How to Patch a Garden Hose Leak
The garden hose is a versatile and often-neglected mainstay of homeowner tools. Leaks can occur quite easily, and though common, are easy to patch. Follow the steps below to repair your garden hose leaks:
Step 1 - Locate and Mark the Leak
Attach the spray nozzle to your hose and turn on the water at the spigot. The pressure build-up from the nozzle will make the leak location obvious. Mark the leak location with a permanent marker and decide whether it is close enough to the end of your hose to justify an end repair or a center repair. Hose repair kits are available in both versions. If you choose to do an end repair, make note of the fitting and whether it is male or female.
Step 2 - Purchase the Appropriate Repair Kit
Visit any hardware store or garden center, and choose your repair kit. A kit designed to repair a center leak will include a piece of slightly narrow hose and 2 clamps. The kits designed to repair hose ends will include once clamp and a threaded fitting, either male or female. Purchase the kit that matches your assessment of the leak, as well as your hose material (vinyl or rubber). In some cases it might be helpful to perform step 3 below first, and take the damaged section of hose to the store with you to match it with exactly what you need.
Step 3 - Cut the Hose
Again locate the leak based on your mark. Using your razor knife or heavy-duty scissors, cut the hose at the leak. Typically, leaks occur in areas of heavy wear, so if your leak is surrounded by obvious wear, cut the area showing wear away. Also, cut and leave a straight, clean cut and a strong repair area.
Step 4 - Soak and Heat the Hose
Fill your bucket with enough hot water to cover the end(s) of the hose at least 4 to 5 inches, and mix in a squirt of dish soap to create a mild soapy solution. Place the hose into the bucket and let sit for 5 minutes or so, until the hose is warm and softened.
Step 5 - Apply Clamp
If patching a center leak, first feed each hose end into 1 of the 2 clamps provided in your kit. For an end patch, feed the hose end into the 1 clamp provided.
Step 6 - Insert Repair Piece and Tighten Fittings
Push the repair fitting into your hose end(s). Make sure to push a center repair fitting equally into both sides of the cut hose. Move the lose clamps into place, covering both sides of the hose and the fitting inside. Tighten the clamps. Follow the same procedure for a hose end fitting, using only one clamp.