Hose Fittings

Cleaning, fixing, using, repairing, best and worst of your mechanical aids in the garden...

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Geoff
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Hose Fittings

Postby Geoff » Wed Jun 24, 2020 9:06 pm

Do the fittings for garden hose drive anyone else mad?

Every time I do the watering I seem to end up with wet feet or wet jeans because a connection has leaked or a pipe has pulled out of its fitting completely. I have fittings of both the main brands of Hozelock and Gardena, some own brands from B & Q and Homebase and a few others, even stuff where I've got hose and fittings supplied together from the same manufacturer, Karcher. I think the only secure one I have is brass but it is on a tap so doesn't suffer any movement.

I change O-rings from time to time but that doesn't seem to make any difference. Anybody got any tips and tricks that make this stuff work?

I know there are plenty of things out there on the market that aren't fit for purpose that still sell well like Dyson Ball vacuum cleaners and bath taps you can't operate with your feet but does something as simple as garden hose have to be one of them?

Best stop ranting and go and dry off.
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby retropants » Wed Jun 24, 2020 10:20 pm

They drive me mad too Geoff, leaks left right & centre, badly spraying rose fittings, the multi pattern ones, hoses getting caught on things they have no business getting caught on. There's usually a lot of swearing when I'm having to water the whole garden. The patio is always soaking wet from leaky fittings when I'm done, and don't mention feet! Although I don't mind so much when it's this hot!
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby Stephen » Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:22 pm

I don't have problems to the degree you mention Geoff.
Things I do notice:-
- first use is best, if you have to swop them around (e.g. to refit after cutting out a leaky section of hose) then the seal isn't quite as good.
- I put on a glove to make sure they are really tightly done up. The arthritis has weakened my grip.
Last edited by Stephen on Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby peter » Thu Jun 25, 2020 8:46 am

Copper central heating pipe and jubilee clips for joining sections of hose. The plastic stuff for either end just doesn't last and metal fittings are rare & expensive.
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby Monika » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:09 pm

We only have two junctions in the hose, both very elderly Hozelock fittings I think and they both leak slightly. I rest these joins over a large (ex-feeder) bucket and when it's nearly full, use it to water the plants. Not a drop is lost.
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby sally wright » Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:44 pm

Now this is a subject that is etched deep into my heart as I am the one that usually does most of the watering (and fixing of watering equipment!) at work. So here are my thoughts on the subject.

Brass fittings are easily available and not that expensive from these chaps. http://www.landmarktrading.com (a tip, most standard hose is 3/4) The only downside to them is that the internal springs and ball bearings rust as they are steel. A tiny spot of copper grease rubbed in via the ball bearing holes helps with that. To attach the hose to the brass click fittings can be hard but here is a trick. Get a cup of very hot water and carefully dunk the end of the hose into it. This will soften the hose and allow you to get the hose right to the top of the joint. Use mole grips and rubber gloves to help to get the fitting screwed tight afterwards.

If you are looking to make a permanent joint between two hoses then the copper pipe and jubilee clips is really the best way forward as there will be little loss of flow compared to any of the click fittings. The hot water method described above is almost essential for connecting this type of joint. Use proper (brand) Jubilee clips if you can get them; they are much better than the generic ones. If you have one that fits use a socket wrench for tightening the clips (I would even go so far as to recommend getting one solely for this purpose to leave in your repair box if you have a lot of hose repairs to do). The screwdriver point in the hand can be painful and messy. Try to get both joints of the Jubilee clips on the same side of the hose as this will give you at least a 50-50 chance of getting the hose round corners without going back for it. Do not use this joint where it can be run over by vehicles; it is much harder to spot than the yellow fittings...

The plastic fittings will often leak because they are not connecting together properly. To help with this you can try removing the black 'o' ring and twisting a couple of turns of PTFE or white plumbers tape into the groove where it sits and replacing the 'o' ring.

You can do the same at the tap end of a hose underneath the washer to snug it up. Turning the washer over can sometimes help too if the washer has had a grove worn into it by prolonged use. Otherwise if they will not do what you want throw them away; the stress of trying to make them is just not worth it. Do however retain the 'o' ring and the screw cap fitting if you can as they may become useful to keep the next fitting going a little longer.

I have found over the years that it is best to use only one brand of fitting per joint; they just don't quite fit otherwise. So bite the bullet Geoff and go out and get all of one brand (not the generic ones either!). You know it makes sense.

My ideal hose fittings scenario goes something like this. Brass fittings to connect the tap to the hose. If you have a mobile reel try to replace the fittings on it with brass ones; they last longer and will withstand the sideways movement and tugging much better. At the business end of the hose and for any in line connectors (if you have 2 hoses that need to be stored separately) use plastic fittings. They withstand the dirt and grit a lot better than the metal ones do and if they come off you have a better chance of finding all the bits to reconnect them. Copper tubing is best to connect 2 bits of hose permanently.

Here is what I have in my repair kit.
PTFE or plumbers tape.
spare 'o' rings
spare washers and/or some sheet rubber (either an old cycle inner tube or the stuff they sell to repair them)
fittings - at least one of each kind you use.
needlenose pliers/ small pen knife (washer removal)
mole grips
old cup (cook will thank you for not using one of the indoor cups - trust me on this one)
Jubilee clips
Stanley knife, scissors and secateurs (for trimming the hose and cutting out holes)
Duct tape - for underneath the Jubilee clip for when it just doesn't want to get tight enough.
small sections of new copper tubing of a size to fit your hose.

For some obscure reason most hose kits these days are sold with one way connectors. For the plastic ones the innards can be easily taken out. Here's how; press on the X end of the inner valve bit. The other end will appear and should be easily removed with secateurs or pliers (it will break if twisted hard enough) and the rest of the remains should come out via the X end. In my opinion stop valves are the work of the devil and unless they are essential for anti 'fiddle' purposes then they should not be used as they slow the water's flow through the pipe considerably. I dislike them for many reasons; they leave the hose under pressure which leads to failure of both the hose and joints. Hoses in my opinion should NEVER be left full of water as they make the reel (if you use one) heavier and more prone to breakage than it ought to be and there is the risk of Legionella from the water left to fester in the warm weather.

Running any hose for a couple of minutes before switching to a spray setting is good practice to help reduce the risk as well.

To keep the trigger hose ends and indeed any other spray fittings in good condition they should be brought indoors (above freezing) for the winter as if they are left out the innards can freeze and they will be rendered useless.

If you have a hose on a mobile reel then the following tip may be of interest to you. Take a fork with you and drag the reel to where you know the hose extends to. Pin down the end of the hose and walk the reel back to the tap. This causes much less damage to the plants on the way and also protects the tap end from excess tugging which can damage the fittings there and on the side of the reel. It also stops the tangles you get when you over tug and the reel keeps going and snarls the hose. Your hands stay a lot cleaner as well!

If you are using leaky pipe from the mains then putting Jubilee clips on both sides of any joint will reduce blow outs considerably. Especially those times when you forget which way of off on the tap.....

Any Further Questions?

Regards Sally Wright.
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Stephen
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby Stephen » Thu Jun 25, 2020 5:42 pm

I'd like to reinforce one point of Sally's wise words: if you are doing up or undoing jubilee clips, get the appropriate nutdriver.
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby sally wright » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:04 pm

Thanks Stephen,
I KNEW that those things must have a proper name but I never found or heard it before. We have one at work; but I expect that I had better not call it that because it would cause some confusion with the nut-Driver we already have..... I do however find the socket spanner from a set to be better for undoing older, corroded Clips as it has slightly more leverage.
Regards Sally Wright.
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Geoff
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby Geoff » Thu Jun 25, 2020 6:54 pm

Thanks Sally, I wouldn't dare ask a supplementary question! I was going to ask if you knew the O-ring size as the branded ones seem expensive but I see there are lots on eBay made of EPDM that should last well. My packet of nitrile ones is dated 2008 so that could be part of my problem.
I always have Teflon tape in stock but I hadn't thought of putting it under the O-rings, I've done that now with new rings on the three connections that have annoyed me most; the feed to the hose reel in the polytunnel and the watering wands in the polytunnel and the greenhouse. I've also cut back a couple of hose ends and increased the thickness with a few turns of insulation tape so I'll see how tonight's watering goes later.
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Geoff
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby Geoff » Sat Jun 27, 2020 10:27 pm

Thanks again - several drip free watering sessions completed.

One thing I do right is clean the multi-pattern nozzles with the blue 'W5 Limescale Remover' from Lidl, just let them soak for a few minutes, clean with an old toothbrush and rinse thoroughly.
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Re: Hose Fittings

Postby cressrpv » Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:23 am

Also some LS-X leak sealer can be used around the o-ring.
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