Garden hose couplers – there has to be a better way

A continuing frustration is garden hose maintenance.

We use reinforced hose that comprises essentially three layers, an inner plastic layer, a braided fibre reinforcing layer and another layer of plastic. Though these layers are bonded in new hose, there is potential for them to separate in service resulting in the reinforcing braid pulling back into the hose length and allowing the hose to expand in diameter at that point (lacking the benefit of the reinforcement). At this point failure of the hose by bursting is inevitable, sooner rather than later.

Some hoses are supplied fitted with factory crimped ferrules, and experience is that they have lasted well except that the fittings are plastic and break if subjected to rough treatment.

User serviceable screw collets fail, either through failure of the collets, or just the outcome of the screw collar loosening and resultant pull-back of the reinforcing braid.

What is needed is a tough and durable coupler with an easily applied ‘permanent' clamp.

I have conducted a trial of brass fittings modified to remove the screw collar and nylon collet, then used with a stainless steel stepless one ear clamp.

Above at left is the unmodified coupler, and at right the coupler with the collet and screw collar discarded, thread turned off the coupler, and a one ear clamp for installation.

The one ear clamps have a small diameter adjustment range (the inside dimension of the ear divided by π, so different clamps may be need for thicker walled hose and of course 18mm fittings require a larger clamp).

The clamp can be closed with a simple special tool that is much like a pair of end-cutters or carpenter's pincers, and either of those may substitute effectively (provided the acute edge is very close to the end of the tool).

Above is the coupler installed on a length of hose. The clamp in this case is a nominal 19.8mm clamp to suit the hose wall thickness. The common 17.5mm size (1/2″ PEX) suits thinner wall hose.

A trial through two winters has shown the terminations to be tough and reliable in retaining all layers of the hose clamped securely.

The brass couplers were purchased on eBay, $55 for 12 delivered, and clamps from Aliexpress $7 for 20.