Pretty much every house in the nation has a garden hose for one chore or another. Your average homesteader will probably be using garden hoses all day long, every day, at least during the warmer months.
One of the most popular modern garden hoses for the task is the expandable hose. Lightweight, super flexible, and easy to work with, these hoses have a lot going for them.
But some users have reported issues when trying to connect multiple hoses of this type together. Can you connect to expandable hoses?
Yes, you can generally connect two expandable hoses together and expect them to work just fine. Expandable hoses with a standard male and female connector on either end should screw together and function normally, though other configurations might require the use of an adapter.
If it sounds like a simple answer to a simple question, that’s because it is, but like most things you will have to look out for a few “gotcha” problems, namely concerning low water pressure or expandable hoses of two different diameters.
But don’t worry, we will cover all that in the rest of this article.
What’s an Expandable Hose?
To make sure everyone is on the same page before we go on, it might be helpful to define exactly what these expandable hoses are.
An expandable water hose or garden hose functions just like a typical, solid vinyl rubber hose that we are all familiar with, with one essential difference.
These hoses are constructed with a stretchy tube or inner hose that carries the water placed inside a woven nylon or heavy fabric sheath that protects it.
When not carrying water, these hoses collapse on themselves, shrinking in size and remaining extraordinarily flexible for easy transport and storage.
But when full of water and pressurized, the inner hose expands, providing shape and rigidity like any other hose and functioning normally with a sprayer attachment or just with an open end.
This might sound like a novelty or a fairly meaningless upgrade, but I must admit that I became a believer in them myself after I switched to these hoses.
They are so much lighter and easier to maneuver than typical hoses, particularly when they are empty, and the way they scrunch up when you turn the water off means you can easily stash them in a bag or bucket for storage instead of a large, bulky hose reel.
For light and medium-duty tasks, I think they are great, and if a quick trip down the appropriate aisle at my local hardware store is anything to go by, we are going to see more and more of these hoses as time goes on.
How Do You Connect Two Expandable Hoses?
Connecting together common expandable hoses that are sold for residential use is quite simple.
Most of these hoses, whatever their internal diameter, will feature a male and a female threaded end.
The female end should feature a standard connection compatible with your spigot outside, what is known as GHT or “garden hose thread”. The opposite, male end will be a similarly tapered external pipe thread.
If you have two expandable hoses of like kind all you’ll need to do is connect one end to the other, attach your sprayer to the free end and then get to work, no problems.
You might notice that owing to the greater internal volume when the hose valve is closed but it takes a little longer to stretch out to its full length since it will take longer to fill up with water on the inside, but this is of little practical concern.
It is up to you if you want to disconnect the hoses and store them separately after you are done with them, or leave them connected to form one longer hose.
Barring any specific recommendations from the manufacturer of the hoses, this should not cause any problems whatsoever in operation or for the longevity of your hoses.
Connecting Hoses of Differing Sizes
Assuming you have standard expandable hoses intended for residential use, you should be able to follow the instructions outlined above.
However, it is not out of the question that you might be in possession of two such hoses with differing sizes of connections or connections of the same size but different types.
In either case, you’ll need an adapter to make a watertight connection.
Common garden hoses sold for residential and light commercial use could be ⅜”, ⅝”, ¾”, or 1″ inch diameter.
If their connections differ in size you’ll need an adapter that is appropriately sized for the connections where the hoses will be joined.
The easiest way to figure this out is to connect one hose to the spigot that you will be using and then compare the free end of this hose with the free end of the hose that has your sprayer attachment.
For instance, you might need an adapter with a ⅝” female side that tapers down to a ⅜” male connector to join the two hoses or any number of other possible combinations.
Again, a quick trip to your hardware store will furnish you with many options that should solve the problem. Make sure that the adapter comes with the appropriate seals or o-rings if the hoses do not.
Here’s a quick tip for you: spend a little bit extra to get an adapter made of brass, as it will stand up to hard usage better than a plastic one and resist leaking.
One commonly reported problem that occurs when joining two expandable hoses together is a significant loss of water pressure, resulting in inefficient spraying.
This is said to occur particularly when using certain “wide” settings on your sprayer head.
I can personally attest to this problem, though I don’t believe it is as widespread as some people make it out to be.
I believe the source of the problem is in the design of the expandable hose itself combined with low water pressure on the supply side.
The elastic nature of the inner hose that carries the water requires a certain amount of water pressure to reliably overcome, and for spigots that aren’t producing enough volume quickly enough, this might hamper water that is being dispensed through the sprayer since the stretchy inner hose is acting negatively against it.
I myself encountered this problem on a property that I used to live at when using a pair of 50 ft expandable hoses joined together.
But the problem disappeared entirely after moving. I used the exact same two hoses connected in the same way, with the same sprayer, so I am confident in chalking that one up to low overall water pressure.
If you live on a property that already has issues with water pressure, you might want to look at alternatives to expandable hoses, but assuming you aren’t suffering from that particular quirk you shouldn’t have any issues.
Get More Reach by Connecting Your Expandable Hoses
Expandable water hoses are a great way to make your outdoor chores around your home or your homestead a little easier and less laborious.
Light, maneuverable, and easy to store these hoses may still be connected together like any other common water hose if you need extra reach. For expandable hoses of different sizes, a typical garden hose adapter might be required.
Tom has built and remodeled homes, generated his own electricity, grown his own food and more, all in quest of remaining as independent of society as possible. Now he shares his experiences and hard-earned lessons with readers around the country.