/ Home & Energy

Has an expandable garden hose caused you problems?

Watering the garden? It can be a real pain using an old-style hosepipe that can be heavy, gets tangled, kinks, leaks or even splits. Which is why I bought an XHose – one of the whizzy stretchy, expandable hoses.

The XHose promises no kinks and tangles, and was shortlisted for the Chelsea Flower Show Garden Product of the Year 2013. But having heard about poor experiences with these and other expandable hoses from our members I’m now wondering if I’ve bought a leaky sieve.

There are a range of stretchy, expandable hoses available to buy at the moment and they all look really good. They’re basically a soft, inflatable inner-tube surrounded by tough fabric shell that crinkles up when the inner-tube isn’t expanded. They promise never to tangle or kink up and are much lighter than a traditional hose – so what’s not to like?

Reports of problems with the XHose and other expandable hoses

Unfortunately, I’m worried that my new XHose may not be as trouble-free as I’d hoped. A colleague who’d tried one out told me that the hose needs water pressure to expand so as you reduce the pressure when you start using it, it shrinks, pulling you back noticeably towards the tap. This sounds irritating but not a deal-breaker.

But our members have told us that they’d had other problems with their expandable hoses too, such as the inner tube splitting and filling the outer tube with water or even exploding! We’ve also heard about leaking joints, poor connections and irreparable faults.

So have I found myself a neat solution to a gardening problem or am I in for a drenching?

We will be carrying out a test of these in future and are interested in hearing your experiences.

Have you tried out an expandable hose? Have you been impressed or left disappointed? Have you found that some brands are better than others?

Tony coupe worksop says:
1 June 2017

I had to laugh about xhose they said don’t leave it in direct sunlight so that means you have got to keep putting it away every time you have used it a hose is supposed to be left out


It’s probably alright if cold water is running through it [to feed a sprinkler, for example] but it’s quite obvious that they are fairly fragile things.

I notice that Hozelock [and other brands] are now selling their versions of an expanding hosepipe. Hozelock have a good reputation for durable products so it would be interesting to know how they perform and whether they are better value for money. I seem to recall that someone else reported here that X-Hose had introduced a new version with improved features; that might have overcome the initial flaws in the product which have given the makers such a bad name [although the numerous unbranded imitations didn’t help either].


Here is part of one of the articles on the Which? website. It’s publicly available, so there should be no problem with quoting from it:

“How durable are expandable hoses? There are numerous reports about expandable hoses that have sprung a leak or even exploded after just a few uses.

When we tried out these hoses we found a number of potential problems with them.

* If you cross-thread the plastic tap connector it can irreparably damage the hose and fitting a new one isn’t an option.

* There is no way of mending the hose if it springs a leak.

* It’s made of soft rubber covered with woven fabric, so may wear away if it gets dragged across paving.

*The instructions advise keeping it out of the sun and storing inside – presumably due to durability issues.

* The instructions advise that the hose should be fully emptied before it is stored – possibly to prevent freezing water splitting the inner tube.

Though we have not put expandable hoses through our rigorous independent testing process, we think that if you want a hose that doesn’t have any maintenance concerns then a traditional hose would be a better choice.”

Read more: http://www.which.co.uk/reviews/xhose-and-other-expandable-hoses/article/xhose-and-other-expandable-hoses/how-to-buy-the-best-expandable-hose – Which?”

That’s useful advice, except that I suspect that the article might be an old one since it is undated.

It would be useful to find out how often expandable hoses burst or there are other problems. My guess is that problems are common but it’s possible that people are just good at reporting them.

Expandable hoses are much simpler than products such as washing machines, so perhaps we could all pull together and encourage Which? to look at the durability of expandable hoses and give them credit for what useful advice is already provided. Making positive comments rather than just launching into criticism is a good way of making people and organisations receptive, at least in my experience.

I presume that many buy expandable hoses because traditional hose reels are heavy and cumbersome. It would be interesting to know how small reels with narrow bore hoses perform.


Tony coupe worksop – Many plastics are gradually damaged by exposure to UV light. Providing that this information is made clear on the packaging, I don’t see a problem. Some plastics do include UV stabilisers but I do not know if this applies to hoses.

Kelvin Campbell says:
21 July 2017

I purchased two x hoses £30 each, one for my daughter, after only 6 months one split and fill the outer cover with water, the second one does not expand, no more x hoses. I’m trying to find an email adress to report these issues to but to no avail.

Steve Beadle says:
2 October 2017

Hi Kevin. I’ve just read your post and have had a similar problem regarding the x hose. I’m struggling to get anything done about it at the moment, the company I bought from was Swissclub Products and it was at a garden show. Did you manage to sort your problem out?

brian sadler says:
18 May 2018

hi I bought hozelock expanding hose I will be on my 4th as the other 3 exploded after only a few times using even though I didnt turn tap on full not impressed there must be a design fault or am I just unlucky

Barrie says:
7 June 2018

Have just used my second Hozelock Superhoze as the first one leaked at the tap connector to hose. My second one is now doing the same and both have only used a couple of hours each.
My wife blames me of course as she knows I did not think they are good for going around corners but I never thought about connectors leaking !
Back to the retailer again but what to buy could be a dangerous decision as she is sold on stretchy hoses. It’s my fault they don’t work of course !
I thought I had bought the best by buying Hozelock ?