/ 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?

Comments
Pip says:
28 July 2018

We boight a Hozelock superHoze 30m we don’t have a really big garden, but we though 30m from our outside cold tap would mean it would reach out front garden too all in one go. But it didn’t last long. It burst in the midddle while using it.
Hozelock weren’t interested and took over a day to answer my fb question as to what we should do. It was less then 3 months old, always kept in its box out of the sun. It cost £50 pounds not cheap.
They suggested returning it to the retailer did I have my receipt?

Luckily we found it, took it back to the retailer Wilko who told us, not another one.

We ended up getting a full refund.

I facebooked Hozelock to tell them what the retailer has said and all they replied was ok thank you.

Never again would I waste money on Hozelock.

Just a generic plastic hose should last years.

Going back to the retailer is the correct procedure and your consumer rights were duly honoured. The manufacturer was right to direct you to Wllko.

I have many Hozelock watering products and consider them to be well made and good value, but I also have better products from other manufacturers, especially Gardena, but it’s all in the price. If you compare the weight of a 30 metre Gardena hose with a 30 Metre Hozelock hose you can immediately see the difference in quality, robustness and durability. Own-label hoses from DIY sheds and from other stores are so light-weight as to be questionable for good service; they rarely come in long lengths though because they are not strong enough to take the strain of being pulled when full of water. They are good enough for being rolled out and left, however, with a sprinkler or spray attached, so it’s not always necessary to spend a lot of money – it all depends on the kind of use it will get.

Hoses full of water are very heavy so the longer the hose the more likely it is to be dragged and this can cause damage, especially if there is a kink in the hose. It is, of course, possible to couple the two sections of a hose together after cutting out the damaged portion.

Patrick Taylor says:
3 September 2018

Look at the Royal Horticulture Society’s Everflow hose for non-kink 30 year life hose.

Howard Drake says:
2 October 2018

HOWARD DRAKE. My XHose burst after just 14 months of use, I would not expect such an early failure and am concerned that this product is not designed for long term use, or may be there is a manufacturing
problem regarding this product.

Sara Cody says:
16 October 2018

I brought a yoyo extendible hose by fitt directly from their stand at the Hampton Court Flower Show in July. By the middle of August it had a hole in it and was unusable, less than two months later. I can’t go back to the retailer as I bought it direct, so have been trying to get a response from yoyo direct. I used the ‘contact us’ function on thier website about a month ago but got no response. I am now about to send an email plus pictures plus a copy of my bank statement showing the payment to a couple of ‘info’ addresses I have found on their site. Demonstrates the perils of buying from a suplier outside of the UK I guess. If I get no response again, I will try the UK European Consumer Centre for some advice. Needless to say I am not at all impressed.

Michael Windsor says:
17 February 2019

Husband got xhose yesterday connected to tap and can’t get water to run through the pipe can anyone help before we take it back

Michael Douse says:
10 May 2019

I bought an X Hose in June 2017 and within just a year it split. In May 2018 I got a free replacement and the same thing happened.In May 2019 I tried to get a replacement as I assumed the hose had a year’s warranty as before but the garden centre where i bought it no longer stock it as they have had too many similar problems.I have bought another one on Amazon Prime as I do like the hoses when they work but after a year forget it!

Jae says:
15 May 2019

Bought a hoselock hose approx 2 years ago. Always stored in shed and as per user instructions but got it out this spring and on first use it developed a leak – looks like inner tube has split – which has rendered it useless. Cost £50 (AND more for attachments). Very disappointing as was very easy to use and manoeuvre, very light. Another family member has also had similar experience of same hose splitting after 18 months use. Not recommend.

I bought my 50 foot hose from Easylife 13 months ago – it has been great, expanding and contracting and stored easily – until this week when it decided not to contract after water was turned off. I can’t find any reason for this – and no one else seems to have this problem when I google it. Can anyond help? Meantime it still works as a hose – it just will not contract afterwards.

This Convo has been running nearly four years. It would be good if Which? would review the comments that have been made here and sent by email, and offer advice.

Steph Blackwell says:
31 May 2019

I am on my 4th X hose in 4 years and every one has split. The latest managed 2 garden waterings but it has just split. I follow the recommendations for storage but that doesn’t seem to make a difference. Great idea but they need to be a lot stronger. Ironcally I had my old type hose for 22 years and gave it away to get an X hose!

Andy mullins says:
29 June 2019

We went to the 40m one in summer 2018. Spring 2019 it split. I range hozelock to see if they make a repair or joining kit – they don’t. To be fair and without a receipt Hozelock’s customer service team were fantastic. The serial number on the box was all they needed. New hose delivered a couple of months ago. The new problem is that the water seems to get restricted at certain sections and consequently it isn’t expanding and water flow is poor. Based on the comments here I’m now fully expecting it to fail again soon.

Janie says:
1 August 2019

used expandable hose this morning….extended hose into my courtyard, went back into garage and opened faucet…the hose went wild whipping the air, managed to get a hold of it but it kept whipping at me, until I shut of water supply. I can see the headlines: 74 year old woman gets whipped tp death by common garden hose…

I would not laugh at anyone’s misfortunes but thanks for raising a smile, Janie.

At least you have not been complaining about an expendable hose leaking.

I think the mis-typed (?).”.. expendable hose….” might be an apt description and it might be best to have it put down. My conventional hose is quite tame and well behaved; I leave it in a coil on the ground until I need it.

I’ve had a similar experience to Janie, though it was probably when using a water pump that created a higher pressure than household supplies.

Beryl Baird says:
4 August 2019

I bought one from Easylife and it doesn’t empty properly when you turn water off and use the spray gun, it contracts mostly, but when you look again a bit later, it has expanded again. Never had this with my hoselock

Paul Grant says:
25 August 2019

I bought an X hose (blue expandable) at B&Q which cost around £40 but after only a month it developed four leaks. These leaks all appeared at the same time when I was watering the garden and all in the same place in the hose, but I could not send it back as there is a disclaimer issued with each hose saying they will not replace if it has been used. But how will you know there is a problem if you have not used it? I purchased anther X hose and after only two weeks it burst with an explosion like a gunshot. I will not waste my money again on one of these which are simply gimmicks.

I doubt if that disclaimer would withstand legal scrutiny for the reason you have given, Paul. The problem is that no one is going to fork out lots of money for a court case over such an issue. Products have to be fit for purpose and have satisfactory durability so your X-hose failed on both counts. Retailers are responsible for replacing or refunding a faulty product unless they have clearly indicated that it is prone to such defects or has to be used in a specific manner.

It was brave of you to try another X-hose after the problems with the first one. The faults have been widely reported but they cannot compete with the aggressive marketing and false recommendations perpetrated by the sellers of these products. Their appeal is their light weight and notional easier handling, but water weighs what water does in any hosepipe so expecting a lightweight and highly-flexible and expandable material to survive normal garden use with water under pressure is a tall order, but no one seems to make that connection.

Compared with a regular hose the prices of expandable hoses are excessive as well in my view.

It would be interesting to know whether the disclaimer was from the manufacturer or the retailer, Paul. It is illegal for a company to misrepresent the legal rights of customers, which are against the retailer and not the manufacturer in the case of faulty products. Can you tell us how long you have had the hose?

John – These hoses are very light when empty and take little space to store, so I can understand the attractions. It would be good if Which? would look at all the feedback on these pages and if necessary carry out its own tests before warning people not to waste their money.

MARIA HUBBLE says:
25 August 2019

Last year I bought an X Hose I have just got It out after a year I have not the right parts for the water tap. I am annoyed as I need to use it again I had no Instructions with it. I have a few parts which came with it but they are not the right parts I did use it once. I shall try to see if I have abother part some were But I think it shoukd be chabed or the parts sent to me It is a good Idea Better than the old heavy Hose pipes

Helen says:
27 August 2019

My X Hose expands fully when rap is turned on and works well, other times it just randomly fails to eject any water when trigger is activated. It’s annoying as I have to turn off water supply and pull off connector from tap, as the hose is still full of water I get drenched, and decking gets a wash!! Thought these hoses were designed to be “ kink free” and last longer than an average rubber hose on a wheel?? Not sure whether to just accept it’s somehow got a ruptured inner tube , and just buy another one. It’s only used to water the plants during the summer and maybe the grass during a particularly hot dry no rain spell. So, it’s not been “over used” or treated negligently. Any advise would be most helpful.

Hi Helen – If your hose is filling up with water and extending the problem will be with the trigger-operated spray or the hose connector that is attached to it. You could try another spray if you cannot find the fault.

The reason you get wet when you disconnect the hose is because of the pressure inside the hose and the amount of water it contains, rather than a split inner tube.

If you read through the nine pages of comments you will see that these hoses often don’t last long. A decent conventional hose will last much longer, especially if kept out of the sun when not in use, but may not be so convenient.

I Pearson says:
16 September 2019

I had a hozelock hose for years but it developed a leak. I bought a new shorter one but found it lost pressurexwhen you used the spray gun. Returned it to shop & got another one it does the same thing. So frustrated with the flaming thing! The very first one I had for years didn’t do this at all

You might find that a valve (for example an isolator on an outside tap) or a check valve is partly blocked. This would cause an expandable hose to ‘shrink’ when the spray gun is used.

It is easy to repair a conventional rubber hose that has sprung a leak. You can cut out the section that leaks and join the cut ends together with a connector. You cannot repair an expandable hose.

Paul Coia says:
20 September 2019

I am now on my fifth expandable house. Each time it’s the same problem – the inner tube splits, throwing water all over me. This time, though, I bought a 100 ft long one and, when it split after just a month, I was able to cut it behind the split and then join the useable bit to the spray head, throwing away the length from the split to the gun. I’ll carry on like this till I’m left with a stump of a hose, then buy another 100 ft one and repeat.
The expensive X-Hose branded ones, incidentally, are no more durable than the cheaper versions available to buy on line. My 100 ft hose cost under £20 on the web.