Richard L. Parish | 11/19/2004 10:56:22 PM
Do you get tired of screwing garden hoses onto spigots and then screwing nozzles or sprinklers onto the other end of the hose?
Some of the hose quick connectors now available can make the job much easier (Figure 1). These quick connectors come in pairs. One is threaded onto each end of your hose. Matching connectors are then threaded onto your spigot(s) and each nozzle, sprinkler or other hose-end attachment. Then, all you have to do to make a connection is to push one component into the other until it snaps.
Releasing the connectors is almost as easy. You just pull back the collar or push two buttons on the female portion and the male portion is released (Figure 2).
Hose quick connectors are available in either brass or plastic. Obviously, the brass connectors are stronger and will last longer. They also cost considerably more. If you use plastic connectors, plan to replace them every year or two since they will deteriorate in sunlight and then break.
Hose connectors are available in four orientations: male hose to male quick connector, male hose to female quick connector, female hose to female quick connector, and female hose to male quick connector. Decide on one type, and use it consistently. In other words, if you want a female hose to male quick connector on your spigot, you will need your other component to be male hose to female quick connector. Be alert when purchasing components! You may find them mixed up in a bin at your local home or garden center.
Flow Shut Off
Some models of hose quick connector have a valve inside one end that closes off flow when the components are disconnected. This can be handy or it can be an annoyance, depending on how you plan to use the hose. It's easy to tell the difference when purchasing components; just hold the connector up to the light. If you can see through it, there is no shut off.
Some brands of plastic connectors are somewhat interchangeable, although the connectors work more smoothly if you stick with one brand.
Bottons or Collars
Brass connectors and some plastic connectors use a sliding collar to release the connection. The collar type is much easier to operate than the type that uses two buttons for release (Figure 3).
You will probably need to replace the hose washers in the female hose end and the O-rings on the male quick connector ends about once a year. If you don’t do this, the rubber will get hard and cracked, and the connectors will leak. Repair kits are available where you buy the connectors, or you can just buy hose washers and O-rings in bulk.
Pros and Cons
Convenience and speed are the major advantages. These connectors really are handy and save you time and effort. The major disadvantage is flow restriction. The connectors have an inside diameter of only about 3/8 inch. This causes a significant flow restriction when used on the typical 5/8-inch garden hose.