Your garden hose has betrayed you. It’s happened to everyone. You’ve purchased this garden hose, and it shot water out totally fine when you bought it. Then the seasons change. You wrap the garden hose up on a shelf, ready to pull it out again next year. You connect it into the same spigot as last year, and now the water is dripping or not even half the pressure. Now you’re wondering how to increase water pressure in a garden hose.
Did you buy a “lemon” garden hose? Is there a hole in it? Did something happen to the spigot during the winter season? Did your weeding tools damage the hose? Maybe it got knicked by the lawn mower? Is there a bend in it, and why can’t you find it? And how are you supposed to water all of your plants, grass, and flowers now? There are quite a few reasons that your garden hose’s water pressure may be low. Let’s explore some of the top reasons.
How to Increase Water Pressure In a Garden Hose
What can cause low water pressure
As with water pressure inside of your home, a build-up of mineral deposits (i.e. rust, limestone or sediment) can slow down water pressure in the fixture. This will prevent water from flowing freely the way it did before. Just as you may get your roof examined every year or check the gutters, take a quick glance at your spigot to make sure that everything is in working order. Spigots can have damaged or cracked pipes, unfastened fasteners, erosion in the washers, and/or mineral or rust build-up. (If you turn off the water supply, you should be able to take the spigot off to see where the damage is.) Or, maybe it’s not so involved. If it’s a matter of rust, cleaning it with vinegar can go a long way.
If that doesn’t seem to be the case, think back to anything else you’ve purchased from the last time you used the hose or not. Maybe you bought a pressure regulator that made the water not come pouring out of multiple water lines in your home. This can take some getting used to, even for people who buy energy-safe shower heads and faucets or attachments to their garden hoses. Make sure what you consider “low” now isn’t normal. Household water pressure should be between 45 and 55 pound force per square inch (psi), while anything over 70 psi can damage your plumbing fixtures.
Ways to improve water pressure
Before you do anything else, and because you’re working with an attachment, make sure that your actual garden hose does not have a leak in it. Even if it looks like it doesn’t, turn the water on full blast to see if any water comes shooting out of a certain area. If the hose looks like it’s going straight from spigot to the other end of the sprinkler and still weak, examine your actual sprinkler. Make sure it’s not locked into place and/or that the pressure you intended to have is still set that way. Many times when people pack up sprinkler supplies, they just pull them out of the dirt, dump them in a bucket or box, and go about their day. It could be very possible that you just may need to reset your garden water sprinkler system.
Now if that much-cheaper choice doesn’t work, you may be looking at a more expensive fix. There is an ongoing debate between plumbers regarding whether pipes should be galvanized steel or copper. While galvanized steel was all the rage a few decades ago, and intended to avoid rust happening around the pipes, the problem is rust and corrosion can get inside of the pipes. So everything from your kitchen sink to shower can be affected. You will have to contact a licensed plumber if the issue is as complicated as replacing pipes. This is not your average do-it-yourself (DIY) job. Find someone you can trust.
Consider investing in a water pressure gauge
With the help of a ¾-inch water pressure test gauge from a local hardware store, you can test the pressure coming out of your spigot. As mentioned above, there is an ideal psi pressure. If you can comfortably operate the gauge, then you may be able to adjust the pressure regulator under your home. However, if your pipes are indeed old, turning the water up on them could result in even more corrosion and rust (specifically if you’re working with galvanized steel pipes).
If a lot of this sounds a bit overwhelming, it is strongly advised to hire a plumber. You don’t want to end up harming plumbing fixtures that are in perfect functioning order but no longer operate the same. Checking the garden hose for holes or tightening and loosening the hose along the hose bibb (another name for spigot) is simple enough. For jobs that may require pipe upgrades, stick to professionals. Just pull out your giant hand-held watering can or garden sprayer for your plants, and get your 10,000 steps in while you wait.