How to fix a leaking hose

What to do with a leaking hose

My friend’s garden hose sprung a leak just before I was to house sit for her. No problem, I thought, I’ll fix it for her while she’s gone. The process is the same as for replacing the end of a hose, which I’ve done before.

How to fix a leaking hose

 

My first challenge came at the hardware store, where they were sold out of 5/8″ hose repair kits (they just had the smaller 1/2″ kits, which would’ve been too small for the hose I was working on).

However, the friendly store associate sold me a 5/8″ male and female coupling (i.e. two pieces that match up to accomplish the same thing as the one piece repair kit), and kindly discounted it to match the price of the kit.

For this repair, this is the equipment I lined up:

How to fix a leaking hose

Brass hose repair kit*

Flat headed screwdriver*

Utility knife*

 

The first thing I did was to slice out the damaged section of hose:

How to fix a leaking hose

Slicing out the damaged section of hose. The damaged section is a lighter green as it had been wrapped in tape (note, the tape was not an effective means of plugging the leak).

 

Then I slid the clamp for one end of the hose connector over the hose, and prepared to insert the brass fitting:

How to fix a leaking hose

 

Once the brass fitting was in (note: this can take some muscle), I slid the clamp up near the fitting and used the screwdriver to tighten the clamp:

How to fix a leaking hose

 

How to fix a leaking hose

 

Then I screwed the two couplings together and slid the clamp onto the second section of hose. I inserted the coupling into the hose and used a screwdriver to tighten the clamp:

How to fix a leaking hose

 

I turned the water on to test my work, and that’s where I ran into my second challenge with this project; the new connection leaked almost as badly as before I’d “fixed” it.

Hrm.

That wasn’t supposed to happen. And it didn’t happen when I replaced the end on my hose previously.

 

I tried tightening the screws on the clamps a bit more, but that didn’t help. I went home and thought about it, and then came back with some Teflon plumber’s tape*, intending to take the couplings out of the hose, wrap them with the Teflon tape, and then repeat the steps above. However, I couldn’t get the couplings out of the hose–they were firmly embedded in there. I thought about cutting the hose off the couplings, but that would’ve made the hose even shorter.

 

What eventually worked, was to use a pair of vice grips* to tighten the screws on the clamps even further. (So when in doubt, use more muscle.)

 

In hindsight, if I had it to do all over again, I would have wrapped the hose side of the couplings with the Teflon tape to start with. This would’ve helped make a better seal. I believe the reason I ran into the problem with this hose, and didn’t run into it on my previous hose repair, is that this was a thinner walled hose (probably “light” duty, whereas mine was “heavy” duty). There just wasn’t as much hose material to clamp down on and form a seal.

 

Anyhow, eventually I ended up with a repair that didn’t leak:

How to fix a leaking hose

 

And that’s the long way to repair a leaking hose.

 

*Disclosure: some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

2 Comments

  1. Eugene K on July 21, 2018 at 10:40 am

    The injury to that hose pretty much makes cutting out the gash in it completely. For a smaller leak, I wonder if a wader repair kit – the kind fly fishermen use to repair leaks in their waders – would work. It uses a transparent goo that sticks anything to anything and usually neoprene for a patch.

    • Jennifer on July 23, 2018 at 9:29 am

      The wader repair kit does sound like it might work for a smaller leak–a good option to try for fly fishers who have such kits, or others who know where to get one (I’m guessing Canadian Tire sells them, but must admit I have never visited the fishing section of the store).

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