How to Roll Up a Garden Hose on a Hose Reel?

Simply coiling up your hose and leaving it outdoors, exposed to the elements, can shorten the life of your hose. Instead, you should keep your hose neatly rolled on a reel. This way, you can protect the hose from mud, dirt, and stains. Using the right type of hose reel can also make the task of uncoiling and rolling up the hose more convenient.

Watering your garden is a lot of fun. However, for some people, rolling up the garden hose after using it, is not – especially if you’re using a long and winding hose.

A hose reel can help facilitate the task of rolling and tidying up a garden hose after use. It can likewise help prevent twisting and knotting, in the process prolonging its useful life.

Read on to learn how to properly roll up a hose on a reel to finally get rid of the problem of kinking, so you can always enjoy a kink and tangle-free watering experience. We’ll share the tools you’ll need, a step-by-step guide on winding a hose on reel, as well as some useful tips.

How to Roll Up a Garden Hose on a Manual Hose Reel:

How to Roll Up a Garden Hose on a Manual Hose Reel: Step-by-Step Guide

Following is an easy guide on the right way to manually roll up a hose on a reel, as well as the things you’ll need.

What You’ll Need:

  • Manual hose reel
  • Garden hose
  • Garden hose attachments
  • Rubber washer
  • Screwdriver or pliers

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Here are the easy steps to follow:


Step 1 - Prepare the hose reel.

If you’re using a new hose reel, unpack and follow installation instructions to prepare it for use. If you’re using an existing hose reel, just make sure it’s empty and ready to accommodate your garden hose.


Step 2 - Prepare the hose for rolling.

If the first step does not do the trick, turn off the water supply. Turn off the valve located in your basement or crawl space.  Drain the remaining water from the faucet by opening its handle.


Step 3 - Feed and connect the hose.

Feed the female end connector of the hose through the reel's guide opening, and screw it onto the drum's water coupling connection. Tighten the fitting with pliers to ensure a leak-free connection, but don't over-tighten or you may strip out the threads or break any plastic components.


Before connecting the hose coupling, insert a rubber washer into the bottom. Rubber washers outperform vinyl washers and help prevent annoying leaks inside your hose reel.


Step 4 - Wind the hose.

Begin winding the hose onto the reel's drum. As you wind, take your time and coil the hose evenly back and forth across the drum. Maintain a tight grip on the hose as it turns to avoid gaps that could snag or take up too much space on the drum.


Ask someone to lightly hold the hose as it feeds through the guide. This method allows you to focus on the hose as it winds up and keep it snug on the drum.


Step 5 - Connect the feeder hose.

Connect the reel's short feeder hose to the nearest water source. If your reel includes a drainage hose, make sure that it always empties in a safe location.

Here’s a video you may find useful in manually rolling up a hose.

How to Roll Up a Garden Hose In a Retractable Reel or an Automatic Reel:

How to Roll Up a Garden Hose In a Retractable Reel or an Automatic Reel

An automatic hose reel is more convenient and easier to use than its manual counterpart. Both spring-driven and motor-driven reels are significantly more practical and simple to use.

Although they still require some basic procedures, they can be operated with minimal effort. To achieve a clean roll every time, just follow these steps.


Step 1 - Prepare the hose for rolling.

Even if you’re using an automatic reel, you still need to make sure to get rid of all kinks and twists before rolling up. So, the first step is to straighten up the hose.


Step 2 - Untangle.

Get rid of all kinks and twists. This will help the machine run smoothly and avoid coils in the rolling up process. Make sure there are no tangles as the hose coils on the drum. Use your hand as guide, if necessary.


Step 3 - Rolling up the hose.

Whether you’re reel is spring- or motor-driven, the next step is to start rolling up the hose. However, the procedure will vary, depending on your automatic hose reel model.

a) When using a spring-driven reel.

Release the reel’s locking drive. A slight tug in the hose will disengage the locking drive on spring-driven hose reels. The drum turns as the hose naturally recoils after the pull releases the spring tension created by drawing the hose out of the reel.

b) When using a motor-driven reel.

Turn the machine on. This is done by pressing the power button, instead of pulling it.  Your task is merely to direct the hose as it continues to reel.


Step 4 - Watch the machine reel the hose.

Watch the machine as it reels the hose in, just to make sure that the hose is coiled properly. This way, you can easily stop the machine in case something goes wrong.

Tips When Manually Rolling Up a Hose on a Reel

Follow these tips when using a manual reel:

  • Make sure that the hose is straight and without tangles before rolling up.
  • Use both hands when manually rolling up a hose. Wind the hose with one hand, then use the other to guide the winding process.
  • Always start rolling from the extreme left or right side of the drum to create a suitable base layer.

Tips When Getting Your Retractable / Automatic Hose to Retract

Here are some tips to help your automatic or retractable reel in coiling the hose.

  • Make sure that the tap is turned off before starting to retract.
  • Walk the garden hose back slowly.
  • To help the reel retract, tug on the hose.
  • Pull the hose gun lever to let water pressure out.

Final Verdict

Whether using a manual or a retractable/automatic hose reel, it will help prevent kinking and tangling, and prolong the useful life of your garden hose. Regardless of the type of hose reel you’re using, the first step is always to straighten the hose and remove the tangles in preparation for reeling.

Follow the steps and tips we provided here to ensure a kink-free, convenient, and enjoyable use of your garden hose.

You may leave comments and feedback, or share your own tips below.

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