Your water hose has worked hard for you all spring and summer. Just think of the forget-me-nots and zinnias that thrived with the help of your garden hose! Now that temperatures are cooler and the gardening season is coming to an end, it’s time to prepare your water hose for winter storage. Even if you don’t live in an area with cold temperatures, you should still store your hose if you don’t plan on using it for a long period of time.

I know what you’re thinking. You have to rake leaves, carve pumpkins and pick out your Thanksgiving turkey. But if you spend time now preparing your water hose for storage, you can expect it to be in working order for those forget-me-nots in the spring. That’s a lot better than making a trip to the hardware store to replace a damaged hose. I like buying certain things like drills and duct tape at the hardware store, but hoses tend to be a rather boring purchase!


This little garden hose that could is just begging for proper storage before winter.
This little garden hose is just begging for proper storage before winter.


Cracked Hoses and Burst Pipes, Oh My!

Let’s review what might happen if you don’t properly prepare your hardworking hose for storage.

  • Water left inside the hose can freeze, causing a rupture or weakening the lining of the hose.
  • A frozen hose can cause an interior pipe in your house to burst. This is possible because ice in the hose creates pressure throughout the plumbing system. It’s wise to disconnect your hose before the first hard freeze.
  • Mildew may grow from water left inside the hose.
  • Hoses may crack if they’re left kinked or sharply bent for extended periods.
  • Sunlight can degrade hoses.
  • Hoses stored on the floor or ground may suffer from dry rot.

How to Store Your Garden Hose

By now, you may realize that it’s best to store a drained hose indoors. Here are seven steps for proper water hose storage.

Even a heart-shaped hose kink is bad! Image by flickr Sdminor81
Even a heart-shaped hose kink is bad! Image by flickr Sdminor81
  1. Turn the spigot off, and depress any attached spray nozzles to remove water.
  2. Disconnect your garden hose.
  3. Remove attachments.
  4. Completely drain the hose. Yeah, some water is probably still in the middle! Elevate the end of the hose that you disconnected. Walk the length of the hose, keeping each section elevated while the water drains. When you reach the end, keep the mouth of the hose elevated until all water had drained and the dripping has ended.
  5. Coil the dry hose, making sure that there are no kinks. Your circle should be about three feet in diameter. Tip: It’s easier to coil a warm hose, so it’s desirable to get to this task before the really cold weather sets in.
  6. Connect the end fittings to keep out the creepy crawlies.
  7. Store your hose in a warm location off of the floor. Use a hose hanger or shelf.

I’m not going to fib. Preparing your water hose for storage is not a five-minute task. However, your arms will receive a nice little workout! And you can be so proud that you’ve nestled your sweet hose into a safe spot for the winter.

How do you drain the water from your hose before storage? Where do you store your hose for winter?