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How Does a Garden Hose Work?

Jack Gerard

The basics of connecting a garden hose to an outdoor spigot are quite simple. The hose has two ends that are threaded differently. One end has a cuff that can fit over the threading of the spigot, allowing it to be tightened so that it holds the hose firmly to the spigot when it is turned on.

Hose Connections and Construction

The other end will generally have the opposite threading, allowing another hose or one of several accessories to be screwed onto it. When the hose has been secured to the spigot, the rubber or fiber that the hose is made of is designed to be sufficiently strong to hold in the water pressure if the other end of the hose has a sealed valve on it; otherwise the water simply flows through the hose and out the other end.

Valves and Attachments

Valves, nozzles and other attachments can all be screwed onto the end of a garden hose to change the way that water comes out. Basic valves will allow you to control the pressure and amount of the water coming out of the hose, while nozzles and sprayers will change the way that the water comes out (ranging from tight, high-pressure streams to gentle showers.) Other attachments such as sprinkler heads can also be used with a garden hose, the pressure of the water causing certain parts to move and letting water be distributed over a much larger area.

Types of Hoses

In addition to basic rubber garden hoses, other hose types also exist. Watering hoses have a number of holes along the length of the hose and a cap on the end, causing small jets of water to come out all along the entire length of the hose so as to water plants or grass. Condensation hoses are similar, but are made of a porous material that lets water gently leak through in all directions (these hoses are generally buried under mulch or dirt to allow for better watering of plant roots.) Other garden hose types include cotton fiber hoses that are much easier to store and heavy-duty hoses that are more resistant to being stepped on or driven over without suffering damage.