How to Hook up a Hose Reel in 4 Quick Steps

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A hose reel provides a secure place to store your garden hose and keep your yard tidy.

So if you just bought one, you’ve made a wise decision.

The next thing that you should figure out is how to hook up a hose reel.

It is essential to get this part right because good-quality hoses do not come cheap.

You wouldn’t want your investment to go to waste because of improper installation or use.

The good news is that the process is actually quite simple.

However, before we go any further, let us first discuss a few hose reel essentials.

The Basics of a Hose Reel

A hose reel is a mechanism that allows you to store your garden hose safely in between uses.

It features a spindle design and uses fiberglass, plastic, or metal as a material.

You can connect your hose to the reel and coil it neatly around the spindle.

This way, your hose is safe from kinking, abrasions, or the elements.

Some hose reels are spring-driven, and the spindle retracts on its own.

Others have a hand crank you can manually turn if you need to put your hose away.

The third type of hose reel comes with a motor that winds up the hose for you with a push of a button.

It is a bit more expensive than the other models, but it’s a good buy if you have a very long hose.

A motorized hose reel would also come in handy if you have physical limitations and have trouble managing a long hose.

The Benefits of Using a Hose Reel

A hose reel can make your life easier in many ways as you try to manage your yard.

We have already discussed how it can protect your hose, but this is just for starters.

By helping you keep your yard neat and organized, you also make it safer.

There are no trip hazards to worry about since your hose reel tucks away your hose for safety.

Another reason you should invest in a hose reel is that it makes watering your yard or garden a breeze.

A long hose can get heavy, and it could be hard to drag around your yard.

With this mechanism, you do not have to go through so much trouble as it can do most of the heavy lifting.

tips on how to hook up a hose reel

How to Hook Up a Hose Reel

Now that we have taken care of the basics, it’s time to talk about our primary order of business.

Here’s how to hook up a hose reel in 4 easy steps:

1. Prepare the New Hose.

The first thing that you need to do is to make sure that your new hose is ready for winding.

To do this, lay it down on the ground in a straight line.

Make sure there are no bends or kinks and leave it like this for about 20 to 30 minutes.

Doing this makes the hose more flexible once you start coiling it into the reel.

2. Attach the Fittings.

Some hoses come with the appropriate fitting at both ends.

If yours does not, you need to attach new ones to connect your hose to the hose reel.

3. Connect Your Hose.

Once everything is ready, guide one end of the hose through the opening in the hose reel drum.

Next, attach the fitting to the matching connector inside the hose reel.

Most models use a snap-on mechanism or a coupling, so this part should be pretty straightforward.

Make sure that the connection is secure by pulling on the hose.

If it does not come loose, then you are good to go.

4. Wind the Hose.

At this point, you are ready to wind the hose into the hose reel.

Do it slowly and make sure that there are no kinks or bends.

Otherwise, your hose would have weak spots that could break or crack over time.

As you coil the hose, try to do it in layers.

Doing so makes it easier to unwind when the time comes that you need to use it.

Finally, coil the hose evenly.

Use the hand crank if your hose reel comes with one.

If you have a manual hose reel, you must ensure that the hose remains snug against the drum throughout the process.

For motorized models, you can let the electric motor do its job but see to it that the hose winds evenly.

How to Connect to the Tap

Before connecting your hose reel to the tap, check that it is not too far away.

You can do this by measuring how long the feeder hose or connector hose is.

Also, if you want to install your hose reel to an external wall, make sure that you won’t hit any water pipe.

On this note, you should not position your hose reel right above the tap.

Another thing that you need to prepare is the connector fittings.

Most hose reels have a connector that you can use to hook them to the garden tap.

However, you must check that the garden tap has the corresponding fitting.

If it does not, you need to install one so there will be no leaks once you start using your hose.

There are many options to choose from, and you can take your pick from branded and universal models.

Once everything is ready, you can connect your hose reel to the tap.

Things to Consider When Buying a Hose Reel

If you are still shopping around for a hose reel, you have your work cut out for you.

There are many available brands and models for you to choose from, and picking just one can be challenging.

Here are a few things you should consider to make your decision-making process more manageable.


Hose reels come in different shapes and sizes.

Naturally, some are easier to use than others.

So when choosing a hose reel, look for something lightweight and easy to put together.

Some models come fully assembled and ready to use, so this is something that you might want to consider.


Another big decision you must make when buying a hose reel is what mechanism to choose.

With the hand crank, you would need to put in some elbow grease.

However, it is the cheapest among the three styles.

The self-retracting model is easier to operate but a bit more expensive.

That said, it offers the perfect balance between cost and ease of use.

Motorized hose reels offer the highest level of convenience but come with the heftiest price tags.


While your main objective is to find a functional hose reel, it wouldn’t hurt to give thought to its appearance too.

Your choice would depend mostly on your personal preference.

That said, you might also want a hose reel that matches the style of your house, yard, or garden.

Surprisingly, color is something that you would not want to disregard.

A dark grey or green hose reel will blend in nicely, but one with bright colors would be easier to spot.

Gardening Made Easier

If you are like most people, gardening is a labor of love for you.

That said, you should focus more on the love part, not the labor part.

Getting a hose reel is a big step in this direction.

As long as you hook it up correctly, it will make your life in the yard much more manageable.

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