As the weather gets warmer and you start dragging your lawn and garden equipment out of the garage or basement and into your yard, you may notice that not everything made it through the winter unscathed. For example, you might connect your trusty garden hose to the outdoor waterline only to find that it has sprung a leak (or several).
But that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to rid of the hose: There are several ways to fix minor leaks yourself at home. Here’s what to know.
Fix small holes in a hose with electrical tape
Most tiny holes in a hose — also known as pinholes — aren’t visible, so start off by turning the hose on and marking their location. If you have one hole, you easily could have several, so look carefully at the entire length of the hose.
Once you’ve found them, turn off the hose, then dry it thoroughly — first with a towel, and then give it a few minutes in the sun, if possible. (Because you’ll be using electrical tape, you want to make sure the hose is as dry as possible so the tape will stick.)
Wrap the electrical tape — ideally, one made of a PVC backing and a rubber-based adhesive — around the pinhole so it overlaps, but isn’t too tight (to prevent the hose from creasing).
Use rubber cement for small tears and punctures
If you’ve spotted slightly bigger holes or tears, thoroughly clean and dry that section of the hose, then apply rubber cement in and around the hole with a light touch — you don’t want to use so much that it gets inside the hose.
Larger tears, holes, and punctures that require more than some tape or rubber cement can often be fixed with a hose mending kit, which you can find in a hardware store, big box store, or online.
Replace the washer on a leaky spigot
Leaks that come directly from the spigot often can be stopped by replacing its washer. This process will depend on a number of factors, including which part of the spigot is leaking, and how much effort is required to unscrew the top part. These step-by-step instructions include photos and walk you through the repair, from start to finish.
Fix a leaky coupling with a new gasket
The leak may also be coming from the coupling — the metal or plastic fitting that connects the hose to the spigot, sprinkler, nozzle, or another hose. If the leak is coming from the coupling that attaches to the spigot or other water source, you may need to replace the gasket.
If the leak is coming from a coupling connected to a nozzle, sprinkler, or another hose, you may need to replace the entire coupling. These instructions will walk you through both jobs.