Trying to put away an unwieldy garden hose manually isn’t fun. The longer the hose, the harder it is to coil up onto a traditional hose hanger.
The best way to deal with a garden hose is to keep it on a reel.
Garden hoses are not cheap. With a hose reel, you can help protect your investment and keep your hose in better condition.
To learn how to put a hose on a hose reel and why it’s smart to use one, I put together this hose reel guide. Read along for a quick hose reel tutorial, so your yard looks neat, and your hose lasts longer!
How Does a Hose Reel Work?
A hose reel implements a design that rolls an entire garden hose onto a spindle to keep it neatly coiled and off the ground.
The most common and affordable style of hose reel operates by a hand crank to wrap up the hose.
Spring-driven models have a self-retracting feature that makes it easier to coil up the hose, which is perfect for those with limited arm strength.
Lastly, you can install a motor-driven model that coils up your hose at the push of a button.
Powered hose reels can be very pricey, but they are an excellent option if you use a long hose often, or your physical strength is low.
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Why you need a hose reel:
- A safety-prevents hose from being a tripping hazard
- Less back strain-much easier to store hose over manual coiling
- Neatness-keeps hose and yard looking tidy when not in use
- Hose longevity-keeps hose from tangles, damaging UV rays and being stepped on
How to Use a Hose Reel
Follow these steps to learn how to put a hose on a hose reel, starting with installation:
Step 1 – Prepare Hose Reel
To replace a new hose onto an existing hose reel, extend the hose fully until you see the hose connection fitting inside the drum at the center of the reel.
Disconnect the hose by twisting it by hand, or use pliers if necessary. Discard the old hose.
For new hose reels, follow your particular model’s instructions to attach any parts and prepare it for use.
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Step 2 – Prep New Hose
Unpack your new hose. Locate the female end and place it nearest the hose reel. Stretch the rest of the hose out away from the reel so it can soften up a bit to reduce any bends in the line.
Stretching out the hose makes it much easier to wind onto the reel properly.
Step 3 – Feed And Connect Hose
Take the female end connector of the new garden hose and feed it through the guide opening on the reel and screw it onto the water coupling connection on the drum.
Tighten the fitting using pliers to ensure a leak-free connection, but take care not to overtighten, as you can strip out the threads or break any plastic components.
TIP: Insert a rubber washer into the bottom of the hose coupling before connecting. Rubber washers work better than vinyl and help avoid annoying leaks inside your hose reel.
Step 4 – Wind The Hose
Start winding the hose onto the drum of the reel. Take your time and coil the hose evenly back and forth across the drum as you wind.
Keep the hose snug to the drum as it turns to avoid gaps that could snag up or take up too much room on the drum.
TIP: Have someone hold the hose lightly as it feeds in through the guide. This method will help you keep an eye on the hose as it winds up and assist in keeping it taut on the drum.
If you are installing a powered hose reel, push the button or pedal that spins the drum and let the hose retract. Watch that the hose is coiling up back and forth across the drum, but otherwise, let the motor do the work.
Step 5 – Connect Feeder Hose
Connect the short feeder hose that exits the hose reel to the closest water faucet spigot. Your reel may also come with a drainage hose that should empty in a safe location.
A garden hose reel is a fantastic way to upgrade the look and safety of your yard, save time (and your back) when handling the hose, and keep your hose in better condition.
I’m happy if this guide makes it easier for you to choose and set up a new hose reel. Once you experience using a hose reel, you’ll wonder how you ever got by without it!