Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Hose Reel Cart Leader Hose Replacement

Preface -- TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2018

Since writing this post, I've discovered that automotive heater hose can't reliably withstand the pressure of a domestic water supply for much over a year. Leaks eventually break out, and the hose has to be replaced.

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 This elderly Ames ReelEasy hose reel cart has a leaky leader hose.

(A 'leader hose' is the short length of hose on a hose reel cart that connects to the water supply.)

The leaking leader hose on this cart is not the original. It's a vinyl replacement that I installed years ago, and is now almost as stiff as rigid pipe.

A slight complication is that the cart's water connection right at the cart itself is a nipple that's meant to take 5/8" hose, and I don't have any 5/8" garden hose that I can get a short length from -- only 1/2"

When I long ago installed the leader hose you see in the photo above, I got around that problem by heating one end of a 1/2" vinyl leader hose to soften it, and forcing it onto the 5/8" nipple on the cart. That actually worked out ok, and that hose connection is not leaking, it's the female hose fitting end of the leader hose that's leaking.

I'd rather not use vinyl hose for a leader hose again -- vinyl hose is dreadful stuff, really. I find that it stiffens within a season. It dawned on me that 5/8" is a standard size of automotive heater hose, and that can be had by the foot. Then it dawned on me that I might have a spare length of that stuff in a drawer. I went and checked, and sure enough it was there. I went and checked my spare hose fittings bin, and I found a female hose fitting for 5/8" hose. I had everything I needed on hand -- I didn't have to go out to buy a thing to repair the cart.

(I've been having a string of good fortune lately, and it's beginning to worry me. Am I being set up for a disaster?)

Anyway, on with removing the old, stiff leader hose.

The Cart's Connection Nipple

This is the one that I had force fitted a 1/2" hose onto. Note the pronounced bulge.

I'll try heating it up again with a heat gun to get it to come off. I'd rather not cut it, and risk scoring the nipple. Here goes.

- - -

That was easy.

I'll salvage the female hose fitting and the hose clamp, and discard that wretched bit of stiff hose.

The Leak Explained

I asked for it by using a salvaged, pressed metal female hose fitting without proper barbs on it, like so.

I won't do that again.

The Replacement Leader Hose Installed

Here we are with a slightly longer, rubber leader hose.

That should far outlast a vinyl hose. Now to try it out.

- - -

And here we are with everything connected and the hose fully pressurized.

No more little water fountain effects.

So the lesson is, "When you need a leader hose for your hose reel cart, go to the auto supply for heater hose."

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A Mystery Leak -- MONDAY, MAY 28, 2018

I suspect that a young raccoon may have chewed the hose; those critters will test anything to see if it might be food. I had the same thing happen years ago to a barbeque's fuel supply hoses.

I'll just shorten that leader hose by a couple of inches to get rid of the leak. Hopefully, the raccoon has learned that rubber hose is not edible.

For whatever it's worth, here's a view of what the toothy creature did to the leader hose.

- - -

Whoops! -- TUESDAY, JUNE 12, 2018

I was wrong. The leaking leader hose wasn't the result of raccoon vandalism; it was hose wall failure. Since repairing the first leak, I've had more leaks develop.

So it appears that automotive heater hose is only good for one full season in this application, then it can no longer withstand the pressure of a domestic water supply.

I have more heater hose on hand, so I've replaced the old leader hose entirely with a new six inch length, and I should be ok for the summer.

If I could get proper 5/8" water hose by the foot, I could do a permanent repair, but I can find no such hose. So, I'll just have to keep periodically replacing my leader hose with automotive heater hose. That's not too difficult to do.

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