Summer gardening season has arrived in full force, with homeowners across the country tending to their flower beds, vegetable gardens and lawns. With much of the nation facing a drought, that means a lot of irrigation and sky-high water bills. When you're already paying through the nose to keep your yard looking great, the last thing you want is wasted water from a broken hose. If you have any leaks in your hoses, follow these tips to get them back in working condition.
Quick and Easy Repair Job
Hoses can spring leaks for all kinds of reasons. They could freeze and expand too far, or decay if left in the sun for too long. Maybe the dog got hold of it, or you ran it over with your lawnmower. Fortunately, no matter why the hose is broken, it's a relatively simple process to repair it. If it's a tiny leak, some electrical tape will do the job, but larger holes aren't much harder to fix. All you need is a knife, a screwdriver and a hose repair kit.
The first step is to identify where the leak is and mark it with tape or other indicator. Then, turn the hose off and drain the water out of it. Next, take your knife and cut off the piece of hose where the leak is found. Make sure the cuts are clean, smooth and square, with no jagged edges.
Make a Snug Fit
Then, all you have to do is slide the replacement end part from your repair kit into the end of the hose where you made the cut. It's a snug fit, but make sure you get the end part into the hose as far as it will go. Screw on the clamps that came with the kit, and then you're ready to hook the hose back up to the rest of the system. Give it a test run to make sure no water leaks out – you may need to tighten the clamps or push the end further into the hose if it's not a perfect seal.
To extend the life of your hose, drain all the water out when you aren't using it. Coil it up and store it out of the sun, and move it into a shed or garage in the winter to prevent freezing.
Don't Miss These Water Saving Tips
Once your hoses are intact, look for other ways to conserve water, reduce your impact on the local supply and save money on your bills:
- To further cut down on the amount of water you use for irrigation, try replacing your sprinkler systems with drip hoses, which slowly seep moisture into the spots where it's needed the most.
- You can also landscape your yard using xeriscaping principles, focusing on plants that don't need much water to survive.
- Install a rain barrel to catch water off your roof so you can use it later. This reduces runoff and erosion while saving water – a win-win!
For more help getting your irrigation system up to par this summer, have a plumber or garden specialist come pay a visit to put you on the right track.