Have you ever needed to run a 50 or 100 foot hose temporarily, but wanted a way to make sure that it didn’t get run over by the car, trip a guest or get broken down by the sun. There are many different reasons burying a garden hose might be a good answer but, if this is something you decide to do, there are some things you might want to take into consideration first.
Can you bury a garden hose? You can bury a garden hose in almost any type of soil and there are many good reasons to do so. There are many factors that you should look at before deciding on this option including distance, soil type, temperature, and purpose.
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Tips for Burying a Garden Hose
If you have decided to bury your garden hose, here are some tips to keep in mind before you get your project started.
1. Avoid underground connections.
When at all possible, you want to avoid underground connections. This means that if you need to run the hose 40′ underground, you want to buy a single 50′ hose.
Trying to connect two hoses together works fine above the ground. It’s more practical and shorter hoses are easier to manage and store when not in use.
The same is not true, however, when you want to bury the hose underground.
Hose connections are usually metal of some type. That means that they can corrode and rust, especially when constantly exposed to damp soil.
Then there is the fact that every time you have a connection point, you have a potential point of failure. Nothing is worse than realizing your underground hose has sprung a leak only to dig it up and find that the connection has come loose.
Buying the length of hose you need will help avoid problems in the future. And, if you must connect two hoses, your best bet is to bring them together above ground, making it much easier to troubleshoot connection issues should they arise.
2. Be sure you get the right length.
Following up on our first tip, you want to be sure you get a hose that is the right length to do the job.
Nothing is worse than digging a trench for your hose only to find out that your hose is too short.
Take the time to measure your project and be sure and get the right size hose to match the job. When in doubt, get the next size up.
3. Quality counts
As with almost anything in life, quality counts. Hoses are no exception. When you can, going with a thicker walled hose will only be beneficial in the future. This is especially true if you plan on burying it.
You have to remember that even though you will dig a trench of some depth for the hose to lay in, dirt has weight to it. The deeper your trench, the more weight the hose is going to have on it when you backfill.
A cheap hose will easily collapse potentially leaving you with reduced pressure, or worse, no water. A thick walled hose is going to have better insulation for the cold as well as be better able to keep its shape when buried.
4. Connections and Functionality
Consider how you are going to utilize your hose. When I got my ranch, we went out and bought a 100′ hose to run from the house to the portable horse corrals. We knew we wanted to put fencing and permanent pastures in place but, in the mean time a buried hose made sense.
Except, you know what isn’t fun, having to run back to the house to turn off the water as it is overflowing. Nozzles can work but, the pressure builds up in the hose and, over time, nozzles leak or break.
The easiest solution is to consider what you want to use the hose for and, when feasible install a water shutoff at the end point as well. In our case, we fashioned a spigot at the other end and then used a cheap 25′ hose above ground to fill each of the water troughs.
Now, that example may not apply to your situation, but it is something to consider.
5. Does it make more sense to lay pipe.
Burying a hose is an easy option but that doesn’t mean it is the right option. PVC pipe is another readily available and economical solution for getting water from point A to point B.
Sure, it’s a little more hassle to have to make joints, and you really should dig below the frost line if you are going PVC, but as a long term water solution it is far superior to burying a garden hose.
Burying a garden hose is best left for situations where your need for water at a location is mostly temporary or, when you know you are going to do a much bigger, more permanent water project at a later date.
Reasons for Burying a Garden Hose
Sometimes you need to get water from point a to point b and running a permanent water line just isn’t feasible, economical or warranted. Here are seven common reasons you might want to bury a water hose instead of running pipe.
1. You don’t want the hose to get ruined.
Hoses can be ruined by a lot of different things but the two most common are being run over by a vehicle and exposure to the hot sun. If you need to leave a hose out for more than a week or two, burying the hose will help to protect it from damage.
2. You are worried about people tripping on the hose.
A hose strung across a property is an accident waiting to happen. Even on flat land with no brush a wrong step and the hose can pick up on the toe of your boot and trip you up.
If you add in grass, brush or shrubbery, the likelihood that you will forget where the hose runs increases. Whether it is an adult who wasn’t paying attention or kids running through the field, nobody likes falling. Burying the hose is one way of keeping it out of the way.
3. Your need for water is only temporary.
Sometimes you need water in a location but only temporary. Maybe you have a temporary corral setup for a horse or perhaps you have friends in town with their RV wanting to hook up for just a couple of weeks.
When the need for water is only temporary, burying a water hose makes more sense than laying pipe down. Once the need for water source is over, the hose can easily be dug up and put away for later use.
4. Protect the hose from animals
Whether you have dogs, chickens or just adventurous wildlife like crows, ravens and squirrels, animals are drawn to water. It’s like they have a sixth sense whenever water is arround.
If your hose happens to be an easily accessible source of water, it wouldn’t be far fetched for them to poke or chew at it to get to the water.
While burying a hose won’t protect it from all critters, it will at least keep the hose safe from the land and air dwelling ones.
5. You can mow over it.
Burying a hose means that you can mow over it. If you need to run your hose across something as small as a yard or as big as a pasture, you’ll still be able to run your mower and keep things looking tidy.
Even burying the hose just 3 – 6 inches will usually be enough to keep it safe from most mowers and weed eaters. Of course, I wouldn’t go running your tractor disc without being sure you went much deeper.
6. Help keep your hose from freezing.
Burying the hose can help to prevent it from freezing. The deeper you bury it, the less likely things are to freeze up on you.
Of course, the only sure fire way to keep any water source from freezing is to make sure the parts underground are well below the frost line while also ensuring any parts above ground are thoroughly insulated.
You absolutely can bury a hose and there are some situations where it makes perfect sense to do so. The length and quality of the hose are very important in order to reduce headaches down the road. All things considered, burying a hose works great as a short-term, temporary solution for getting water from point A to point B.