Are You a DIY Master? Check this out... Homesteading Basics: The $500 Hose Repair Challenge

Hose repair challenge

Marjory is a Hose Destroyer

Marjory got a sweet new riding lawn mower, and she’s really excited about it. But, as with most things in life, there are some complications…

For Marjory’s new mower, the big complication is that she’s running over a bunch of stuff in the yard. Hoses, extension cords, and even a hydraulic pump have been casualties of Marjory’s new toy.

Read more: 9 Simple Ways Anyone Can Conserve Water

The hoses are especially problematic. As you know, Marjory keeps several gardens, a big orchard, and lots of animals on her homestead. So, there are hoses everywhere running this way and that. To complicate things further, Marjory practices high-mowing, so it can be really hard to see the hoses underneath the tall grass. And when a hose gets broken, it’s a major pain.

Here’s the latest episode of Homesteading Basics:

The Hose Repair Challenge

If you’re a DIY master, then Marjory’s loss (of hoses) can be your gain. She is offering up $500 in prizes for the best DIY hose repair solution. Note: Store bought hose repair couplers and duct tape are disqualified (she’s already tried both of those, with no success).

The prizes include a $250 gift card to Tractor Supply, a full year subscription to Mother Earth News magazine, a full year subscription to Grit magazine, and a full year of access to the Grow Network Honors Lab.

So, put on your thinking cap and see what you can come up with! You can send in your submission as a YouTube video, or a blog post with plenty of photographs. The deadline for submission is October 15th, 2016. And the winning entry takes all the prizes!

You can read the fine print, and submit your ideas, here: The Grow Network Hose Repair Contest (http://thegrownetwork.com/contest/)

Simple and Effective Watering Systems for Small Livestock

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Michael Ford


Contributor

Michael has been the resident editor at The [Grow] Network since January 2015. Michael grew up in St. Louis, where he became a lover of nature - hiking and fishing his way through the Ozark hills in Missouri. He attended Baylor University in Waco, TX, and he currently lives in Austin. Michael has background experience in small-scale farming, commercial growing, vegetable gardening, landscaping, marketing, and software development. He received his Permaculture Design Certification from the Austin Permaculture Guild in 2013.


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31 Comments
  • Jen

    I have this same issue and would also love to know the best way to secure the hose to the ground or the easiest way bury it slightly to circumvent the whole problem in the first place.

  • Daiva

    I never tried it, so it is not an entry, but as I was searching about how to fix my water bottle with a spout, I came up onto Silicone self fusing tape, which you wrap very tightly around object you fix, and it clings very tight around itself. One review specifically mentioned, that they fixed soaker hose that way.

  • Marjory WIldcraft

    Daiva, Would you like me to mow your lawn, destroy some hoses, and then you can try it?
    Marjory

  • Craig

    There really is no need to reinvent this item:

    http://tinyurl.com/fix-your-garden-hose-margory

  • Karen Bertoldi

    Gorilla Tape…seriously.

  • Karen Bertoldi

    Gorilla Tape… seriously!!!!

  • Buddy Coover

    Mowing over your hoses! This is funny Marjory and reminded me of a neighbor I had years ago. She said she was trimming the bushes with a new electric trimmer and asked if she could borrow my extension cord. I gave her my 100′ extension cord then asked why she bought electric if she didn’t have an extension cord. She said “Oh, I have 3 of them, but I just cut through each one trimming the bushes.”

  • Anon

    The key is a solid brass (not plastic) hose repair kit:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qDmbSDDawjI

  • PseudoGeek

    The premise of your contest is silly – just go the the store and get some quality brass couplers like Anon suggested. Actually, what I do is get a male and a female coupler and make 2 good shorter hoses out of one long one. Short hoses come in so handy for so many reasons. And pick up your hoses before you mow!!!

  • Madeleine

    I thought permies didn’t cut grass. Either they left it or they let grazing animals on it. Puzzled.

  • chris

    Where i live i cant grow or raise animals just yet but, i might have the soloution alot of junkyard would raidator hose of diferent size they could be cheaper than going to the store just rember to fully clean them than go to places like homedepo or lowes and buy the pipe conectors for pvc pipe to stop it from happing again you buy at the hard where store a conduit pipe for eltricale wire and bolt it the lawnmorrow and have the hose go over not under

  • Profile photo of Anthony Davis

    put spring steel bands 1/2 wide In the direction of travel evenly spaced across the bottom of the lawn mower
    These bands coming off the Bottom outer edge of the. mower blade housing and going down below the cutting blade neer the ground
    They wood look kinda like some one took a lawn rake apart and strung them in a large U shape under the lawn mower
    This will allow the grass to be cut by it going around the bands but holding down any large object as long as u r cutting grass
    Hier than the the hose
    In this way the hose that u r about to run over gets pressed to the ground away from the blade
    Or get goats
    good cutting

    Good cutting

  • Mel Kottwitz

    Be sure you buy the brass couplers, not the brass-colored aluminum ones. Plastic couplers are a waste of money. https://www.amazon.com/A8012-Garden-Repair-Mender-Stainless/dp/B01HNWY7JC/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1472892120&sr=8-2&keywords=garden+hose+repair+kit

  • Mel G

    We too have hoses going every which way for fruit trees, the vegetable garden, the herb garden, and lawns on our high desert farm. The chore of mowing includes first going out and picking up any hoses that cross areas that are to be mowed. So far, none have been run over. In the late fall, they’re all drained and put away except for one or two left out for occasional watering needs throughout the winter. I have snapped one of those trying to pick it up when it was frozen to the ground! I thought I had it in a protected place under a roof, but it definitely needs to be up off the ground in winter. Lesson learned.

  • Dan

    The first thing is this. Do not be foolish and ruin your hoses. Always buy the best hoses too! With that said, the cheapest thing is to buy the plastic hose repair/joining tubes that come with hose clamps. Easy and quick. These will be stronger than the original hoses most often. This is cheaper than yards and yards of decent gorrilla and duct tape. Tape? Get real kids.

    The best thing to do is use pex and some valving and put in a underground system. You can go deap below the frost line and make it a good system or just go a few inches below the surface and have a system that will ahve to be drained like the automatic lawn irrigation in lawns.

    The cheapest way is to get a new bf and let him do it and pay for it.

  • Cliff Haas

    I can barely take credit, as I just got this from a rainwater collection video, but the remedy is to use the standard ‘hose mender/ joiner’ parts from any garden/ home improvement store and add a bit of silicone caulk to to outside of the male fitting before inserting into the hose and clamping it.

  • Bets

    Buy more, or poke holes in & make soaker hoses, or use a lot of duct tape…………… (me grinning…..)

  • Jason

    Is burying permanent water/ electrical lines a possibility? It doesn’t fix your existing hoses (though you could bury them after you properly fix them). Apex or PE lines are your best option quality wise. You’ll get 50 or more years use out of them (which would pay with labor and parts savings), cut your risk of electrocution, reduce leaching from the plasticisers in your hoses, save you hose picking up time AND get your husband to stop nagging you. What a deal! It is more initial work with trenching etc but saves more time in long run. Be aware of codes though. They don’t always like burying electric and water in one hole and certainly not together. 18 inches deep is pretty standard I believe. I hope this helps. Jason

  • Miguel Ponce

    Use a copper pipe. Insert at least 4 inches in each end. Then use 2 hose clamps to hold both ends. Just add some water proof silicon and this fix can hold up to 60psi.

  • Hugh B

    Fiberfix tape will work… this commercial says it all! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2RIuQkn5_sA

    Hugh

  • Sandy

    How about an easy hose moving suggestion? My husband and I once split a large garden plot with two other partners. It took about 100 feet of hose to reach the end of each plot. Hose hauling was taking too much time! So we collaborated by vertically sinking 2x4s at the end of each bed along the two walk paths that divided the three plots (Can you visualize a rectangle with two lines dividing the rectangle into 3 sections?). We attached a big hook open side up onto each post and rested the hose on the hooks while deploying it as we watered. It slid fairly easily as we walked and watered. Another of the partners purchased a manual hose reeler so that at the end of the day we didn’t have a tangled mess piled around the spigot. We also installed a two-way valve so another hose could be used to water the yard on the other side of the house. This system saved a lot of time, energy and eliminated a frustration the made the experience of sharing the garden a lot more fun.

  • Antonio

    I have repaired MANY hoses, since my son has the same issue with the mowers.
    The BRASS inserts with clamps are not good, because of the clamps, and here is my hands-on negative experience.
    The clamps, although stainless steel, have a steel screw which corrodes over time, and since most steel comes from China, it is cheap low-carbon steel which corrodes fairly fast, when exposed to humidity. Additionally, the clamps have a tendency of getting caught on things and, worst, can hurt a person while handling the hose. This is based on various first-hand experience with this type of union in the past.

    What I have found to be the best, and have used it for years now is a plastic coupling (because of price, metal also exist) that has an insert (like the brass ones mentioned above using clamps), but the outer clamps are also plastic with stainless steel screws that sandwich the hose onto the insert. This produces a SMOOTH outer finish that cannot hurt someone, not gets caught on things, unless it is being dragged through a very narrow area.

    The ONLY issue I have found with these types of fittings is that they are not the best for male ends, because when we join two hoses (to extend the reach of the hose) when it comes time to separate the two, sometimes the hose spins on the male insert and we need pliers to accomplish the separation. But for mending midway damage, it is both the best and cheapest I have found.

    ONE issue, it is a bit difficult to slip the insert into some of the diameters, especially onto the 5/8″ hose, since the units I have found are made for 1/2″ ID hoses and the others work for both diameters; 5/8″ and 3/4″ ID hoses. It takes some special care and power to drive the two together, but since most of my hoses are of the 5/8″ I have plenty of experience there.
    Here are links for both the metal and plastic versions. Please note that both these units are for the LARGER hoses, not the 1/2″ ID hose, which are also available:

    https://www.amazon.com/Gilmour-Polymer-Hose-Mender-01HM/dp/B000690DFM

    https://www.amazon.com/Gilmour-Heavy-Brass-Clamp-Mender/dp/B0008JEVDA/ref=pd_rhf_se_s_cp_13?ie=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GRKQZ2Z45CR265KE1MJG

    Happy joining!

    • Chris A. Marcus

      The plastic hose fittings you refer to might be okay in a lightweight patio circumstance. In the real world go with the heavier all metal versions. They are more durable and do not crack and break. I also strongly suggest and use the metal quick connect fittings on the hoses. It eliminates the use of tools to connect or disconnect the hose and also saves considerable time in doing so.

      • Antonio

        The reality of the matter, if you read my comment carefully, is that I have been using these for many years, and I have not had any issues with them WHATSOEVER.
        My hoses are many, and are used all over my place (2 acres of land), and I drag them. Many are in the 75′ length and extended by the addition of another hose, and the plastic clamps have been solid performers for MANY years. Even dragging hoses that are over 100′ and filled with water, the unions have NEVER failed me a single time. Like I said in the comment, I have a lot of experience with these.
        Before using these plastic ones I ALWAYS used the brass ones for unions and ends. I will NEVER use another brass one for unions. I ‘may’ use brass only on the ends in certain circumstances—screwing and unscrewing without being careful with the lining up of the threads can destroy the plastic.
        Let me put it this way.
        Every single hose that I had repaired with the more expensive brass fittings, nowadays ALL have been replaced with the plastic ones, and the ‘nice’ brass fittings are neatly together in a box in storage.
        FYI: Ace Hardware is less than a half mile from me.

        • Profile photo of Chris A. A.

          Antonio:
          You are very lucky to have the toy store so close. The local Ace Hardware is a little over 20 miles from where I live. Also I guess that you live in a warmer climate. The cold weather in winter here make the plastic hard brittle and subject to breakage.
          Another point is the metal versions can and should be recycled if you are not going to use them were as the petroleum based plastic cannot. Is it not our goal to reduce whenever and wherever we can the use of the nasty plastics.
          In either case I still strongly recommend the use of the quick connect fittings. They save time and reduce the wear and tear on the hose ends. They are available at the Ace (and others) and come in the recyclable brass and also the nasty plastic.
          Either way I hope our discussion helps Marjory and others with the chore of repairing their hoses.
          I just had one more thought. Quit running over the hoses with the mower and we will not have to repair them. Have great days and be safe.

    • Chris A. Marcus

      Ace Hardware also sells the heavy metal versions at close to the same price a Amazon. Consider the time and cost of shipping. It might be quicker and cheaper to pay the local sales tax and get on the next trip to town

  • Joyce Perry

    the easiest and fastest thing to do is Nothing! now i know this sounds funny but all you have to do is string the damaged hose where you need water, then make sure the damaged part is spraying where you want it. then you go along the length of hose and poke a few more holes where water needs to be simple and you do not need to buy a soaker hose.

  • Joy

    suck it up and buy fixy things. But try prevention to protect your investment. Now is the time to dig in and semi-burry the big snaky things. Also consider setting up a few splices with y’s and t’s to get around corners or get to the garden with a little more efficiency. Maybe you need to invest in piping with little nipple plugs screwed into approate ( spell check won’t give me the right word) places, trench it in and then work in the flexible pieces of cut up hose in all the right places. Make lemons into lemonade so to speak. Use this gaff to create what you really needed in the first place. Look into on off “thingies” they put on house pluming to add a little class to your act. Step back and thank the good Lord for letting you take a second look at how you are setting up your watering system. When you trench the hoses in your mower will be less likely to bite what it can’t reach. I usually ruin mine by letting them turned on… full of water in the sun with the nozzle closed. They blow up nicely usually giving me a geyser in an inconvenient place. The best one was coming in an open window when I was not home all after noon. Now that you have a mower do you also have a catcher? You need to use the clippings to mulch and fertilize your garden. Make your carbon footprint do double time. Consider rain water catchment gardens. it has been shown that it may be more efficient to store the rainwater in the ground than even in rain barrels (which I am sure your hose was attached to). Picture your hoses that are attached to your rain barrels running across the yard in little ditches… with the end of each hose stopping in a “catchment” area… with Bambi and Thumper watching from the edge of the woods. Have fun in the dirt and Keep It Simple Simon (KISS) Make your mistakes work for you.

    • Chris A. Marcus

      This is my idea also. You beat me to it. I have eliminated all but short (10/15 feet) pieces of hose in my yards buy burying thin wall 3/4″ pvc pipe and running it to all of our flower beds. I use a 3/4 full port brass ball valve at each of the beds. This makes it easy for my wife and lazy for me.

      • Chris A. Marcus

        Would like to add that I have quick connect fittings on all of my hoses, which saves considerable time and makes it easy to move the hoses and change the watering devices.

  • David

    What was the winning entry?

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