The 7 Best Flat Water Hoses
This wiki has been updated 18 times since it was first published in April of 2016. Whether you're looking for an unobtrusive irrigation solution or need something tough to handle industrial-grade applications, take a look at these flat hoses. Available in materials much lighter than rubber, there are models in our selection perfect for everything from watering gardens and washing your car to hooking up an RV's plumbing system. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki. Skip to the best flat water hose on Amazon.
A Brief History Of Water Hoses
It had to be fully dried after each use, and then rubbed down with oil to prevent cracking.
It's amazing to think that water hoses are relatively new inventions. Prior to their creation, if you wanted to easily water your lawn, you'd have to move your entire house closer to a waterfall.
The first hose was actually a fire hose made in Holland in 1673. It was a sturdy thing, too — made of 50-foot sections of leather either stitched together or attached with brass screw threads, it was heavy enough that you could practically beat a fire to death with it.
While it was undoubtedly more effective than the bucket method, this hose wasn't without its faults. It tended to leak or even burst under pressure, and the leather was prone to drying out over time.
Once a couple of Philadelphia firemen replaced the stitching with metal rivets in 1807, the effectiveness of these hoses improved greatly. This allowed for increased water pressure and fewer leaks.
At least one problem lingered, however: these hoses were heavier than sin. Each length weighed nearly 90 pounds before water was pumped through it, and it was extremely stiff. This made it hard for firemen to manipulate, not to mention for the horses pulling the fire engines.
This leather hose also required a ton of maintenance. It had to be fully dried after each use, and then rubbed down with oil to prevent cracking. Rubber versions began cropping up in the 1820s, but these weren't much better, as the material was far from perfected.
Once Charles Goodyear developed his vulcanization process in 1839, though, rubber became much more viable. It made the hoses stronger, lighter, and easier to manage, and by the end of the century, most fire departments had switched to rubber hoses exclusively.
Modern fire hoses come with polyester jackets treated to prevent mold and mildew, not to mention abrasion. That technology has extended to garden hoses as well, which come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. It's easier than ever to get water exactly where you need it, in exactly the right quantity.
Benefits Of A Flat Water Hose
If all you've ever had was a traditional hose, you may not know what you're missing with flat models.
Their primary advantage is how easy they are to transport and store. They take up a lot less space than regular hose, and can be rolled up into much more compact shapes. They're extremely lightweight, so if you have to carry a tremendous length of flat hose, it won't break your back like a round hose might.
Flat hoses, on the other hand, are unlikely to kink or get caught in a crevice, so you can easily drag them to where they need to be.
This makes them incredibly flexible, as well. If you've ever tried to pull a long length of round hose through your garden, only to get snagged on every rock or root along the way, then you know how difficult it can be to water a large area with a hose. Flat hoses, on the other hand, are unlikely to kink or get caught in a crevice, so you can easily drag them to where they need to be.
Since they're usually made of PVC, instead of rubber, they're also more durable than traditional hoses. They're not prone to oxidizing either, so if you don't store them right away (and who does that?), you won't pay the price later on.
This all makes them fantastic for irrigation and construction purposes, not just basic gardening. They're often used to fill up pools and clean out pumps, and can even be utilized to clean up food waste. Likewise, many RVs use them to pump out waste from the septic system.
Switching to a flat hose could potentially make your life a lot easier, especially if you've been having trouble with round models. Flat options can save you a ton of time and stress, and you may just find you don't ever want to go back to the old models.
How To Set Up The Perfect Lawn Irrigation System
If you're the type who likes to show off your perfect lawn and garden to the neighbors, then it's essential that you have a proper irrigation system established.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you establish complete coverage. Make sure that every single green part of your yard is getting sufficient water; if there's an area that's getting cheated, check your spray nozzles and patterns, or leave the hose there a little longer next time.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that you establish complete coverage.
Take care to divide your backyard into lawn and garden, as well. Grass takes much less water than trees or most plants, so if you water everything equally, you'll either be wasting water and over-watering the grass, or neglecting your trees and plants. Divide the two areas into separate zones, and water them individually. A smart sprinkler system can be tremendously helpful for this.
You don't have to water everything with the same method, either. While a basic sprinkler system might be enough to keep your grass green, you might be better off using your flat hose to water the trees. Similarly, hanging plants might benefit from a drip system. Make sure you're using the right tool for the job.
Once you get your system set up to your liking, check and make sure it's running at the proper times. You don't want it going off in the middle of the day, as most of your precious water will simply evaporate instead of getting soaked up by your plants. Aim for the early morning, as this allows the water time to soak in, while also minimizing the risk of your lawn freezing or getting some sort of fungal infection.
This all may seem like a lot of work, but it'll be worth it once you see how lush and green your backyard can become — or how green with jealousy your neighbors' faces will get.
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