Garden Hose Connectors (How Do I Stop Them Leaking?)

We’ve had to disconnect a leaking hose pipe faucet on the barn at home as it just won’t stop leaking. It’s been going on for ages and became very frustrating. However, we should have tried some of the advice we’ve since discovered for this article.

To stop a hose connector leaking from the faucet, or to fix a leaking connector further down the hose, buy a pack of rubber hose seals from your local hardware store. For small holes in the hose pipe itself, simply use electrical tape.

Let’s dive down into the subject of fixing leaking hose connectors in more detail – because it turns out the solution is actually more simple than I previously thought…

Garden Hose Connectors (How Do I Stop Them Leaking?)

How Do You Stop a Hose Connector Leaking From The Faucet?

Simple! Go to your local hardware store (even some grocery stores) or online and buy a rubber hose seal. Buy a pack of them because they are cheap and soooooo handy.

Rubber hose seals (aka garden hose washers, gaskets, or O-rings) will be round, about an inch wide, and made of rubber. New hoses come with new seals but yours may have disintegrated or just fallen out when you took the hose off for winter.

Turn off the water (trying to avoid that cold water shooting everywhere), unscrew the hose from the faucet and look inside. If you still have a gasket or part of a gasket in there, pop the pieces out with a flat head screwdriver. 

Check whether the old O-ring came out cleanly. If there are any little rubber bits left in the hose, knock them out. Then push the new one inside. Push it down until it’s fitted in securely. Be sure it’s not at an angle in there – you may need that screwdriver’s help. 

But if you use a screwdriver, make sure not to puncture the new gasket. If your gasket is stubbornly refusing to go into the hose, a little dishwashing soap around the edges should do the trick.

Hose seals shouldn’t be able to just fall out. If yours does, then you might need a bigger size.

Some experts recommend using white plumber’s (or Teflon) tape around the threads of the faucet. Put two or three wraps of plumber’s tape around the threads before you screw in the hose with the new gasket. Make sure you wrap in the same direction as you will screw in the hose – clockwise.

Here’s a handy video.

How Do You Fix a Hose Connector From Leaking? (Further Down The Hose?)

If your hose is leaking at a connection further down the hose, for example where two hoses are connected, then turn off the water. Unscrew the hoses and look inside each one. You may have either an old O-ring or a squashed connector.

Check the rubber gasket on the one hose. – the female connection. Pop it out with a flathead screwdriver. Does it look old and rotted? Broken? If so, you may have found the problem. Simply replace it with one of the bunches you have in the garage. 

Make sure there are no little pieces of the old O-ring in the connection (or coupling) by knocking it out. Then, push in the new one with your fingers or the screwdriver. Be careful not to puncture the new rubber gasket with the screwdriver. Then, make sure it’s firmly seated and not at an angle. 

Before you screw the hose with the new gasket in, try wrapping some plumber’s tape around the male connection end. Wrap in a clockwise direction two or three times. Then screw the hoses together, turn on the faucet and check the leak.

If you still have a leak, and if the rubber gasket looks fine, check to see if the metal connector still looks perfectly round. Sometimes hoses accidentally get run over by heavy stuff, like a car. 

If the metal connection looks a little squashed, you don’t have to throw the entire hose away. You can buy a new connector or hose end at your local garden supply, hardware store, or online. 

Before buying, try to identify what size hose you have by measuring the diameter. There are several videos to help you do this, but – most garden hoses are 5/8 inches. Another good tip is to simply cut the squashed connector off, leaving a bit of hose, and take them with you when you go to the hardware store.

Most new connectors consist of a new hose end – the piece with the threads – and a clamp with screws. Simply insert the new hose end into the old, cut hose, then position the clamp and tighten it down with a couple of screws. 

If the new hose end just won’t go into the hose, try some dishwashing soap to help smooth the way.

Here’s a website with photos of the process of replacing a connector.

How Do You Repair a Leak in The Hose Itself?

Small leaks are easily fixed with some electrical tape. 

Wipe down the hose so it’s nice and dry at the leak. Then, take a piece of electrical tape and wrap it several times around the spot leak.

If your leak isn’t a tiny one but more like a big gash, you may have to purchase a hose mender. Your local hardware, garden supply or online store will have several compression fit hose menders (or hose couplings) for sale. 

Locate the gash on the hose and mark it with a waterproof pen. Then, use a utility knife to cut out the gashed portion. Take it to your local hardware store and test fit it. Most hardware stores are more than happy to help you.

Read the instructions or watch a video tutorial first on the mender. Then, turn off the water. Make sure the hose gash area is dry. Cut out the gashed portion using a sharp utility knife. Then install the hose mender. 

If the new hose pieces simply can’t be forced into the hose, try some dishwashing soap along the outside.

Here’s a video with several good tips.

How Do I Fix a Hose Nozzle Leak?

Hose leaks at the nozzle are usually fixed with a new gasket or O-ring inside the nozzle. Or try the plumber’s tape trick.

If you don’t have a stack of new rubber gaskets or any plumber’s tape, you can try another trick before heading to the hardware store. You’ll need a rubber band.

Take a medium thick rubber band and twist it twice or so around the outside of the male hose, below the hose threads. Push the rubber band down all the way and then screw in the nozzle.

Garden hose connectors

Is Garden Hose Leak Repair Tape Any Good?

We checked the reviews on Gorilla Patch and Seal Tape, Nashua Aqua-Seal Tape and 3M Wrap and Repair Silicone Tape. Turns out, they all failed at repairing garden hoses

Gorilla Patch and Seal Tape can be used indoors or outdoors. It can be used on water slides, pipes, cinder blocks, tents, RVs, wood, vinyl, gutters, steel, and rubber. Reviewers gave Gorilla Patch and Seal Tape 4.4 out of 5 stars. Most people loved this tape for a wide variety of things, but NOT for garden hoses. They thought the pressure of the water prevented the seal from sticking.

Nashua Aqua-Seal Tape is recommended for use on tarps, boots, seams, pipes, vinyl siding, glass, and wood. Reviewers gave Nashua Aqua-Seal Tape 4.5 out of 5 stars.

3M Wrap and Repair Silicone Tape is recommended for hoses, electrical, plumbing and tool repair. Because it is silicone, there is no adhesive mess. It is self-fusing, so it creates a water and air-tight seal. Reviewers gave the 3M tape 3.6 out of 5 stars. Most of the poor reviews were from garden hose repairs.

If these three aren’t proof enough, check out this review with a couple repair tape epic fail stories.

Can I Fix a Leak in My Hose With Duct Tape?

My momma told me duct tape can fix – everything!! But – not garden hose

Turns out, if you have a leak in your garden hose, your best, tried and true method is cutting out that section and using a hose mender, as mentioned above.

Final Thoughts

So it turns out that fixing leaking hose connectors and holes in the hosepipe itself is not too difficult – and it certainly no reason to go out and buy a complete new hose.

But remember – if you want to create a lasting fix that seals the leaking connectors for good, then just don’t use duct tape or any of the other hose repair tapes.

Stick to rubber hose seal for connector leaks and electrical tape for small holes in the hose, and your leaks should become a thing of the past. 🙂