Fix-It Chick: How to fix a leaking garden hose

Don’t throw out that leaking or broken garden hose — repair it with a barbed hose fitting or some self-fusing tape designed specifically for water-tight repairs.

Step 1: If the hose is leaking at one end or the other, start by replacing the rubber hose washer inside the female hose fitting. If the hose connection still leaks, apply some pipe thread sealant or Teflon tape to the male hose end threads.

Step 2: If a new hose end washer and thread sealant do not do the trick, it may be time to replace the hose end fitting. Use a carton knife to slice the old hose end off the garden hose, making sure the cut is as straight as possible.

Step 3: Take the old end to your local hardware store and purchase a replacement barbed-end hose fitting. These come in various styles and sizes. Choose one that is right for your specific application. Hard plastic fittings hold up surprisingly well in lawn and garden applications, but the heavier metal ones are a better choice for farm, ranch and construction applications where hoses are more likely to get thrown about or stepped on.

Step 4: Leave the hose in the hot sun long enough for it to heat up and become supple or lubricate the cut end of the hose with a small amount of liquid dish soap. Slip the hose clamp onto the hose end and push the barbed portion of the fitting securely into the hose.

Step 5: Tighten the hose clamp and test the new end for leaks.

Step 6: Hoses that are leaking somewhere beside the hose end fitting can also be repaired using plastic or metal-barbed hose repair clamps. These fittings come in various styles and sizes and are installed in the same manner as the barbed hose end fittings.

Step 7: For small leaks or tears, self-fusing silicone tape or a package of automotive hose repair tape can seal the deal quickly and easily. Clean away dirt and debris from the area to be repaired. Stretch and pull the tape wrapping the hose with overlapping layers. Wrap the tape over the leak as well as 3 to 5 inches above and below the punctured or torn spot to ensure a water-tight seal.

Step 8: Allow the repair tape to set several minutes before pressing the hose back into service.