Do Expandable Garden Hoses Work?

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Expandable Garden Hose

When the news of an expandable garden hit the airwaves, people were thrilled. Finally, stressing and messing with a long, annoying hose seemed to be something we could leave in the past. But for some people, they weren’t entirely sold on the product. After all, how does an expandable garden hose work?

Do expandable garden hoses work? Expandable garden hoses work as long as they are made with high-quality materials. The expandable garden hose should have an inner tube thickness of around 2 or 3 layers of latex. It is also important that it has brass fittings and a durable outer layer.

Many pros and cons exist when it comes to expandable garden hoses. Those who are considering getting rid of the old hose to make way for a state-of-the-art expandable garden hose need to take certain things into consideration first. This article will explain what expandable garden hoses are, the advantages and disadvantages of them, and how to choose one that will last.

What are Expandable Garden Hoses?

An expandable garden hose is simply a garden hose that expands when filled with water pressure and detracts when empty. This is done when a release of water pressure is pushed through the hose. Instead of starting like a stiff board ready to take on any water challenge, the expandable hose starts as a shrunken hose that will only become larger when the right amount of water pressure is pushed through.

An expandable garden hose has extreme flexibility that allows for the hose to be completely self-draining while avoiding kinks, twists, and other tangling nuisances that are typical with a traditional garden hose.

This all sounds like a dream come true – especially to anyone who uses a garden hose regularly, whether it’s to water the garden or wash the car. Whatever the reason for needing a water hose, consider many aspects of the expandable garden hose before making a final decision and purchase.

Do Expandable Garden Hoses Work?

Expandable Garden Hose 2

Much skepticism arose when the expandable garden hose first made its appearance. People wondered whether or not this new device would expand like it was supposed to and retract when the job was done. It seemed to many like a great idea, but they were not so sure if they could trust it.

Some expandable garden hoses ended up not retracting or puncturing reasonably quickly. However, this most commonly occurred because the owner did not care for it properly or bought a cheap knock-off. Expandable garden hoses work wonderfully as long as it is a quality hose and is cared for properly.

Read on to find out the two main reasons why an expandable garden hose might not work in the long run.

For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants.

Isaiah 44:3

Not Caring for the Expandable Garden Hose Properly

Perhaps the biggest reason why an expandable garden hose fails is that the owner is not taking care of it properly. Since the outer layer is designed with a type of woven fabric, typically nylon, it can be prone to snags and tears. Be very careful when using an expandable garden hose.

The best thing to do is to make sure to keep the expandable garden hose away from sharp objects, such as corners. It is also important to remember not to drag the garden hose across the ground. Concrete, dirt with small rocks in it, and other terrains can roughen up an expandable garden hose and rip it fairly easily.

Consider these tips for taking good care of an expandable garden hose:

  • Always start by filling the hose with the shut-off valve turned to ‘off.’ This will allow the hose to stretch out to its full length. Allowing the hose to stretch to its full length before starting to water will help to prevent the hose from dragging on the ground. When finished, turn off the water and enable the garden hose to retract to its normal length.
  • Always make sure the water is turned off when the hose is not being used. Even subtle dripping from the water source can cause damage to an expandable garden hose when it’s not being used, so always make sure it’s turned off all the way. If the hose has water leaking into it and the temperature drops to freezing, the water inside of it can freeze and cause damage to the hose.
  • Consider squeezing the nozzle to ensure the expandable garden hose is drained fully. Again, the garden hose will release water and retract on its own, but you can double-check by simply squeezing the nozzle.
  • Do not leave the expandable garden hose in the sun for excessive periods. It all goes back to the outer material of the garden hose. The outer layer can become damaged by the sun, so try to keep it in the shade when it’s not in use.
  • Also, keep it out of extreme winter weather conditions. It’s not just the sun that can wreak havoc on the hose. Make sure to keep it safe when temperatures drop to freezing, or lots of snow is present, as this can also damage the hose.

So, to answer the question of whether or not expandable garden hoses work, the answer is yes – as long as they are cared for properly. The better care given to an expandable garden hose, the longer it’s going to last and the better it is going to perform.

Buying a Cheap Expandable Garden Hose

Another big reason why an expandable garden hose won’t work is if it is a low-quality hose. While these cheap knock-offs might seem like a great choice to save money, they are going to cause more harm than good.

Cheap expandable garden hoses are made with low-quality materials. This will cause the expandable garden hose to rip and tear more easily, or not be able to expand and retract like it is supposed to. While some higher quality hoses may be able to be patched up, low-quality hoses might not be as receptive to repairs.

Always make sure to buy a quality expandable garden hose. Sure, it might cost a little extra, but it will save money long-term.

Here are some simple things to keep in mind when buying an expandable garden hose:

  • Always make sure the interior of the expandable garden hose is made with 2 to 3 inches of latex. Other materials used for the interior of a garden hose like this (such as TPU) will be more prone to ruptures and tears, even after a few short uses.
  • Opt for brass fittings. Brass is going to be more durable and reliable than plastic connectors, simply because they are attached differently to avoid leaks.
  • Make sure to buy the correct size. If a garden hose is too long, it may be more difficult to handle or take care of correctly. Always make sure to buy the size needed to avoid potential unwanted damages.
  • Find an expandable garden hose that has an interlocking mechanism. Without this specific construction, the hose may be more likely to leak.
  • Always make sure the outer layer is durable and high-quality. Remember – the exterior layer is going to be the most prone to tears and rips, so finding high-quality exterior materials is essential. Nylon with 600D*600D is ideal. 
  • Check for the warranty. It might save a few bucks finding a hose without a warranty, but that means no help will be available when that cheap hose is damaged. Instead, make sure that the expandable garden hose comes with at least a one year warranty or more.
  • Check for extras. Some expandable garden hoses are going to come with special features and add-ons, such as a hose nozzle or hanger. These products can offer a bigger bang for your buck and also make the hose more convenient and easy-to-use.

Spending a little more on an expandable garden hose is the ideal way to go. Higher quality materials will ensure that the hose works appropriately and won’t be as susceptible to tears and rips.   

Expandable Garden Hose Recommendation

Hanging Expandable Garden Hose

Hearing about all of the different things to keep in mind when purchasing an expandable garden hose can be somewhat overwhelming. To help make the right choice, we have chosen a fantastic expandable garden hose to feature: the Elk & Bear Expandable Garden Hose.

There are so many incredible advantages to choosing this expandable garden hose. Some of the best things about this expandable garden hose include:

  • It is made to be efficient and functional. This hose was designed with the customer in mind. Using high-quality and sturdy materials only, this top of the line hose is functional and lightweight, even when it is full of water.
  • Lifetime replacement warranty! This brand comes with a lifetime replacement guarantee which is rare for an expandable hose. When we purchased this hose we got a card about the warranty. Be sure to register on their website immediately to make sure they honor the warranty.
  • It is made with supreme durability. No more worries of leaks or cracks thanks to the combination of ¾ inch brass connectors, double washers, and a double latex pipe inside. The on and off valve is sturdy and easy to use with a zinc alloy spray nozzle, and the 3750D polyester outer layer can withstand the elements with ease.
  • It expands quickly. Starting at 17 feet, this expandable hose can quickly triple its length to 50 feet in a matter of seconds!
  • It is easy-to-use and portable. Gardeners will love how easy this expandable garden hose is to use. The materials are sturdy and durable, yet it remains lightweight and easily portable to ensure that gardeners can swivel around the backyard and garden with ease.
  • It is affordable. Some expandable garden hoses cost an arm and a leg, but this product is under $50 – making it a great choice even for those who aren’t looking to spend too much money.

For those who are looking for a top-notch expandable garden hose that can make them feel happy and confident, the 50ft Garden Hose by Pyle is the best choice. This garden hose works, and pinpricks and ruptures won’t be standing in the way of watering.

The Pros and Cons of Expandable Garden Hoses

So, why should anyone consider using an expandable garden hose, anyway? Is it worth the potential trouble? Well, be happy to know that most of the initial kinks in the hoses have been worked out, and as long as it is a high-quality, durable expandable garden hose, you won’t have to worry about problems.

The Pros of an Expandable Garden Hose

Expandable garden hoses are an excellent investment and worth the money. These benefits associated with the expandable garden hose are also enjoyable:

  1. They are extremely lightweight.

Perhaps the biggest plus to using an expandable garden hose is the fact that they are very lightweight. Traditional garden hoses tend to be more bulky and heavy, which makes them a hassle to deal with, especially for gardeners who have lots of watering to do, or those who are elderly or have a disability.

  1. No need to worry about kinks or twists.

How annoying is it to deal with a traditional garden hose that is continuously kinking up? It can put a real wrench in any project, and it’s a downright nuisance. The good thing about expandable garden hoses is that there is no longer any reason to worry about kinks or twists standing in the way of watering, providing a more convenient and relaxed experience.

  1. They are small and easy to store.

Traditional garden hoses can take up so much space. The long hoses are always sprawled across the entire patio and can be a struggle to bunch together. With an expandable garden hose, though, it shrinks up into a small, portable size that can easily be stored anywhere necessary.

  1. They self-empty.

As explained by “Are Expandable Garden Hoses Worth It? Easy” from Helpful Hank’s DIY Tips, a significant advantage for anyone who deals with extreme weather conditions is that the expandable garden hose is self-emptying. This means gardeners will not have to worry about removing all of the leftover water from the hose when it comes time to store the hose for winter.

The Cons of an Expandable Garden Hose

Of course, nothing in life is entirely perfect. Even the lightweight, portable, easy-to-use expandable garden hose has its flaws. Luckily, most of these flaws can be avoided with proper care and following the instructions for the specific expandable garden hose that has been purchased.

Let’s take a look at the top 4 disadvantages of choosing an expandable garden hose:

  1. They are prone to rips and tears.

The biggest issue with expandable garden hoses is that they are more prone to rips and tears than traditional garden hoses. This is why it is so important always to buy a high-quality expandable garden hose and take care of it properly. Even then, though, the expandable garden hoses are not as durable as traditional ones as they are made with different materials that allow them to retract and expand.

  1. They can become damaged from the weather.

While your traditional hose may be able to handle harsh weather conditions with ease, the expandable garden hose will need to be kept away from harsh conditions. Too much heat or extremely low temperatures can harm the materials used to create expandable garden hoses. They must be stored in a safe place and kept at a steady room temperature.

  1. They only work with high pressure.

One major disadvantage of using an expandable garden hose is that they only work with higher pressures of water. While this may not come off as a bad thing initially, when trying to do something like fill up a kiddie pool, one might have a hard time since the expandable garden hose will only expand when there is enough pressure.

  1. They cost more than traditional hoses.

It’s no secret that an expandable garden hose is going to be a bit more costly than traditional hoses. But think about all of the benefits. The expandable version is far easier to use and store and can completely change the way of garden-watering and car-washing. Of course, this might not be enough to make everyone take the plunge and spend the extra cash.


Expandable hoses work beautifully, and they can completely change any watering experience. They are incredibly lightweight, portable, easy to use, and small enough to store just about anywhere.

However, it is imperative always to buy a high-quality expandable garden hose that is made with durable materials to avoid potential rips and tears that are common with cheaper versions. Take good care of the top-notch expandable garden hose, and it will last a relatively long amount of time.

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Corey Leichty

Hi, I’m Corey and I love using gardening as a way to provide food for my family, learn life lessons alongside my wife, Andrea, and teach life lessons to my two sons. Do you have gardening questions? Not finding what you are looking for? Please feel free to Ask a Question (Click Here!) and I will get back with you as soon as I can!

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