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Water hoses are any gardener’s best buddy. It is very helpful in all the watering and washing chores in and out of the house. From watering the plants to washing the car and bathing your pets, these hoses are your go-to tools.
With all its uses and more, the hose will eventually wear out. Luckily, most garden hoses come with replaceable components. One of the common parts that often need fixing is the hose gasket.
So in this article, let us get to know more about this hose gasket. What is it really? What are the different types? And of course, allow us to present to you our top pick product on the market.
Let’s begin, shall we?
- 1 What is a garden hose gasket?
- 2 Our Top Picks for Garden Hose Gaskets
What is a garden hose gasket?
A hose gasket is a thin flat structure that creates a mechanical seal between two surfaces. In the case of garden hoses, it is placed between the hose end fitting and the spigot. When these two ends compress together, the gasket’s job is to fill in any space in the middle. Thereby, forming a tight seal and preventing any water from leaking out.
Garden hose gaskets are also commonly referred to as O-rings or simply as washers. Most often it is either made with plastic, rubber, silicone, or metal materials.
Best Materials To Use for Garden Hose Gaskets
- Natural Rubber
Also known as gum rubber. This is the most organic among all types of material as it is sourced out from an actual rubber tree itself. Natural rubber is widely used among gaskets mainly because of its excellent properties. It is highly resilient and can resist abrasions. That is the reason why it is a popular material of choice for garden hoses in general.
Natural rubbers are also known to have a soft texture. And because of that, it seats well filling in the gap between merging surfaces. That said, it does a great job at creating an effective seal.
Moreover, this material also has good tolerance to low temperatures. That means it makes it a great choice for areas with colder environments. But on the other side of the story, it also does not fare well in very intense heat.
Cost is another drawback of natural rubber gaskets. Compared to synthetically-engineered materials, this type of rubber is more costly to produce.
- Synthetic Rubber
Synthetic rubber refers to any type of rubber material that has undergone modifications in its composition. These synthetically-engineered polymers may include polyurethane, chloroprene, nitrile, fluorocarbon, and EPDM to name a few.
Among these types, the neoprene rubber has the excellent ability to withstand temperatures as low as -65°F. That means, it can well tolerate cold environmental conditions like that during winter. However, some neoprene materials contain traces of lead.
Lead is highly toxic so gaskets made of such are not advisable to use on drinking waters. Exposure to this toxin can cause kidney and brain damage. Moreover, when lead contaminates the soil, it can inhibit plant growth and development. Not to mention, it can remain in the ground for up to 2,000 years.
On that end, the EPDM rubber is a better and healthier choice according to the Water Regulations Advisory Scheme or WRAS. It does not contain toxic substances, nor impart an odd taste to water, and it is also leach-resistant. This is important to note especially when the gasket is being used in applications that involve drinking water.
Like neoprene, the EPDM can also withstand cold temperatures. In fact, it can tolerate both hot and cold environments as long as it is between the range of -65°F up to 300°F. Hence, it is suitable to be used outdoors.
Silicone is another type of synthetic polymer. It is a popularly used material for gaskets because of its superior resilience to extreme temperatures. That makes it an ideal choice for creating weather-resistant products as such as a garden hose and its components.
Silicones are also well-known for their flexibility. The gasket is bound to remain intact despite exposure to both low and high temperatures. It won’t freeze nor crack even if left out for a long period of time.
Aside from flexibility, you can also expect it to be shrink-proof. That means the gasket has the ability to retain its shape. It will not shrivel now or even in later years of use.
The downside of silicone though is its poor tensile strength and tear resistance. This material can only withstand a pressure of about 5 MPa. It is far lower than the 25 MPa of natural rubber. On that note, silicone gaskets are best used in applications with low to fairly moderate water pressures.
Table of Comparison Between the Properties of Common Gasket Materials
|Properties of Common Gasket Materials||
30A – 90A
|30A – 90A||20A – 90A|
|Service Temperature (Minimum)||-70℉||-70℉||-178℉|
|Service Temperature (Maximum)||250℉||350℉||600℉|
|Tensile Strength (1,000 psi)||3.5 – 4.5 psi||0.5 – 3.5 psi||1.5 psi|
|Tear Resistance||Excellent||Fair to Good||Fair|
|Abrasion Resistance||Excellent||Good to Excellent||Poor|
Step-by-Step Guide on Hose Gasket Replacement
It is not enough to have a high-quality hose gasket or washer to replace an old and already worn-out part. It is equally important as well to install it in the proper manner. That way, you can ensure that it fits in the connectors correctly to be able for it to create a tight seal. Thus, preventing any leaks moving forward.
The steps are fairly simple. You don’t need any complex tools to get it done. Except maybe for a good-old flathead screwdriver. So, here’s how:
- Grab the female coupler end of the hose.
- Gently pry out the old gasket using the flathead screwdriver.
- Get the new gasket and place it in the center of the coupler.
- Apply pressure using your fingers to push down the gasket into the slot.
- Make sure it is placed evenly.
- Secure the attachment of the hose from the coupler.
- Screw the coupler with the hose into the spigot.
- Turn on the tap and allow the water to flow.
- Observe the area for leaking.
- Re-adjust the placement of the gasket if leaking still exists.
- Check again until it is all cleared.
What to consider when buying a garden hose gasket?
- Size matters
Gaskets are meant to create a tight seal on the space between the hose and the spigot. So needless to say, having the correct size of the gasket is a primary factor to consider. The right size means the right fit!
What good is a gasket anyway if it cannot secure the seal, right? Without it, water will just leak out of the hose. Hence, rendering the system rather wasteful and ineffective.
The sizing of the garden hose gaskets basically depends on the diameter itself of the hose. Usually, standard hose sizes come in 3/8, 1/2, 5/8, and 3/4 inches. Nevertheless, the 5/8-inch and 3/4-inch are the most commonly used both for household and commercial applications.
- Tensile strength
The tensile strength of the material determines its capability to withstand forces. The higher the tensile strength, the more likely it will be able to handle high water pressure. It is important to know the rating of each material so that you can decide which one works for your area best.
Locations with low to moderate water pressure can easily get by using a silicone hose gasket. Nevertheless, if your water source happens to have stronger pressure, then a natural rubber would serve you best. It has as much as three times the tensile strength compared to silicone. Thus, it can endure the force from the water flow better without breaking.
- Temperature tolerance
Garden hoses are meant to accomplish chores outdoors. That means this tool is bound to get exposed to all sorts of environmental conditions. That well includes the heat from the sun and the freezing cold ambiance during the winter. Hence, the ability of the gasket to tolerate a wide range of temperatures is important to factor in.
Some materials are better off used in either cold or hot climates. Like for example, silicone gaskets favor high temperatures. However, it does not equally perform best when submitted to cold temperatures.
On the other hand, gaskets made with neoprene and nitrile rubbers are great for low temperatures. And so, they are suitable to use in areas experiencing the winter season.
Meanwhile, there are also those who can handle both extremes in temperature. Some types of rubbers, especially the EPDM, fulfill this function very well. Thus, they are great to use for all-year-round applications.
Gaskets made out of EPDM, nitrile, neoprene, and some silicone materials are proven safe to use with potable water systems. On that note, it is best to stick to gaskets of such material if you intend to use the hose for drinking water. Although, garden hoses may not necessarily be our main source of potable water. It is still wise, however, to steer clear of the potential hazards this can cause to our health.
- Value for money
Garden hose gaskets are very affordable in general. Price usually ranges below $10. Often, they come in packs of 10 pieces or more. You can either get them by specific sizings. Better yet, opt to get the variety pack so you can use them for other equipment too.
Our Top Picks for Garden Hose Gaskets
1. Gardenite garden hose washer
The Gardenite hose gaskets are washers made with a heavy-duty thermoplastic rubber material. Thermoplastic elastomers are known to have the ability to stretch out and bounce back to their original shape. Thus, allowing it to have a wider physical range of use. Moreover, its resilience enables it to have a longer lifespan compared to other materials.
This gasket is designed to be compatible with a standard 3/4-inch female garden hose fitting. It comes with a measurement of 1-inch external diameter and 5/8-inch internal diameter. Thickness-wise, this gasket is about 1/8-inch thick.
The Gardenite gasket is uniquely designed with 4 small tabs on the outer edges. These tabs enhance the attachment to the hose fitting. Hence, firmly locking the washer in place and prevent it from getting dislodged.
2. Backyard dudes garden hose rubber washer
The Backyard Dude’s garden hose washers take pride in its 100% real rubber material. In fact, the company claims their rubber is at par with aerospace-grade quality. Hence, you can assure that this gasket will last you for a long time.
These rubber washers are weather-resistant. In particular, it can remain intact between the temperature range of -45°F up to 250°F. It will not freeze, crack, nor get brittle when exposed to extreme conditions. Thus, feel confident to use the gasket on hot water lines. Or, perhaps worry no more about leaving your garden hose outdoors during the winter season.
One thing to remember though, make sure to buy these gaskets only at Backyard Dudes and its authorized resellers. By doing so, you can enjoy the benefit of a lifetime quality manufacturer’s warranty.
3. Danco hose washer with screen
This Danco hose washer is actually a dual-purpose gasket. It does not only create a positive seal, but it also helps to filter out debris at the same time. It features a metal screen mesh to prevent unwanted particles from clogging up the hose and contaminating the water.
Because of its capacity to refine the water flow, this gasket makes it a good option to use with washing machines too. So, this gives you versatility when it comes to applications.
It is compatible to fit a 5/8-inch garden hose. It has an outer diameter of 1-inch and an internal diameter of 9/16-inch. The Danco gasket is made with durable rubber construction. The material is rugged enough to be used on a daily basis.
4. Purdream outdoor garden hose silicone washer gasket
The Purdream garden hose washer is a gasket made with high-quality silicone material. Compared to rubber, silicone is softer so it is more likely to do a better job at filling in the gaps. As a result, it provides a tighter and more fitted seal between the tap and the hose.
Since the silicone is more pliable, it tends to get deformed when applied with too much pressure. Hence, make sure not to over-tighten the closure to prevent it from getting scrunched. Otherwise, your garden hose might get leaky once again.
This Purdream gasket is designed to be compatible with a standard 3/4-inch garden hose fitting. It comes with an external diameter of 1-inch and an internal diameter of 5/8-inch. In terms of thickness, it measures about 1/8 inch thick.
5. Zkzx garden hose rubber washer
The ZKZX garden hose washer is probably the most classic type of gasket. It is made with heavy-duty thermoplastic rubber material. It is soft and flexible yet sturdy enough to withstand high water pressure and weathering.
This gasket is compatible to use with all standard 3/4-inch female garden hose fittings. The doughnut shape of this product is thick enough to create a watertight seal. Thus, effectively preventing leaky hoses for a long time.
Additional Tips to Keep your Garden Hose Leak-proof
- Use electrical tape and hose mender to seal holes
The use of electrical tapes is the most effective quick-fix you can do to mend a tiny puncture in your garden hose. Electrical tapes are great because they are often made of PVC with rubber-based backing. Hence, it can offer both elasticity and weather-resistance.
However, this is only a temporary solution. Think of electrical tape as a band-aid. It covers the wound but does not help to heal it. And so, it is still advisable to apply a proper hose mender to prevent further damage.
- Drain the extra water
Stagnant water can weather your gasket faster. As a result, it weakens the washer and creates an ineffective seal. Thus, it is always a good idea to shake off the excess water from the hose right after each use.
- Reel your garden hose properly
Creases in any part of the hose are potential sites of cracks. Hence, the best way to prevent it is to always wind your hose properly. Make sure it won’t form twists or kinks as you tidy it up.
- Store your hose in a cool dry environment
Even if the material of your hose is weather-resistant, it is still wise to take precautions. As much as possible, store your garden hose in a cool and dry place. At home, the garage would seem to be the most common and convenient place for storage.
- Hang hose in a smooth wall-mounted reel.
If you prefer to organize your hose in the wall, make sure to hang it on a smooth surface. Rough textures can cause abrasions on the hose’s surface. Moreover, sharp edges can also puncture it and create holes.
Hose gaskets are the best tools you can use to keep your garden hoses leak-free. It comes in various materials and sizes to tend to every user’s needs. From natural rubber to synthetic materials, you can be sure to find the most suitable gaskets to fit your hoses perfectly. In this article, we’ve discussed all that you need to know about the right fir for your hose gasket needs.