A good soaker hose will slowly water your lawn and flower and vegetable gardens without wasting resources. Soaker hoses work in a way similar to drip irrigation: they slowly water an area and allow for smaller amounts of water to consistently reach nearby plants and their root systems. It is important to know how to properly maintain your soaker hoses in order to avoid problems. You should also know how to repair your hose so you can avoid the added costs of purchasing a new one or dealing with water waste.
Step 1 - Unroll Your Hose
Unroll your hose and lay it out in the sun. Most soaker hoses are black in color, and they become easier to work with as the sun heats them up. Also, using the soaker hose in a straighter position will help ensure it lasts longer and is free from crimps or bends that may result in cracks and holes later.
Step 2 - Flush Often
Flush out your soaker hose as often as possible - at least once a month. This will help you push out any sediment or unwanted materials that may have settled in the hose. To flush out the hose, simply remove the end cap and turn on the water. Allow the water to run for approximately 10 to 15 minutes, and then replace the end cap.
Step 3 - Reduce Pressure
An outdoor water tap may simply provide too much pressure for your soaker hose. To remedy this, allow the water to run at full pressure until the soaker hose pressure rises. You'll be able to hear when this happens. Once the hose has pressurized, back the pressure off until the soaker hose is at an appropriate pressure level.
You can also buy a pressure regulator that will help you find the perfect pressure level for your hose. The correct pressure level should be written somewhere on the hose packaging.
Step 4 - Repair Common Soaker Hose Problems
You may occasionally puncture your soaker hose. There are many methods for fixing a small puncture, like hose tape and even electrical tape. For a permanent fix, you can purchase hose repair kits at your local hardware store.
Repair Large Gashes or Holes
If you inadvertently slice or create a large hole in your soaker hose, you can repair the hose by simply cutting out the damaged area and adding a hose repair splicer kit. These types of kits generally involve the use of two connectors on either side of the damaged hose that connect together and provide a leak proof connection. These types of kits are very inexpensive and can usually be found for less than $5.