How to Repair a Garden Hose

Assess the Damage

The first step is to examine the hose to identify where it is damaged. Look for any of the following issues:

  • Small holes or punctures – These may cause water to spray out in small streams.
  • Cracks or splits – This damage often occurs near the hose fittings. It can cause the hose to leak steadily.
  • Bulges or bubbles – This indicates a weak spot where the inner tubing is separating from the outer covering. It will eventually lead to a rupture.
  • Crimps or kinks – Extreme bending can smash the hose walls together, resulting in reduced water flow.
  • Worn or cracked fittings – Leaky fittings reduce water pressure and may separate from the hose.

Once you’ve spotted the problem areas, take note of the size, shape, and location of each one. This will help determine the repair method and materials needed.

Gather Your Repair Supplies

Many fixes require just a few simple items you may already have at home. Here are some of the most common repair supplies and tools:

  • Hose mender/splice – This is a simple device that fits inside the hose to mend holes and tears. Look for metal or plastic designs.
  • Replacement fittings – If the fittings are cracked or loose, new ones can be installed on the cut ends of the hose.
  • Hose clamps – These sturdy bands seal leaks at fittings. Worm drive clamps provide the strongest grip.
  • Sandpaper – Use coarse grit sandpaper to rough and prep the surface before applying adhesives.
  • Hose tape – Special waterproof tape wraps around the hose to seal small leaks and punctures.
  • Epoxy or rubber cement – Applied to cracks and worn areas, these adhesives prevent further splitting.

Before you start repairs, turn off the water source and drain any excess water from the hose. This prevents spills and leaks during the process.

Repair Small Holes and Tears

For minor holes and tears up to 1/2 inch long, a hose mender insert can provide a quick fix:

  1. Sand the area around the hole with rough grit sandpaper to create a rougher surface for the mender to adhere to.
  2. Insert the mender into the open hose end and position it so it covers the hole. Push it in as far as possible.
  3. Use a hose clamp on each end of the mender to tightly seal it in place.
  4. Wrap waterproof hose tape completely around the repair for extra strength.
  5. Turn the water back on slowly to test for leaks. Add more tape if needed.

Fix Larger Holes and Rips

For larger holes or ruptures up to 2 inches long:

  1. Cut out the damaged section of hose entirely. Make clean, straight cuts.
  2. Attach a new hose mender to each cut end, aligning them evenly. Make sure the solid center sections fit snugly together.
  3. Secure with hose clamps over each mender section.
  4. Encase the mended area in overlapping layers of hose tape for a watertight seal.
  5. Check for leaks and add more tape as needed when water is flowing again.

Replace Worn or Broken Fittings

To install new hose fittings:

  1. Use sandpaper to smooth the cut end of the hose. This creates better adhesion.
  2. Apply epoxy or rubber cement to the inside of the new fitting and the hose end.
  3. Slide the hose into the fitting until it is fully seated.
  4. Wipe away any excess adhesive. Allow to fully cure according to package directions.
  5. Finish with a hose clamp over the end of the fitting for extra security.
  6. Do a test run to check for leaks at the new connection point.

Patch Pinhole Leaks

Tiny pinhole leaks can be difficult to spot. If you see water spraying out but can’t locate the hole, try this:

  1. Fill a bucket with water and submerge the leaking section of hose. The pressure will force water through the tiny hole so you can spot its location.
  2. Mark the leak site and allow the hose to dry fully.
  3. Wrap waterproof adhesive tape tightly around the hose over the leak.
  4. Apply firm pressure as you wrap to force the tape into the hole.
  5. Finish with layers of epoxy or liquid hose sealant over the tape patch.

Fix Crimps and Kinks

For simple crimps that reduce water flow:

  1. Position the hose so the kinked area is straight.
  2. Bend the hose back and forth to loosen the crease.
  3. Fully open any folds or creases by massaging the area with your hands.
  4. Allow the hose to relax in the sun for several hours so it retains the proper shape.

For severe folds and creases that won’t open up:

  1. Cut out the damaged portion of hose.
  2. Install a new mender fitting to reconnect the cut ends.
  3. Secure with hose clamps and seal with waterproof tape.

Prevent Future Damage

With proper care and storage, you can extend the life of your garden hose:

  • Inspect regularly for wear and tangles
  • Drain and store hoses indoors before winter
  • Avoid dragging hoses over rough surfaces
  • Keep fittings tightly sealed
  • Protect from lawn mowers and trimmers
  • Use hose reels to prevent kinks

By following these garden hose repair tips, you can fix minor issues as they occur. This will save you from having to purchase new hoses year after year. With the right materials and some DIY skills, you can keep your hose working properly for seasons to come.

Frequently Asked Questions About Repairing Garden Hoses

What are some common causes of garden hose damage?

Hoses can develop holes, cracks, and leaks from frequent use, improper storage, weather damage, and age. Dragging hoses over rough surfaces, leaving them outside in winter, kinking from improper reeling, and lawn mower abrasions are common causes of wear.

How can I find very small leaks in my hose?

Submerge the hose in a bucket of water to pressurize it and force water through tiny pinholes. Mark the leak sites as they spray water. Thoroughly dry the hose before applying adhesive patches.

What is the best way to repair bulges or bubbles?

These weak spots indicate the inner tube is detaching. Cut out the damaged section and install a hose mender fitting. Make clean straight cuts and secure the mender with tight clamps.

Should I replace old leaky fittings or try to fix them?

It’s best to install new fittings because worn gaskets won’t reseal effectively. Cut damaged fittings off, smooth hose ends, and cement on replacements according to package directions.

Can I use standard duct tape to patch small holes?

Duct tape eventually loses adhesion when exposed to moisture. Use a multi-layer wrap of waterproof hose repair tape over any damaged areas for the most durable patches.

How can I prevent stiff, coiled hoses from tangling?

Letting hoses relax in the sun helps remove kinks and memory from coiling. Properly reeling them on hose hangers after use minimizes twisting and tangling over time.


Repairing garden hoses is a simple, economical way to extend their lifespan and save money on replacements. With this guide, you now have the key techniques for fixing common hose problems like leaks, holes, worn fittings, and kinked areas. Investing a small amount of time and effort into DIY hose repairs will ensure your hoses last for many seasons of gardening to come.