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Follow these simple steps to take care of your hose reel from spring setup to winterization.
The best way to make sure your new hose reel won’t leak is to make sure it features an aluminum water system, which can be found on higher-end all-metal hose reels and value-priced poly (plastic) frame hose reels. The water system is the heart of the hose reel. Because aluminum water systems are eight times stronger than plastic water systems, they eliminate leaking due to cross threading and prevent cracking due to accidental freezing, giving you years of trouble-free use.
When attaching either the leader hose to the water system inlet or your garden hose to the water system outlet, avoid cross threading. This is particularly important if your hose reel has a plastic water system. The metal threads of the hose coupling can cut the plastic water system threads, creating a permanent leak.
If your hose reel has been in storage all winter, add a little silicon grease to each rubber gasket on all hoses and accessories. If necessary, replace any missing or dried out gaskets.
If you have a leak, try troubleshooting the problem before you buy a new hose reel. The fix may be as easy as tightening a hose connection or replacing a 50-cent rubber gasket. Here are a couple of quick steps:
Identify the Source
When the hose is wound up on the reel, it can be difficult to find the source of the leak. Fully unwind the hose and pressurize it. You should be able to quickly find the leak.
Check / Clean / Replace the Rubber Gaskets
Every connection in your hose reel system has a rubber gasket ring that helps to prevent leaking. If it’s missing, dried out or dirty, it won’t do its job. Pop it out, clean it, add a little silicon grease and pop it back in. If it’s severely dried out or cracked, replace it with a new gasket. You can pick one up for a few cents at your local Lowe's.
Tighten the Connections
If your gasket is in good shape, the answer could be as simple as hand-tightening the hose connection where you saw the leak. Metal-to-metal connections can be tightened further with a wrench. Don’t overtighten a metal-to-plastic connection or the plastic could break.
Check for Cross Threading (Plastic Water Systems Only)
If your hose reel has a plastic water system, it may be cross threaded. Detach the hose and inspect the plastic water system threads. If any of the threads are cut or broken, the only permanent fix is to replace the entire water system or the complete hose reel.
Call the Manufacturer
If the previous steps haven’t solved your leak problem, contact the manufacturer. They can assist you with additional steps and replacement parts.
Winter weather can be very damaging to hose reels. When the temperature drops, any water left inside your hose reel can freeze, causing plastic water system components to crack. If you live in a cold-weather state, one of the best ways to take care of your hose reel is to drain all water out of it and bring it inside during the winter. If you can’t get your hose reel inside, disconnect it from the spigot, remove any nozzles or attachments from the end of the hose and remove as much water as possible.