Best gardening practices include taking good care of your tools and equipment. Devoted gardeners know this pretty well.
An essential tool in the yard is the garden hose typically used for watering plants. It is susceptible to outside weather conditions and may freeze because of extremely low temperatures.
The situation is exacerbated by cold water running through it that expands, inflicting more damage on your hose.
At what temperatures will the garden hose freeze, and how can you prevent it from freezing? Read on to find all the answers.
Freezing Temperature for Garden Hose
A garden hose typically starts freezing when the temperature drops below 0°C (32°F). This is also the point where the water inside the pipe freezes.
If this temperature is maintained over a period of at least six hours, the garden hose will freeze completely.
That said, it’s not advisable to leave your garden out during winters irrespective of the outside temperature.
Also, make sure that it is not connected to a fixture as the trapped water could freeze. This can lead to the hose cracking or bursting in the worst-case scenario.
How To Prevent The Garden Hose From Freezing?
A frozen hose is the last thing you want in your garden. You are entirely cut off from doing routine tasks such as washing your car, cleaning your patio, or watering your plants.
Proper storage after use goes a long way in ensuring that it does not freeze, as we learn below:
- Turn off the main water valve to prevent additional water from entering the hose.
- Straighten out kinks in the garden hose to avoid water blockages and allow unrestricted water flow. Start removing the kinks right from the spigot through the length of the hose to the opposite end.
- Drain off any remaining water from the hose and remove any attachments, including sprinkler heads or spray nozzles.
- Disconnect the garden hose from the spigot.
- After the disconnection, maintain the hoses’ mouth elevated to ensure any leftover water trickles down the hose length.
- Maintain this elevated position as you move through the length of the hose, lifting each section until you reach the other end. It helps the water to drain out from the hose entirely.
- Once the water has drained off to the last drop and the dripping has stopped completely, pack the garden hose in a circular shape to prevent the formation of kinks. The loop should be around three meters in diameter.
- Store the loop in a warm location indoors.
Using A Garden Hose In Sub Zero Weather Conditions
While the steps mentioned above should be sufficient to prevent your garden hose from freezing, you will need additional equipment to use it in sub-zero temperatures.
1. Use Heat Cable
Have you heard of a heat cable? You can purchase one online or from a trusted local supplier. The cable provides heat and insulation to your garden hose, making it operable during cold temperatures.
When attaching the heating cable, you should first disconnect the hose from the water system.
Afterward, place the heat cable parallel to the hose tying it with thermal tape at every foot to fit it in place.
A heating cable makes your garden hose all-weather proof. Notably, you should avoid overwrapping the cable around the hose, as it can lead to overheating and subsequent damage.
2. Use A Heated Garden Hose
You could also work with heated hoses. All you need is to screw it onto a spigot and plug it in.
A heated hose can withstand freezing temperatures going down to -40 degrees celsius and is vital in preventing the flowing water from freezing up.
However, they cost significantly more than a hose paired with a heating cable. Also, carrying them around in summers when not requiring heating is a tedious task.
3. Wrap Your Hose In Insulation
Another recommended solution for keeping your garden hose safe from the freezing temperatures in winters is wrapping it in insulation. Water passing through the garden hose will retain heat this way.
Lightweight insulation foam tapes serve best for this purpose.
However, the downside with this method is that trapped water inside the hose could freeze if left unattended for an extended period.
You can use an insulation wrap and a heat cable in tandem to avoid this eventuality.
Typically, garden hoses begin freezing at 0°C (32°F) celsius. The freezing exacerbates if the hose remains under the ice-cold condition for at least six hours.
Whatever be the outside weather, you must prevent your garden hose from freezing to protect it from damages and to ensure that it remains functional throughout the year.
Besides following proper storage and general care steps highlighted above, you could improvise and use various other methods to prevent your hose from freezing.
Job Kiniale is a certified crop scientist and gardening enthusiast with a passion to help beginning gardeners navigate their newfound hobby. Let’s talk about plants, backyard ideas, and general gardening advice. Outside work, Job loves spending time with family.