Can I Leave A Garden Hose On For A Long Period Of Time? (Explained)

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Leaving your hose on for a long period of time is not a good idea. Firstly, it can lead to flooding in your garden. Secondly, leaving a hose on even when the nozzle is closed can lead to a pressure build-up in the hose pipe causing it to burst or potentially damage your plumbing.

Working watering garden from hose

What Happens if You Leave the Hose on With the Nozzle Closed?

Nozzles were created for a few reasons. The most common ones are for convenience and to save water. The nozzle is the attachment at the end of the hose pipe that can be closed to prevent water from coming out even when the tap is still on and the water is still flowing.

When the nozzle is closed, and the spigot is still on, the water flow creates a pressure build-up. The hose and plumbing are designed to cope with this pressure build-up for short periods of time.

So it really depends on how long you leave the water flowing with the nozzle closed. While leaving it for a few minutes to a couple of hours should be fine – provided your hose is not worn and your plumbing is intact.

What Can Damage a Hose?

Like with other useful items, hoses are not exempt from wear and tear. Things like leaving your hose in the hot sun all day or constantly bending it can cause damage to it. Worn hoses are more likely to leak or explode under pressure.

If you want to protect your hose from corrosion, it is best to pack it up neatly after each use and store it indoors somewhere. That’s because weather components are the most common culprits of wear and tear to your hose, especially in extremely high or low temperatures.

What Can Damage an Outdoor Spigot?

When the outdoor spigot is leaking or has damaged parts, there is more chance that leaving your hose on with the nozzle closed will cause leakages and further damage.

One of the most common reasons for this is damage caused by frozen or clogged pipes. This also happens when the faucet is old and may need to be repaired.

What Happens When You Leave Your Garden Hose Attached In Winter?

This brings me to the next point. Extremely cold temperatures are notorious for causing damage to garden hoses and outdoor faucets and plumbing. This is because when the temperatures are low enough, water reaches a freezing point.

When water freezes it expands, this causes pressure in the plumbing system or in the garden hose and can cause a considerable amount of damage. That’s why it is recommended that you do not leave your garden hose attached during the winter months.

Leaving it attached will lead to corrosion of the garden hose and it is likely to split or rupture when you use it again later

How to Protect Plumbing from Winter Temperatures

When the temperature starts to reach freezing point, it is time to take action. Here’s what you can do to protect your garden hose and outdoor plumbing from getting damaged during the winter months:

Make sure to store the garden hose in an indoor area

Leaving the garden hose outside is definitely going to cause it to become damaged. When winter approaches, it is time to drain the garden hose, coil it up and store it in the garage or other in-door area to protect it from the low temperatures.

Make sure the faucet is tightened

The biggest thing you need to do is make sure that you shut off the valves to the outdoor faucet. You can find your outdoor water shut-off valve located near the ceiling, on the inside of the wall where the outdoor faucet is located.

If you have a knob-style shut-off valve then turn it clockwise to shut it off. Lever styles also require clockwise rotations in most cases.

What Will Happen If I Leave the Hose on for a Week?

Leaving your garden hose on for a week is likely to cause it to rupture, leading to flooding in your garden.

There are a few reasons why this is likely to happen. Firstly, a garden hose and the outdoor faucet are not designed to handle a pressure build-up for that amount of time.

Secondly, it is difficult to know if there are issues with your outdoor plumbing and so burst pipes may happen when you least expect it. And, as I discussed earlier, leaving your garden hose on for a week during winter will definitely cause damage to your hose and outdoor faucet.

The same applies to extremely hot temperatures since the heat can cause corrosion to the garden hose. This makes rupturing very likely.

Sprinkling on grass from damaged hose

Can a Water Hose Explode?

There are many occasions when a water hose can explode. I’ve already covered a few of the common reasons including corroded garden hoses, worn or damaged outdoor plumbing, or extremely hot or cold temperatures.

However, if you find your garden hose is constantly exploding then you may have a problem with your water pressure. The plumbing is designed to withstand the normal pressure of having the hose on with the end nozzle closed.

But if you leave your hose on for long periods of time with the nozzle closed, your garden hose could rupture or the valves on your outdoor faucet could loosen or break.

Other Causes for a Hose to Constantly Explode

If your hose explodes even when it is only on with the nozzle closed for a short period of time then there are a few reasons that could be causing this. I’ll talk about them here.

If you install a pump to increase your water pressure and it is too powerful, then it could be the cause of your water hose continuously exploding. The same is true if you do not have a pump to regulate your water pressure.

Another cause is building your water tower too high, which causes an increase in your water pressure.

It is likely to be one of these reasons if you are experiencing issues with your plumbing in other areas of your house too and not just with your garden hose.

How to Fix High Water Pressure

If your hose, and other pipes, are constantly exploding you might suspect a problem with high water pressure.

There are other signs that may help you to know if this is the case. You may find that many of your taps are leaking, there are loud sounds in the water pipes, and your toilet is running constantly.

Here are the next steps you can take to fix the problem with your water pressure. You can install a water pressure regulator. If you already have one then it may need replacing if the water pressure is still too high. You can do it by yourself, but if you struggle it’s recommended you call a plumber.

They can also help you to set the water pressure correctly. Water pressure problems can cause serious damage to your plumbing so it’s important to address this if you suspect it is an issue.

The Bottom Line

Leaving your garden hose on for short periods of time should be perfectly fine if your plumbing is intact and the temperatures are not extremely high or low.

When you have problems with high water pressure, your garden hose is corroded or your outdoor faucet and other plumbing is loose or damaged, then leaving your garden hose on will most likely cause water leakages and flooding.