You can’t turn a blind eye on your leaking garden hose connector any longer. You might think you’re holding that connector in place by the sheer force of your will and determination. You’re not and it won’t be long now before you have to deal with more than just a leaky connector.
It might be that it really is time to turn in your old hose connector for a new one. They’re cheap enough, and any hardware store you visit will carry one to suit your needs.
But before you do that, let’s check under the hood first, or connector head, as the case is to find out exactly why it’s leaking and what you can do to fix it.
Here’s how to fix a leaking garden hose connector once and for all.
1. Tighten the connector
Turn off the water. You’d be surprised how many people forget to do this. Let’s take it for granted that this should be the first thing you do every time you remove your hose.
Check the type of connector you have. Most connectors you’ll find will be the universal, standard connector. But sometimes, your connector might be different, so it never hurts to check.
These connectors either come with a rubber turner or a stainless steel clip attached that you’ll need to tighten when you fix it to your tap.
The most common (and easy-to-fix) reason why your hose connector might be leaking is because of this steel or rubber clip right here. They never seem to stay as tight as when you first screwed them on. Even the best garden hoses have this issue.
So what’s a quick fix to this problem?
First, tighten the rubber mouth or the steel clip around where it’s fixed to the tap. You don’t need any tools just yet, just your hand to turn that loose connector back in place.
But ever so often, you’ll find that the connector is still leaking. You’ve checked for any other possible culprit but can’t find anything wrong. Remember how I said you don’t need your tools just yet?
Maybe it’s time you go grab a wrench. Your connector might just need a little more help being tightened, and a wrench should do the trick.
A word of caution: Remember though, that while tightening a connector on tight isn’t bad, but fixing it in place extra-tight, is. Over time, you’ll find that your hose is getting deformed. This means that the hose rubber around the connector looks like it’s being held in a chokehold.
Why? When you tighten it extra-tight, the water pressure will prove too forceful, and the rubber will slowly expand. Moderation is the key.
2. Leaking from the end of the hose
The end of your hose, where it meets the connector, can also be why you’re seeing water spurting from the bottom of the connector. It’s not the connector that is leaking, but the hose itself.
Why: It might just be from wear and tear, or if you’ve had some extreme weather, the cold can freeze the hose as often as the heat can melt it. It might also need a thorough cleaning, but that’s easy enough to do and easier still to fix.
Detach the hose from the connector fittings, and then remove your hose clip or the rubber washer.
If you find it too tight to remove the hose, hold it in warm water for a few seconds to soften the rubber. Alternatively, hold the fitting in place between your shoes and gently pull at the hose to pop it off.
Do you see those frayed ends? That right there could be why your hose connector is leaking.
Grab your pliers, preferably one that is big enough to cut through the hose. Alternatively, you can use a utility knife or a saw from your garden hose kit. Then, remove the washer or hose clamp.
You have to make sure that you trim the damaged edge off evenly. You might find that it needs more than just a trim. You can cut or clip off a couple of inches back from the edges or back from where you see the damage to the hose.
Using a utility knife
- Keep the hose flat against a hard surface.
- Hold the hose down. Consider using a steady weight to hold it down and place pressure on it. This should also keep it in place while you cut it.
- Cut through the hose without fraying the rubber or hacking at it.
A pair of thick, standard house pliers will just as effectively cut the damaged end off. But if you happen to have a garden hose kit, you’ll definitely find a hose plier in there to do the job.
Quick Tip: If you’re not too confident about cutting the hose yourself, and lugging that length of hose is more feasible than actually sawing the ends, you can take it over to your nearest garden store where they’ll be happy to do it for you. It only takes a minute and the sharp end of a knife.
Put the washer or hose clip back in place and reattach the hose to the connector.
Try turning on the tap. See? All fixed.
3. Damaged rubber washer or gasket
Remember that rubber tube you took off your hose to clip it? That’s your washer. You’ll be surprised how pesky something so small and unassuming can really be.
The most common reason for a leaky hose connector is a bad washer. Sometimes, the washer might be missing altogether. But, again, this is an easy enough fix.
Quick Tip: You can buy a dozen or so universal rubber hose washers for a buck, but sometimes, your hose might need a steel hose clip. Always check to find out what your hose needs.
Once you have your new washer or clip, remove the hose from the connector and pull off the old, damaged one. If you have a steel clip in place, you will need to use a flathead screwdriver to remove it.
Another quick tip: You can hold your hose down in some warm water for a few seconds to soften and alternatively clean the head.
Once you’ve done that, it should be easier to slip on the new washer or clip. Secure it in place.
Things to watch out for
- Before you attach the hose with the connector, pay attention to how you secure the washer.
- Ensure that the sleeve goes all the way into the hose and stays there.
- It also doesn’t hurt to ensure that the rubber seal is of good quality and won’t give away all that easy.
If you’ve got a steel clip in place, then you will have to secure that as well. For this, you will need to use that flathead screwdriver again, or a channel lock, to push down the steel clip and secure it in place. Similarly, when you tighten the clamp, make sure you don’t have it in a chokehold but instead a strong, firm grip.
Once you fix the washer and are confident that it’s snug and secure, you can reattach the hose and clamp to the connector.
Turn on the faucet to check for any leaks.
Quick Tip: if you find that the water pressure is off, there’s a good possibility that you’ve tightened the clamp or the connector too tight.
So that’s it! Hopefully you won’t see anymore leaks. Another common problem is garden hose kinking, it’s a good idea to prevent kinks so you can keep your hose healthy for years to come.