How To Repair a Soaker Hose

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I know this sounds like an odd topic because soaker hoses are suppose to have holes, right? The whole point of a soaker hose is to leak water. Well, there are moments when a large hole can develop in a soaker hose, and create something that looks more like Old Faithful in your garden.

This happened to me recently as I peered out into the garden one day and saw water shooting up about 3 feet in the air. The bad thing about the situation was that I had just finished laying down the soaker hoses just a couple days prior. I guess that is what I get for buying the cheaper hoses.

The good news is that it is not very difficult to repair a hole in a hose – including soaker hoses. All you need is a sharp pair of scissors, or knife, a Phillips head screwdriver, and a hose repair splicer. The hose repair splicer is just a small barbed pipe that will fit inside the hose and two connectors on each end that costs a whopping $1.67 from Lowe’s. Make sure you get the correct size splicer to fit your hose. There are 1/2-inch, 5/8-inch and 3/4-inch soaker hoses.

Soaker Hose Connectors

The first thing you need to do is to cut the hose at the point of the hole with the scissors or sharp knife – be careful with the knife. We don’t want any missing digits or blood.

Cut Soaker Hose at the Hole

It can get tough to reach the area as good as you would like, especially if your garden is crowded like mine. Be sure of where you are stepping or kneeling, you do not want to damage any plants.

Once the hose has been cut, you now need to splice it using the hose splicer. Loosen the screws in one of the connectors, and remove it. This should reveal one side of the barbed insertion pipe. The barbing on the pipe is there to help hold the connector in place.

Remove One End of Connector To Expose Nipple

Now push the exposed barbed pipe into one end of the hose. This may take a little force. Try twisting the connector some while pushing. Make sure the hose slides on the way up the pipe until it touches the divider in the middle.

Slide Connector Nipple Into One End of Soaker Hose

You can now put the connector on the hose on this side. Do not tighten it up just yet – just snug the screws up enough to hold the connector in place. Make sure the connector halves line up and seat properly.

Loosen the screws on the other connector, and remove it from the splicer. I left it on before because it gives you something to grab when pushing the first side on.

Tighten Connector To Soaker Hose and Remove Connector On Opposite End

Now insert the barbed pipe into the hose as you did for the other side – twisting and pushing at the same time. Remember to push the hose all the way up the pipe until it touches the divider in the middle.

Tighten the Second Connector To Soaker Hose

Now the connector for this side can be put in place. Make sure the connector halves line up and seat properly. I put the screws facing the same direction on both sides to make it easier when tightening.

Tighten both screws on each connectors. Do not tighten one screw all the way down. Tighten a screw just a little, then tighten the adjacent screw a little. Keep working back and forth until both connectors are as tight as you can get them. Doing this ensures the connectors are tightened evenly. The sides of the two connector halves should be touching, or very close to touching by now.

Make Sure Both Connectors Are Tight

It is time to turn on the water and see how well your repaired hose is working. That is it! Your soaker hose is now back up and running with no leaks. Well, no geyser-like leaks anyway.

Repaired Soaker Hose

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Comments

  1. Hi,
    http://www.veggiegardener.com – da best. Keep it going!
    Elcoj

  2. Dee Mills says:

    Very helpful.

    I’m curious about using soaker hoses generally. How often and how long do you run water through your soakers?

    • Hi Dee – Typically I use soaker hoses whenever my plants need water which is about 3 times a week depending on how much rain I’ve received. During the hot, dry summer days I may run it every day for about 2 hours or so. Soaker hoses barley drip water so it can take them a while to get a good soak. Soaker hoses or a drip irrigation system are the best methods for watering vegetable plants in my opinion. They deliver water where they are needed most – at the roots. They help save time, water costs and help to prevent some diseases like blights and powdery mildew.

      One tip when using soaker hoses – Turn the water on just enough to create a steady but small drip from the hoses. Turning the water pressure up full blast can creates more bursts and holes in the hose. Also, it is well worth the money to buy top quality soaker hoses, as the cheapies can rupture a lot faster. The soaker hose featured in this article was a cheapie and I ended up repairing five times before I eventually bought a better quality hose.

      I hope this answers your questions! Thank you for stopping by and asking about soaker hoses!

      Tee

  3. Thanks for this! I just got a hole in my first soaker hose in a long line of 4, and I REALLY didn’t want to have to dig it up! The duct tape fix did not work at all, so I’m going to have to give this a try. Otherwise, garden 1 ends up a giant puddle and the rest get no water!
    .-= Jennah´s last blog ..Why I need to move my spirea… =-.

    • Hi Jennah,

      This is a handy, easy trick for plugging those aggravating soaker hose holes. One tip if you aren’t already doing it – avoid turning the spigot on all the way. The heavy pressure will cause holes to pop much easier. Just turn the water on enough for a trickle to come out of the hose.

      I’m using a new style hose this year (well, new to me) so I’m anxious to see if it works, and lasts, better.

      Thanks for your comment and have a great day!

      Tee

  4. thanks for this i have had a garden (my first after moveing out) and just yesterday went out to check on it and i gess my nabor though it a good idea to give me a hand and turn up the water :( well thats how i found your page and will be reading more of what you have to say thanks a lot for this i never knew that you could use those to fix soaker hose thanks.

  5. Wow! Thank you. What an easy fix. I never know such things existed.

  6. This technique does not work on older soaker hoses. Older hoses become brittle and when you insert the barbed pipe the hose tends to split.

    • Hi Gene – thanks for sharing your experience. Unfortunately, the rubber style soaker hoses don’t last more than one or two seasons. You are correct. Once the rubber hose has been out in the sun and weather for a season are two they are pretty much useless.

      That’s why I switched to using flat soaker hoses in my garden that are made from a nylon-type material. They seem to last much longer and do not spring leaks like the round rubber hoses.

  7. Hmmm. I bought $110 worth of those flat soaker hoses and already sprung 2 leaks. How do you suggest fixing those?
    In the interim I bought some cheap rubber ones where i intend to poke fine holes into. I’m anxious to see how they work. Hey you gotta live and learn. lol

    • Hi Luke – Sorry to hear about your soaker hose issues. What brand of flat soaker hoses are you using? I have used the Gilmour flat soakers for a few years and have never had a problem with leaks.

      Unfortunately, it is difficult to repair a flat soaker hose like I mentioned in this article. You might be able to use a 1/2″ hose repair kit, but it doesn’t fit the inside of the flat soaker hose that well. You may have to try the repair kit that includes a plastic sleeve that fits inside the hose and has two metal hose clamps on each end. That may work better than what I used here.

      • …Well, like I said I bought some cheap rubber hoses from WallM, for 7.98 a piece, 50 feet ea. I bot some clothes needles (w/a ball top, so you don’t hurt your finger when poking holes) too. I laid the hoses out and started poking holes in them (after connecting them.) I recommend laying them out 1st like that you can poke holes on the side of the direction where you want your water to go. I poked a hole every 4-5 fingers (width). They work like a dream.
        Depending on what you are irrigating, you can poke holes in a certain pattern e.g. straight line every 1-5 in. or staggered (like zig zag), or any pattern that will meet your needs.
        Now before you throw away your soaker hoses keep the Screw-on Caps at the end of the soaker hose to put on your home made Rubber soaker hose. Good luck.

  8. Thank you so very much for I was able to repair my soaker hose in a jiffy!
    You made my Day! I didn’t know the handyman cut it in half until the plants were limp and found a spout of water. You also saved me money. I had bought several half inch repair kits by accident that I had never used and they fit.

  9. Fran Leppek says:

    I’m not sure what website above means. I have read all the comments and do not see the answer to my problem which is: I have three hoses hooked up (two old ones and one new). The water is hardly coming out of the old hoses – only the new one seems to work. I have very hard water, could the old hoses be pluugged up by the hard water after a year of use and how can I fix the problem? Any suggestion you can give me is appreciated. fleppek@comast.net

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