There are few things that are more annoying when you’re doing yardwork than encountering a kink in your garden hose. All of a sudden, the water stops flowing and you have to hunt for the source of the problem. Once you find it, your nozzle may suddenly start spurting water once again, causing a mess.
What is more, chronic kinks, especially in the same spot, can cause holes or permanent damage to the hose.
Let’s take a closer look to gain a better understanding of kinking when it comes to garden hoses, as well as steps you can take to prevent them.
Quick note: Some of the best hoses on the market come with anti-kinking technology, so you don't need to worry about prevention. It's taken care of already.
What Causes a Garden Hose to Kink in the First Place?
Kinking occurs at weak spots in the hose, and can also cause the hose material to weaken. The most common cause of kinking is storing your hose in a rolled or looped manner. The hose material becomes accustomed to being in that position, so even when it is stretched out, it will try to roll itself back up and end up kinking.
Proper storage is the key to preventing kinking in your garden hose. Let’s look at the pros and cons of common storage methods.
1. Using a Reel for Your Garden Hose
Garden hose reels are super convenient items to use for storing and transporting your garden hose. They are also reasonably priced, with well-made and durable models priced under $100.
But did you know that hose reels are not the best solution for kinks? The reason for this is because of how they are stored. The hose will obviously be wrapped around the reel, which prevents knots and tangles, and can also prevent damage.
That said, the fact that the hose is stored in such a shape means that even when it is unraveled, it will maintain its wrapped pattern, which is prime shape for causing kinks. For that reason, reels are not the best option for storing a hose, even though they can make a cumbersome and annoying item easier to store.
If you decide to buy or use a reel anyway, we recommend one that winds the hose as wide as possible. The smaller the loop, the more kinking you will likely see.
2. The Best Way to Store a Garden Hose for Reducing Kinking
The most common way to store a garden hose is to roll it up, either on its own or using a reel (see above). However, this isn’t the best way if you’re hoping to prevent kinking.
The best way to prevent kinks in your garden hose is to leave it stretched out straight. Many people will leave their hose attached to the hook-up, and then run it along the side of the house, shed, or other structure.
That way, the material of the hose does not get used to being rolled and won’t try to roll back up while in use.
The biggest drawback to this method is exposure to the elements. The wear and tear on your hose might be worsened by storing it outside in this manner, depending on the particular factors on your property. This can lead to other problems like a leaky hose connector.
There is also always the risk that the hose could be stolen when stored outside as well, but if kinks are a real problem for you, then it might be worth it.
If it isn’t possible to store your hose this way, for whatever reason, there are some other good options that also prevent kinking.
The first is to replicate the outdoor method inside. Install hooks a few feet apart on your garage or shed wall and loop the hose around those. Just be sure that the places where the hose wrapped are not at a sharp, closed angle.
3. One More Storage Method
Lastly, instead of a garden hose reel, consider a wall mount or free-standing holder. These are typically upside-down “U” shapes that can either be installed on a wall or pushed into the soft ground.
With these, you can neatly store your hose while loosely and widely wrapping it, reducing the number of places that it loops.
What Does a “Kinked” Hose Even Mean?
When it comes to garden hoses, “kinking” refers to a bend in the hose of 90 degrees or more. It usually occurs at weak points in the hose.
Incidentally, kinking can cause the hose to weaken, so it is not uncommon to see your hose kink at or around the same place time and again.
When a hose is kinked, it prevents water from flowing freely. You will notice that the hose nozzle has no or much less water flowing from it. At that point, you'll need to repair your hose.
Generally speaking, hoses made from more rigid material tend to kink more than softer hoses, although they are sometimes more durable and able to perform more demanding jobs.
How to Remove Kinks in a Garden Hose
If your hose suffers from chronic kinking, there is a way to remove a kink and prevent it from coming back:
Choose a sunny day, unless you're not shy of busting out the wellies!
Lay the hose out straight under full water pressure. The best way to do this is to turn on the water source, while leaving the nozzle closed.
Let it sit in the direct sunlight for a couple of hours. This rigidity will help the material lose the “memory” or the pattern of the kink.
Be sure when you store it to do so in a way that prevents the kink from returning.
Pro Tip: Drain the Water
We’ll leave you with one more quick tip for preventing kinking.
Kinks in your garden hose will be worse if it is stored with water inside it, especially if it is rolled or wrapped or stored on a garden hose reel. For that reason, it’s a good idea to completely drain your hose before storing it.
If there is water inside it, the hose will be more rigid, which can cause it to kink worse when it is in use.
Pro tip: To drain your hose, the best way to do so is to straighten it out completely on a downhill slope, which allows gravity to do the work for you.
If you don’t have access to a downhill slope, another alternative is to pick up the hose and hold it upside down at various points, beginning closest to the hose hook-up. That way, you manually work the water through the hose and out the other end.
Enjoy your outdoor time, which will hopefully be less stressful now that your hose doesn’t kink!