block the water flow from reaching further points, preventing you from watering your outdoor areas and forcing the water back toward the spigot connection point.
The kinks can remain when the water flowing toward these closed-off points isn’t forceful. No matter how much you squeeze, pull, or push the hose at its kink points, you might be unable to undo them.
But when you increase the water pressure flowing toward hose kinks, the material scrunched together is forced apart due to the fast-moving and high-pressure water flow. This straightens the hose and allows the water to flow to the hose nozzle or opening.
Generally, turning your outdoor water spigot up to its maximum flow point is the best way to increase the water pressure, thus working out kinks. But if your home’s plumbing features low water pressure, this solution might not be an option for you.
It’s also crucial to note that filling your hose with high-pressure water can result in unintended bursting, especially if it is clogged or badly kinked.
So, this solution can be just as harmful as it is helpful, and the outcome depends on the condition and PSI-rating of your hose.
How to Gradually Increase Water Pressure to Remove Kinks
Increase the speed and power of the water entering the hose by turning your outdoor spigot to full blast or cranking it to maximum power. But what can you do when your home’s water pressure level isn’t great enough to work out the kinks in a hose?
If you have an air compressor at home for inflating car and bicycle tires, you could use it to blast the inside of your garden hose with high-pressure air.
Here’s how to do it:
- Lay out the garden hose along your driveway.
- Slide the compressor air hose nozzle into one of the hose’s openings.
- Activate the air compressor starting at three cubic feet (0.08 m3) per minute at 90 PSI.
- Allow the air to travel through the hose until the kinks are pushed out.
If your hose is prone to kinking and your at-home water supply is low-pressure, the better solution might be changing your hose storage methods or investing in a new hose.
Avoid Twisting the Hose for Extended Periods
When using a garden hose, you might need to twist and turn it now and then, especially if you have a big garden. However, where possible, you should keep it as straight as you can while using it.
Twisting it during use will increase the risk of kinking, and as a result, the water won’t come through as easily as it should, defeating the purpose of using a hose in the first place.
You might need someone to help you keep the hose straight while you use it.
Of course, it might be impossible to avoid twisting when you want to get to certain parts of the garden, and that’s okay. Some light twisting shouldn’t cause any harm to the hose as long as you bring it back to a straight position once finished.
2. Wrap the Hose Lightly After Use
Storing your garden hose when it’s not in use will keep it in excellent condition. That’s why it’s an excellent idea to keep your garden hose stored indoors, away from sunlight and extreme temperatures.
But the most common garden hose storage solution, wrapping a hose around a hose reel, can do as much harm as good.
While a hose reel keeps hoses off the ground and prevents them from becoming a trip hazard, hoses coiled too tightly around a reel can develop kinks. These kinks can become difficult to undo, especially when they can settle for long periods.
Wrapping a hose loosely around a hose reel is the simplest solution to this problem. You’ll want to leave a little slack instead of pulling hard on the garden hose after each twist around the storage wheel.
But this option can make it easier for your garden hose to unravel itself, especially if it’s made of stiff material. However, you might want to ditch the hose reel altogether.
Store It in the Garage on a Wall
If you have empty wall space in your garage, you can install large hooks to hang your hose when it’s not in use. T
he only caveats to this solution include the following:
- You’ll need enough wall space for the hose to hang fully stretched with no bends.
- You may need to drill small holes in the garage wall to install the hooks.
- Finding wall studs for placing wall hooks can be challenging.
- Fetching your garden hose from the garage each time you’d like to use it can be time-consuming and inefficient.
Still, allowing your garden hose to remain fully extended when it’s in storage is one of the best ways to prevent kinking. Keeping your hose indoors when you’re not using it may also extend the lifespan of your hose, preventing rust formation along the metal valves and couplers.
Keep the Hose Straight When You’re Not Using It
While you should keep the garden hose straight when you use it, you should also keep it straight when you’re not using it. In fact, this can be even more important because your hose can sit idle for long periods, increasing the chance of kinking.
If you have a large enough garage, you can store it in a straight line there.
However, many people don’t have enough indoor space to store their hoses like this, and if that’s the case for you, you can keep it stored outdoors along the lawn.
Keeping your garden hose stored outdoors, especially during the winter, will age it significantly faster than if you were to store it indoors. In most cases, it will only last a few seasons.
On the other hand, storing your garden hose indoors by twisting it around will cause damage and likely reduce its lifespan. So it’s up to you to decide which storage method is more worthwhile.
If you live in a place that doesn’t have harsh, cold weather, your garden hose should fare well if you leave it outside.
3. Chose a Hose Made Of Stiffer Materials
Many popular hoses are made of flexible, expanding materials like fabric and latex. While these hoses are lightweight and easy to carry around, their superior flexibility can make them more prone to developing kinks.
If you’re using an expandable or super flexible hose, switching to a stiffer and more stationary model could be the best kink solution.
Use a High-Quality Product
There are many garden hoses to choose from, and it’s tempting to choose the most affordable option.
However, the most affordable options often lack quality and longevity as well. Many high-quality hoses will be less prone to kinking. So if kinking is a big issue for you, it might be worth spending a bit more on a quality garden hose.
Hoses are usually made from either rubber or vinyl.
Rubber hoses are more expensive because they’re tougher, and kinking isn’t as common. Because of their sturdiness, it’s difficult for them to kink, but it also means they’re more challenging to maneuver.
On the other hand, vinyl garden hoses are much lighter, easier to maneuver, and cheaper than rubber hoses. However, they kink more easily, so it’s generally better to use a rubber hose unless you prefer a lightweight option.
Refrain From Using Old Garden Hoses
Old garden hoses are also more susceptible to kinking. If your garden hose is old and you use it frequently, it will experience general wear and tear. As it wears down, it might become thinner and more prone to kinking, even if it’s thick rubber.
So, if your hose is old and you’ve only recently noticed kinking, it might be time to purchase a new one.
Make Sure Your Hose Is Thick Enough
Collapsible hoses that shrink to a smaller size when not in use are a popular choice due to their lightweight and compact designs, but they’re often made of thin material that can easily bend and kink.
Generally, the thicker your garden hose’s material, the less likely it is to develop kinks.
The thicker the material, the less likely it is to bend and, therefore, the less likely it is to develop annoying kinks. So, if you’ve been using a thin, lightweight hose, you might want to upgrade to a thicker, sturdier, less-likely-to-kink model.
How to Determine a Hose’s Thickness
While it can be challenging to determine the width of your garden hose, a hose’s weight is often an excellent indicator of its thickness.
If you’re shopping for a new hose in-store, you can also get hands-on with the hoses available and gently bend them to test how easily they form kinks. But you don’t need to hand-test garden hoses at your local home improvement store to find a thick hose that resists kinking.
Be sure to get a hose that is free of harmful substances like lead, so if you’d like to take a sip from this hose while working outside on a hot day, you can safely do so as long as your local drinking water is safe.
4. Store Your Hose Properly
Improper hose storage is one of the most common issues that can lead to kinked hoses.
Take a moment to consider how you handle your garden hose when you’re done using it. Do you toss it onto the grass, shut off the water, then move on with your day? If so, you’re unintentionally shortening the lifespan of your hose and inviting kinks.
Tossing a hose onto the ground might cause it to take on a twisted, jumbled shape. So you’ll want to take the time to gently wrap your garden hose around a wheeled hose reel after you’re done using it.
This can maintain it and reduce the likelihood of kinks.
While many homes feature a stationary hose reel near the outdoor water fixture, investing in a wheeled version is an excellent idea. After all, even the hardiest garden hoses can begin to degrade when exposed to high heat, sunlight, or low temperatures.
You’ll want to bring your loosely wrapped coiled hose indoors to ensure that its condition and performance remain exceptional for years. If possible, make a habit of bringing your hose indoors every time you’re done using it.
Store the hose in a shaded patio closet, a garage, or an indoor broom closet, which are far safer than your lawn and garden. Still, you’ll want to avoid the common mistake of coiling your garden hose tightly around a hose reel.
Use a Hose Holder
Although storing your garden hose in a straight line is the best way to avoid kinking, using a wall or standing garden hose holder is another good alternative.
To use a garden hose holder, you will need to roll the garden hose, but only a few times. Rolling isn’t ideal because it can cause kinking, but it should be okay if you only roll it a few times.
The loops should be large and loose to avoid the possibility of kinking.
Although a garden hose holder isn’t a guarantee that your hose won’t kink, it’s undoubtedly better than piling your hose on top of itself or rolling it excessively.
Avoid Using a Hose Reel for Storage
While a garden hose holder is generally okay to use, you should avoid using a hose reel if you want to prevent kinking. This is because hose reels don’t give as much leeway, which means that you’ll need to roll the hose around a lot more.
As a result, it will be much more likely to kink. Of course, hose reels are fine if your garden hose doesn’t experience kinking very often.
5. Use Your Garden Hose For Short Distances
Most garden hoses are between 25 and 100 feet (7.62 m to 30.48 m) long. These lengths ensure that your hose reaches every part of your yard, regardless of whether you have a small backyard or a massive front lawn.
But while long garden hoses are great for reaching faraway plants, they have a few problems. For example, if you’re dragging your garden hose halfway across the yard to water your plants, you’re increasing the risk of your hose developing kinks.
When garden hoses slide around corners or raised garden beds, the material can bend and form a 90-degree crease that turns into a kink. Sliding your garden hose long distances across your lawn can also flatten healthy grass, leading to bald patches in your yard.
Alternatives to Dragging
If you don’t want to drag your garden hose all over your backyard, you can employ other methods, including using a water can like they did before running water was a thing.
Use a Spray Nozzle
An alternative to dragging your garden hose and preventing kinks is to invest in a spray nozzle head capable of spreading water over long distances.
Use a Watering Can
Of course, high-pressure hose nozzles can increase water usage and waste, as these don’t directly target plant root systems. Fortunately, you can also use a watering can to hydrate plants far from your outdoor water spigot.
Invest In a Drip Irrigation System
The only potential downside of using a watering can instead of a hose and spray nozzle is that you might need to refill your watering can multiple times when tending to a large outdoor garden. This watering method is also unsuitable for keeping lawns green and vibrant.
Consequently, you might want to invest in a drip irrigation system, especially if you have several raised garden beds. Learn more about drip irrigation in my in-depth guide here: The Ultimate Guide to Drip Irrigation for Raised Beds
Though drip irrigation systems do require more work to initially set up, they’re a smart way to reduce water waste, keep weed growth to a minimum, and reduce the labor required to keep gardens hydrated.
There are several drip irrigation systems from which to choose, so be sure to explore all your options before opting for this watering method.
How to Remove Kinks
Despite your best efforts, you’ll inevitably get kinks in your garden hose eventually. But if you go about removing them the wrong way, you could make things worse. Before going through the following steps, there’s one thing you should know. Don’t panic! With a little patience and a lot of calm, you can remove the kinks without damaging your hose.
Unroll the Hose and Let It Relax
If the garden hose is new and rolled up, the best thing to do is unroll it and leave it straight for a few hours or even a day. Garden hoses that haven’t been kinked for long are more likely to return to their standard form.
This should be the first solution you try especially if your hose has only recently kinked.
Feed Water Through the Hose
Try feeding water through the hose by connecting the garden hose to a faucet. You can put the spray nozzle on the other end of the hose.
Then, turn the faucet on to fill the hose with water. You should notice, almost instantly, that all the kinks disappear because the water in the hose will push them outward. The nozzle helps build pressure in the hose, which is why the kinks will disappear.
Even when you turn the faucet off, the kinks shouldn’t return immediately. If you want to see a video of this method explained, be sure to check out this YouTube video by quartytypo:
However, if kinking is a big issue for you, this method will likely only work while using the hose. A while after you stop using it and disconnect the water supply, the kinks might come back.
Use a Splint for the Kinks
You can use a splint for the kinks, which can be beneficial if the same hose part seems to be frequently kinking. While this method is suitable for removing kinks in garden hoses, it can also work well as a preventative measure.
You can use any rigid circular tube that fits around the hose for the splint. Place it onto one of the ends and move it to the part that kinks. Once the splint is in place, you can secure it tightly using tape.
The splint will ensure the hose doesn’t kink, so this is an excellent method if you want to avoid spending money on a new, expensive hose.
Issues That Occur in a Kinked Garden Hose
If you don’t take the correct preventative m:asures, your hose may kink so badly that it gets severely damaged.
Ripping is a significant issue associated with a kinked garden hose and is more likely to occur if the kinks remain for extended periods. You want to avoid this problem the most because it’s irreversible.
Water Flow Issues
Kinking can impede water flow in the garden hose, meaning you won’t have a consistent water flow as you should have. This is a nuisance to deal with because the whole point of a garden hose is to use it for dispersing water. Thankfully, this problem isn’t as irreversible as ripping.
Discoloration in Kinking Area
Over time, kinking can cause discoloration in the kinking area. This is because the material is rubbing against itself, which naturally causes it to wear down and discolor over time. The discoloration is mostly an aesthetic issue, so it doesn’t impact the performance of the garden hose.
However, if the kinking is so bad that discoloration is occurring, likely other issues are happening simultaneously.
Can Kinking Lead to Permanent Damage?
Kinking can permanently damage a garden hose, especially if it has been left kinked for an extended period. If you leave it in the same position long enough, the hose may rip, leading to water leaking during use. Once the hose rips, there’s no way to restore it.
Can Rubber Hoses Kink?
Rubber hoses can kink, but they’re less likely to kink than cheaper vinyl hoses. If you consistently twist and roll your rubber hose, it will likely kink after a while.
Some kinds of rubber are thinner than others, and thinner hoses are more susceptible to kinking. So you should go for a hose with multiple layers of rubber, or one thick layer, if you want to avoid kinking as much as possible.
There are a few measures you can take to keep a garden hose from kinking.
Some of the most efficient ones include:
- Not twisting and rolling the garden hose when using it
- Storing the garden hose in a straight line rather than rolling
- Using a high-quality hose rather than a cheap, flimsy one
The best material for a garden hose is rubber because it’s durable and the least likely to kink. Metal is another excellent option, but metal hoses are often more expensive than other alternatives. Avoid lightweight, cheap hoses because they tend to kink the quickest.