If your hose is leaking where it attaches to your hose spigot, it’s best to replace the rubber gasket in the hose itself. If your hose leaks are small, wrap electrical tape around the leaking section of the hose. However, if there is major damage to your hose, use shears to cut out the ruined section, then splice the pieces of hose back together with a repair kit. For damage within 1 foot of the end of the hose, simply cut off the hose end and attach a new fitting from a repair kit.
4 Ways to Fix a Hose Leak
A leaky hose can waste water, flood portions of your yard, or become completely unusable. Rather than replace the entire hose, use these tactics to cheaply and quickly repair your garden hose.
Replace Rubber Gaskets
If the female end of your hose is leaking water where you attach it to the spigot on your home, it may be due to a failing rubber washer in the hose end. Instead of throwing the hose out, replace the rubber gasket to eliminate this leak. Here’s how:
- Disconnect the hose from the spigot.
- Look inside the female end of the hose—there should be a rubber O-ring gasket where the hose threads onto the spigot.
- Use a pair of needle-nosed pliers to grasp and remove the rubber gasket.
- Replace the gasket with one from this gasket kit.
- If necessary, use a flathead screwdriver to press the gasket firmly into place.
- Reattach the hose to the spigot and turn on the water to test for leaks.
This same method can also be used when sprayers and other hose attachments leak where they connect to the hose. Simply remove the sprayer attachment and look inside the threaded socket that attaches to the hose. There will be a rubber gasket you can replace using the same kit required for repairing the hose itself.
Use Electrical Tape for Small Leaks
Sometimes, garden hoses will develop “pinhole” leaks where a thin stream of water sprays from the hose. These can occur at any point along the length of the hose. Rather than perform an extensive repair, you can patch these with electrical tape. Just use this quick process:
- Stretch your hose straight out in a line.
- Attach your hose to a spigot and turn on the water.
- Inspect the length of the hose for small leaks—turn the hose over to spot leaks on all sides.
- Wherever you find a leak, mark it with a permanent marker or a small piece of tape.
- Turn off the hose and disconnect it.
- Wrap electrical tape around the hose 2–3 times at each point where there is a leak.
- Press the electrical tape firmly in place and allow 30 minutes before using the hose again.
Electrical tape is durable enough to stop these small leaks. This is an inexpensive way to lengthen your hose’s lifespan.
Splice with a Repair Coupling
If your hose has a large hole, tear, or leak more than 1 foot from either end of the hose, it is best to cut out the ruined section and splice the two ends of hose together. This process may seem daunting, but it is very simple when you have the right repair kit. Here’s how we like to repair hoses that have been run over by a lawn mower:
- Use a pair of pruning shears or heavy-duty scissors to make 2 straight cuts—completely cut out the ruined section.
- Throw away the section of hose you cut out.
- Slide one hose clamp from this hose splicing kit onto each section of hose—slide them over the ends you just cut.
- Insert the brass fitting from the repair kit into one of the cut ends of the garden hose. Push until the hose reaches the raised section in the middle of the fitting.
- Fit the second hose end onto the exposed half of the brass fitting.
- Slide the hose clamps into position near the cut ends.
- Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to tighten the hose clamps so they squeeze firmly onto the hose and brass fitting.
This method is great for repairing rubber hoses or for creating one extra-long hose out of two damaged hoses.
Cut Off the Hose End and Add a New Connector
In many cases, hoses will become damaged near one end. Hose ends undergo a lot of stress and twisting, so they wear out faster. You can quickly repair this damage and have a leak-free hose if you follow our process. This is the best way to repair damage if a hose is leaking within 12 inches of either hose end:
- Cut off the entire end of the hose, making sure to remove the leaking section.
- Use a Phillips-head screwdriver to loosen one of the metal hose clamps from this repair kit.
- Slide the loosened hose clamp onto the cut hose end.
- Insert a new male or female end into the open end of your hose.
- Make sure the fitting you use as a replacement matches the old fitting—replace a male connector with a male connector from the repair kit, for instance.
- Tighten the screws on the hose clamp, making sure it squeezes the section of the hose where the new fitting was inserted.
Just like that, you can completely replace a hose end. Your hose may be a few inches shorter, but other than that it will be as good as new.
How to Buy the Correct Repair Parts for a Leaking Hose
Garden hoses come in three common sizes: ½-inch, ⅝-inch, and ¾-inch. However, this size is determined by the interior diameter of the hose, not the size of the exterior. So, you can’t usually tell what size the hose is by looking at it or measuring the exterior. Before purchasing a repair kit for your hose, make sure you know what size is required. To find the size of your hose, just follow these steps:
- Remove any attachments from your hose.
- Roll a small piece of paper or cardstock and insert it 2 inches into the end of your hose.
- Allow the rolled piece of paper to loosen enough that it is snug against the interior walls of the hose.
- Use a piece of tape to keep the paper rolled in this diameter.
- Remove the paper from the hose.
- Measure the distance straight across the rolled tube of paper—this is the interior diameter of your hose.
This is the best way to find the size of your hose since the fittings you need for hose repair are based on the interior diameter. The exterior diameter of the hose will be larger and may give you an inaccurate measurement. Similarly, the fittings at the end of the hose may be wider than the hose itself. So, it’s essential that you insert the paper deep enough that it is measuring the size of the hose.
How to Fix a Leak in Flexible Hose
If your garden hose is leaking, you can take steps to repair it quickly. In fact, there are different repair tactics depending on what type of leak your hose has:
- Hose Leaking Where it Attaches to Spigot or Sprayer Attachment: Replace the rubber gasket in the hose end or in the hose attachment.
- Pinhole Hose Leak Anywhere on the Hose: Wrap the leaking portion of hose with electrical tape.
- Large Leak or Damaged Section of Hose: Use shears to cut out the damaged section of hose, then splice the undamaged halves together with a hose repair kit.
- Leak Within One Foot of Hose End: Cut off the damaged end of the hose and replace the hose end fitting with a new one from a repair kit.
These methods cover almost every hose leak situation you’ll run into. By repairing damaged hoses instead of throwing them out, you’ll save yourself money and a trip to the store.