/ 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
Guest
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

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Guest

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].

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Guest

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.

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Guest

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.

Guest
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.

Guest
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?
Regards
Steve

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Guest

The faults with expanding hosepipes have been well aired throughout this Conversation but I don’t think [and I haven’t re-read it all the way through] there has been any meaningful response from Which?, let alone a retailer or a manufacturer. These are not cheap products compared with the same length of rubber hoses and they appeal particularly to people who find using a rubber hose too difficult due to age or infirmity – and many such people have been badly let down in their expectations.

Most of the weight of a hosepipe is the water inside it. As I have said before, dragging an expandable hosepipe full of water across a lawn or along a path is not much easier than dragging a rubber hose, and different grades of rubber hose are available at a lower weight per equivalent length [but that is reflected in poorer durability]. I would expect the coiled small-bore hoses to be better than the expandable hoses but they might not deliver the desired water volume or pressure.

Guest
S Lewis says:
30 September 2017

I have had my x hose for around 2 years, I bought it instead of a conventional hose due to having arthritis in my hands, it’s lightweight and exceptionally easy to use for the elderly, however this week it suddenly sprang leaks from everywhere! I’m sorry that it didn’t last longer but will probably buy another as it’s so easy to handle, incidentally I have stored it indoors during the winter months to keep it from perishing as per instructions

Guest
Jeremy Poynton says:
3 June 2017

Have had two – snagged one on a rose bush which puncture it – both long ones, no problems whatsoever, very reliable, and a huge huge improvement over plastic hoses which inevitably kink and become impossible to use. Feeder attachment is also massively better than Miracle Gro’s really cheap and poorly made feeder attachment.

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Guest

I would question whether plastic hoses inevitably kink, Jeremy. Mine is still in good condition after (I guess) fifteen years, but it is always put away after use. I don’t recall it kinking. There are some hoses that do kink easily but in my experience these are very cheap ones – usually thin and dark green.

With an ordinary hose, it is less likely to kink when under pressure, so turn on the water but stop the flow with a stop connector, inline tap, trigger spray, etc.

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Guest

I have an old standard decent quality hose where one part has developed a weakness and if a coil gets pulled this is where it kinks and stops the flow. The answer is to cut that bit out and use a connector (I bought a few at 50p each on sale at B&Q) which I will do ……one….day…….

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Guest

Hozelock offer guarantees of 10 and 30 years for their hoses, which is impressive. I’ve used a few Hozelock hoses that have been kinked but that’s probably because of abuse.

I did once repair a hose with a connector but it kept getting caught, so I used a short length of metal tube with a couple of hose clips. Hozelock offer barbed connectors for use when replacing the hose in retractable hose reels. I don’t know if they are sold separately but they don’t even need hose clips.

Guest
J Matthews says:
6 June 2017

I purchased a Expanding Easy Hose from easylife in August 2016. In January 2017 the hose exploded and easylife sent a replacement. This lasted till June 1st 2017 and the same thing happened again , exploding . I contacted seller and they are going to send a further replacement. There seems to be a major fault in the construction of these hoses

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Guest

J.Matthews the Easylife hoses I see advertised are not “top of the line ” and ,as far as I know, are imports from China , I am not decrying the company only the imported sources and import price paid ( built to a price ) . There are better versions of an “Xhose” from the company itself but even there (the USA ) the same company was sanctioned by the US authorities for selling “sub-standard” hoses . They have now brought out a new version which is guaranteed for two years with metal connectors but it is at least double what you paid .

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Guest

I see the new ones are described as ‘virtually puncture proof’. There’s nothing to stop the company sending a better quality replacement in view of the hassle caused.

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Guest

We bought a Magic hose. After 2 weeks it detached itself from the tap and would not go back on. Amazon have refunded me. Be careful what you buy. I checked Which for a bets buy and ordered what I thought was the best one, but when it came it wasn’t the one I thought I had ordered.

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Guest

Due to a misunderstanding in the marketing department, these products were wrongly claimed to be ‘expandable’ when the manufacturer’s intention was to make sure they were ‘expendable’.

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Guest

Hosepipes would be an interesting one. I cannot recall ever having seen a general hosepipe report. However I would much prefer the subject to be driven from watering in the garden. This may seem silly but there are actually many ways to water a garden and simply to look at a type of hose and ignore the alternatives would be poor for subscribers.

Many people would not want seep hoses but then some may not know they exist. Thick mulch I have seen is like having an additional 0.75″ of water for the plants.

Being smart about routing hoses, whether a stand pipe or a fixed hose down one side of the garden mean only short lengths of flexible hose are needed off a tee- there are many ways to make it less of a chore.

For the slightly serious gardener an irrigation system connected to a timer might make all the difference and allow days aways!

Essentially provide all subscribers with an article discussing the kit available, how it might be used, planting advice, and the durability factors and I think the article will wear well.

BTW a few worked examples of gardens and using different methods may make it all more relevant. But doing a subject once and in depth provides a useful base to refer back to.

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Guest

Our hanging baskets are watered from small-diameter black tubing with drips to each basket, fed from a standard hose and a Hozelock automatic timer. It works very well and I have used the same system to keep the greenhouse occupants watered. It would be helpful (to me) if Which? reviewed the various components – that vary considerably in price. My small bore tubing, drips and all the connectors and fittings (not the timer!) cost just £7 including p&p online and have done the job for the last 3-4 years.

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Guest

Friends came back from holiday recently to find the house flooded and it has caused a lot of damage. My parents always turned off the water when away for a weekend or longer and I have always done the same. It would be possible to modify the plumbing so that the house plumbing can be shut off leaving outside taps connected. A better alternative would be to use water from a butt or tank.

Guest
Jane Henry says:
16 June 2017

I just bought a Premium Xpanding Hose from Gardeners World Live. It cost £30 and just now when I was trying it out I found that the water was coming back out of the connector and not filling the hose. Have I bought a lemon? Or is there some silly thing I could do to fix it

Guest
John Edge says:
18 June 2017

Bought mine from Argos which, at the time included a ” lifetime manufacturers guarantee “, after the inner and outer hoses parted company I contacted Argos.
After completely denying any responsibility I reminded them of the 1979 Sale of Goods Act after which they said that replacement could only be offered if I obtained ” a report from a suitably qualified person” that the hose had failed.
Obviously this is going to cost far more than the hose is worth.
My advice is don’t buy an X hose and certainly don’t buy from Argos.
John Edge

Guest
Lucy Meakin says:
27 June 2017

I’ve had the 75ft orange Xhose for a few years and used it without real problems (although I reconise the minor irritation of the pressure change during use), until a few weeks ago when I was watering the garden with a light rain-type spray & the hose suddenly exploded at the junction with the spray gun. The frayed end of the hose essentially whipped me, hitting me hard in the chest, which seriously hurt & had me doubled over in pain. Had it hit me in the face, it would have taken out my eye.

I still have both pieces and can send photos or ship it off for evaluation upon request.

Perhaps it’s already been posted, but has Which? yet responded with advice on this type of product issue?

Guest
Lucy Meakin says:
27 June 2017

I have had the 75ft orange Xhose for a few years and used it without real problems (although I reconise the minor irritation of the pressure change during use), until a few weeks ago when I was watering the garden with a light rain-type spray & the hose suddenly exploded at the junction with the spray gun. The frayed end of the hose essentially whipped me, hitting me hard in the chest, which seriously hurt & had me doubled over in pain. Had it hit me in the face, it would have taken out my eye.

I still have both pieces and can send photos or ship it off for evaluation upon request.

Perhaps it’s already been posted, but has Which? yet responded with advice on this type of product issue?

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Guest

Thanks LM for posting on your nasty experience.

It is rather provoking that these letters and the Which on-line pages are so separated as what you and others have written would surely warrant a stronger warning than now exists.

which.co.uk/reviews/xhose-and-other-expandable-hoses/article/xhose-and-other-expandable-hoses/how-to-buy-the-best-expandable-hose

For some reason the two pages are split and one might not read the section on downsides page at all.

As is traditional with Which? the pages are not dated so if any up-dates or changes in advice occur it is not obvious.

Guest
John M Carver says:
15 August 2017

Lucy,

you will be able to read my comment regarding my own experience with an expanding hose on this site.

In my situation, the end that connects to the nozzle blew off, under what I can only describe as, ‘Normal’ water pressure from our outside tap in the garden.

The damn thing then started thrashing about like something possessed.

I thing we’ve both had lucky escapes.

Guest
Colin Evans says:
30 June 2017

I bought my XHose from Ideal World last year and has been used sparingly and thought it to be a good buy. When using it last week it inflated itself like a balloon and exploded drenching me and several articles of washing on the washing line. I wont be buying another one as we are probably going to get a hosepipe ban shortly.

Guest
Jill says:
2 July 2017

I am on my second Xhose, the latter I only bought earlier this year and has now developed a leak. This was my reason for replacing the first one, but at least that did last two years. Could Xhose not make a repair kit for such problems. I am loathe to spend another £40 on buying yet another Xhose and will go back to a conventional hose, annoying as they are to reel up at least they last longer.

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Guest

Judging by the performance of our conventional rubber hosepipes, they last for ever. And even if they do get punctured it is very easy to cut them and fit a connector. Rubber hosepipes are not that expensive and are available on reels. Draining the hose before coiling it up reduces the weight considerably – you just need to make sure both ends are open and one end is at a higher level than the other and the water will flow out. It also make things easier if you don’t have a longer hose than you actually need, so cut off any excess and refit the connector. Depending on the tap location, a shorter length can be handy for watering pots and tubs or washing the car.

Guest
Diane says:
4 July 2017

Have just rung easylife because of split expanding hose after 13 months and they refuse to do anything because it is out of warranty (12 months warranty) as a widow it seemed to be the answer for my small garden. Do they want me to buy 1 every 12 months at £40 per year. I am disgusted and will never buy another thing from them

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Guest

Diane if you have a small garden buy a Hozelock Pico Reel , I have a Hozelock and its lasted 15 years so far. Buy from a UK company MUCH better service : https://www.uktoolcentre.co.uk/products/hozelock-2425-pico-10m-reel.html keep the British flag flying !

Guest
John Mitchell says:
7 July 2017

I purchased an expandable hose from Wye Vale garden centre a few months ago for use in our garden. It was great for about a month then it was being used by an elderly woman when the spray attachment came off. We returned it to the garden centre who happily changed it. However a month later and the same thing has happened.

Guest
Paul Napier-Burrows says:
9 July 2017

Very interesting reading these comments. Recently I purchased a 100ft expanding hose from Woucher. It came from China. Within a week of use it split in the middle rendering it completely useless. With a conventional hose I would have at least been able to cut and repair it. Thinking this was purely an unfortunate “one off” I bought another again from Woucher but from a different supplier. This one lasted slightly longer before leaking badly from the tap connector. This was repairable by cobbling it together with a hoselock connector. Having congratulated myself on saving the day, the wretched thing next exploded in my hand as the water pressure parted the spray attachment from the hose giving me my second shower of the day! The inner rubber contracted 30 feet back up the outer casing. Having spent half an hour pulling it back through, I attempted to reconnect it to the spray attachment with wire and jubilee clip. This proved ineffective and the inner rubber ballooned out of the protective sheath and would have burst. Again completely useless.
Obviously there are quite cheap models on the market, which would appear to be poorly put together. Also the concept seems quite new. It may take some time to iron out these problems. I shall be sticking with my old hose for some time to come.

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Guest

Paul your last paragraph is correct after spending time checking out this business worldwide including chemical factories the plain , honest facts are -yes inferior quality–on purpose . The importers (from China ) look for the biggest profit so fill their warehouses full of those hoses because with austerity they worked out most people wont pay for very high quality because they cant afford it . very high quality hoses can be made due to the chemical ingredients used to make up those hoses both in the inner hose and the outer section as well as the fittings . Americans have suffered the same and after investigations and condemnation like- this is America WHY dont we make our own ( backed up by the Donald ) they have done just that – flying the “Old Glory ” for the US of A and c, unlike the timid advertisers frightened to condemn goods from China the Americans dont “muck about ” -straight talking so adverts now appear in the USA saying 90 % of our goods ( including flexible plastic hoses/tubing ) are made in the USA DONT buy inferior product from abroad in very big advertising letters and much flag waving . Secondly China CAN sell higher quality goods in this range a factory in Hong Kong does for a start , but guess what -they cost so importers are less likely to buy them as the customers would not be in the figures they they want to make very large profits , all imports from China are by Chinese law non-returnable and legal redress is in the hands of the importers . Even if you live in China you need all sorts of forms filled in by Chinese government officials just to get your money back and it is very time-limited.

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Guest

PN-B

The idea is not new nor are the problems experienced with them. When Which? wrote its “review” there was already a vast amount of information from the US where people had been buying them, and the various improved models/designs all with roughly the same result.

If Which? issued “Shoddy Awards” then these products as a class could have been labelled thus and no doubt the resulting Press coverage would reduce considerably this waste of money. Of course not all hoses have burst but a high proportion do which makes it a poor buying option.

Guest
Ann Potter says:
10 July 2017

I bought my expanding hose from Easylife last year. No explosions yet, but I’d like to be able to use an oscillator instead of the spray head. At the moment I either have to stand around doing each piece of garden for a set time, or set the hose up so it’s watering by itself while I get on with something else. An oscillator would sprinkle a wider area, shortening the time spent watering.

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Guest

Well Ann according to the prestige high class, “gardening to the upper classes “-aka- Gardeners Royal Benevolent Society – you CAN as it states the connections are compatible with normal hose connection . Mind you might need to confirm this with Buck House c/o Charles Windsor that well know gardener of world fame -eco warrior extraordinary .

Guest
Richard says:
26 July 2017

Second one in as many years, pointless having a hosepipe which breaks and is not usable in a year. Liked it but what’s the point if it doesn’t last a year!

Guest
Neil Mackenzie says:
28 July 2017

My X hose has broken at the tap end of the hose. The screw connector has parted and the hose cannot be repaired. Do not buy an X hose.

Guest
John M Carver says:
15 August 2017

After around a week, I noticed that the colour of the outside covering of our 50m hose had started to fade; this seemed odd as it was never left in direct sunlight… Not that we get that much around these parts.

I noticed straight away that the hose leaked form the connection to the nozzle and wrapped the thread with PTFE tape; this appeared to work… For a short time.

Then… THE END CAME OFF!

We were just about to go out when I had the brilliant idea of giving our car a quick rinse.

After turning on the tap, the nozzle promptly parted company with the hose and there I am, wearing light coloured trousers, (I just had to be) looking as though I’ve had sudden spell of incontinence.

This type of hose looks great in the ad’s, you know the ones I mean that claim they will solve all your hosepipe problems, however, often when something seems too good to be true, it more than likely is.

Thanks for reading my review and I hope this has helped.

Yours, extremely wet
John Carver

Guest
Sue Sharkey says:
27 August 2017

I bought the Xhose about 12 month ago, and i had tried the lookalike s too, which had a problem with the spray bursting off, so i decided to go for the best , and to be honest the xhose is no better than the look a like ones. mine started out as a 100ft and now its about a 70ft, ive tried everything, but nothing works i just keep getting soaked to the skin, so if anyone has any tips on how and what to use to repair it please let me know

Guest
June Waite says:
29 August 2017

Unfortunately my Hozelock 30m exploded as others have said, I did go to the retailer and the exchanged for me. I spoke to Hozelock on the phone and they said as it was such a new product, they couldn’t say if this was a common problem. I really like it and not go back to solid ones.

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Guest

Expandable hoses seem to be among the least reliable products on sale, judging by comments here and online reviews. Which? has only a couple of undated (and therefore old) articles on the subject, so perhaps it is time for an update.

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Guest

Well it is over two years and appears to be a major problem that a consumer magazine, particularly with a garden version, should be on top of.

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Guest

We have now had numerous reports of expandable hoses bursting and the problem is not confined to the XHose. They are easily damaged, as one poster mentioned earlier: https://conversation.which.co.uk/home-energy/xhose-expandable-garden-hose-problems/#comment-1488022 I wonder if it is possible to produce an expandable hose that is durable.

I think it is time for Which? to look at expandable hoses again and offer some advice.

Guest
Heather says:
20 September 2017

My 100ft hose from Easylife swelled into a balloon near the end and then exploded. This would have been wonderful if being held by a small child. I am at present pursuing legal action as the product has now been modified but the company refuse to exchange or compensate me and are extremely bad to do business with in terms of decent trading and honesty. Highly not recommended!!

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Guest

Best of luck, Heather. Please let us know how you get on with your claim.

If you can possibly use an ordinary hose pipe (avoid very cheap ones) you might never have any more problems.

Guest
john gray says:
12 October 2017

Have had 2 xhoses this year that have burst on me, Bought the first one last September, only used it a few times before putting it away for the winter.
Brought it out again end of may, sprung a hole june, took it back to argos who exchanged it,washing my car today that blew a hole drenching me, took it back to argos, got refund, thank you argos.
Wont buy a xhose next year, will buy a cheap one of the market.