Garden Hose Fittings Explained

In this guide, you’ll find all the different types of garden hose fittings that are specially designed for garden hoses. There are many other fittings designed for hoses for car radiators, chemical laboratories and so on.

We will be taking a look at the different materials and different pros and cons of each type of material. Each fitting serves a different purpose but the general idea is to help you save water, or expand the length of your garden hose.

Learning about the different kinds of hose fittings will help you a lot in the long run. If you break you hose you can repair it by simply buying a few hose fittings for a few dollars, rather than replacing the entire hose. The main objective here is to help you learn which hose fittings to use and which to avoid.

Knowing the different types of garden hose fittings will give you a sense of what type may be appropriate for your use around the home. This article can serve as a starting point from which you can find additional information on a type of hose fitting that you may be interested in.

Brass Hose Fittings

Solid brass hose fittings are among the most popular because they are designed to last. These style of fittings are heavier because they are made of solid brass and they are also more expensive. You will find that all brass fittings come in either male or female adapters.

The solid brass fittings don’t work well with the expandable hoses because they are meant for larger rubber hoses.

A male adapter has the threading on the outside of the hose fitting. A female adapter has the threading on the inside of the hose fittings. You will need a variety of both female and male adapters when repairing or extending your garden hose.

Brass hose fittings can be found at any hardware store or amazon and are all pretty reasonable in price. Although they are the most expensive style of hose fitting, solid brass is considered very safe to run your water though.

You want to pay special attention to the material of the hose fitting because you will be running your water through it. If it contains toxic materials then it’s not very good to us.

Plastic Hose Fittings

Similar to the brass hose fittings plastic hose fittings serve the same purpose and it is not much different. They are less expensive and will not last as long as solid brass.

The plastic is very heavy dirty and designed to withstand very high water pressure and they are perfect for everyday home use.

If you have solid brass hose fittings you can use the plastic connectors to replace the brass and they will serve the same purpose.

Many people don’t like them as much because the plastic can leach toxins into the water especially if it’s an unknown type of plastic.

Nylon and Polymer Hose Fittings

Nylon and polymer hose fittings are a little more expensive than plastic but cheaper than solid brass. They are a bit more durable than plastic hose fittings and less durable than brass.

These polymer materials are considered by many to be the healthier choice, as opposed to plastic which can be very unhealthy. The polymer hose fittings are custom made and fit perfectly and the plastic are done less so.

The other great thing about the nylon fittings is that they are very inexpensive and very lightweight and solid. They are more expensive than plastic but are designed to last for years.

So there’s no need to find new ones simply purchase several and use them when you need to and save money over the solid brass fittings.

Knowing How Tight to Attach Hose Fittings

When you attach your hose fittings you need to learn how tight to screw them and what the difference in the materials are. This skill will come in very handy for many home projects and gardening as well. So, how tight do you attach your hose fittings to prevent water flow from being obstructed?

The basic rule when attaching a hose clamp is to not have water drip from the hose when the clamp is attached. If you can make this happen without reducing the water flow pressure then you’re good.For the screw clamps, a simply flat head screwdriver will work best. You simply put the clamp on the hose and screw it until it’s tight enough.

What’s the difference in all of these clams you may be wondering? Well, let’s take a look at each clamp and see what makes them so unique. Some have their pros and others have their cons. Learning what each of these are will save you a ton of time and money.

Screw Clamps

Basically screw camps are stainless steel bands that have a threaded screw on the top. You can wrap the screw clamp around your hose and then screw it on tightly to another piece of hose or a host fitting allowing it not to move.

The band tightens around the piece making it impossible to move. The good thing about the stainless steel screw clamps is that they are very cheap and do the job. You need only a screwdriver and you can fix most hose issues with only a couple of screw clamps.

Spring Clamps

These clamps are bit different than the others because they are spring loaded and use spring steel. There are a total if 2 springs you need to tighten by hand or preferably with a pliers.

The two pieces that stick out when they are tightened the center spring will tighten. The two pieces will combine to tighten the center and then your good to go.

These are very similar to the screw clamps but you don’t need a screwdriver and they may last a bit longer. These are my personal favorites and I like them because they use high-quality spring steel.

When you attach your spring clamp to your metal garden hose, you need to be careful that you don’t expand the spring too much.

This is my biggest problem and can end up breaking the spring. Or you can tighten it too much and water won’t be able to flow as well through your hose.

Just make sure to double check the water flow and you should be fine.

The spring loaded tighter are designed for High PSI hoses and are generally not used for garden hoses unless you want a super high water pressure.

Wire Clamps

Wire clamps are bit different than screw clamps because they have a thick wire rather than a steel clip.

The U-shape of the wire at tools you to screw on a good nut and make this fitting waterproof. The wire clamps are far less prone to leaking and I also use these.

The cons of these is that they can be difficult to tighten properly and the water pressure may be reduced if you mess up.