/ 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?

Fiona Todd says:
18 May 2020

Absolute waste of money. Good idea that doesn’t stand the test of time. Ours leaks and the one we bought our daughter has just exploded and now leaks too. Wrote to Hoselock but without the receipt they won’t do anything. Will not waste my money on another one.

If you have a card statement, that can be used as an alternative to a receipt, Fiona. Unless you bought the hose directly from Hozelock, it is the retailer that is responsible for claims under the guarantee or your statutory rights under the Consumer Rights Act.

After Christmas I bought a Hozelock Pico Reel – a 10 metre reel of narrow-bore hose on a reel. It was to make up the minimum spend for a voucher and did not cost much, but I thought it might be useful to water pots on the patio. It leaked the first time I used it and with the coronavirus lockdown in place it the shop was closed. I opened the case and found that the hose clamp had not been fitted correctly, but it was easy to fit a replacement hose clip.

It’s not a bad idea to try products as soon as possible after purchase. I usually do.

I bought one for my mother. Leaked from day one and then failed slowly and then completely by bursting after a few months. She did like the feature, so she bought a new one for herself which did the same. This seems to be a very common complaint with expandable hoses, so I’d say get a decent hose reel which I now have and it works much better.

Leonie king says:
12 June 2020

Loved the expanding hozelock is easy to use goes back into its little box when done with ..my husband was so impressed he bought one for his work …ok but after 18 months it exploded so too expensive for such a short time …then on Friday just two weeks after my one exploded guess what his one did exactly the same his was only 14 months old …so joint cost over £100 for two useless hoses …stay away don’t buy ..having said that we both have just bought the new touch hose they have brought out it has an excellent guarantee so fingers crossed ..any more problems they will be going right back to hozelock …

Yes I had a couple and both of them broke. They seemed like an ideal solution to a long cumbersome hose on a reel. But the reality is they split and burst when walking with it over rocks, stones and general garden surfaces, especially when it expands whilst it’s on the ground. I may have to go back to the old hose on a reel, if someone doesn’t address this obvious design fault.

I have one for 10 +and use with my power washer with no problem

Well done Charles. If only there was a relevant section in the Guinness Book of Records.

Geert Cauwenbergh says:
5 May 2021

I bought 2 expandable hoses (different brands) last year ($50 and $70 plus 6% sales tax). They both lasted 1 season. I put them away in a dry and dark place for the winter and when trying to use them again at the beginning of this season, one had the plastic tube inside burst, and the other had the outer tissue part separate from the plastic inside. Could not be repaired.
Bottom-line: Never again. A total waste of money.

My neighbours bought an expanding hose and it has been draped over the tap on a south-facing wall for months.

Here is part of the instructions for the Xhose: “To prolong the life of your Xhose, store indoors when not in use. The hose cannot be left in direct UV sunlight or left out in freezing temperatures.” I expect that other brands provide similar instructions.

I recently purchased an expandable hose and the outer fabric has started to sheer in one place. This resulted in the hose ballooning out if water is put through and will likely burst if I continue to use it in this way so I’m looking for a way to repair the outer protective nylon layer before further use otherwise so far it’s been fine but this is now a problem