Frozen Hose?  Never Again

The recipe for ice is a simple one.  But it took me a while to remember there are TWO factors in play.  Yes, you need COLD but you also need WATER.  The reason I point this out is that I’d been fighting frozen hoses for years.   I had all sorts of cool spools with crank handles to gather up the garden hose.  Then I finally figured out that hoses stored on spools like this freeze up regularly.

Garden hose-pipe

If you take AWAY one element – WATER – you can’t make ice.  Once it occurred to me, water in these spools fills up the entire bottom half of the reel, I started gathering the hose correctly.  You’re probably already doing this but for those who aren’t, here you go.   You’ll NEVER have a hose freeze up again.  I don’t care if you’re on the south pole.

Make sure BOTH ends are loose.  Nothing connected to the house or even to a hose nozzle.  When you lay one end down like this and start to just coil it flat on the ground, the gravity in play as you stand above where you’re coiling the hose takes care of everything.  You’ll see some water coming out of this loose end of the hose and some making a trail as you pull up the hose you are coiling up one coil at a time.  All of that water left behind will not be stored INSIDE the hose where it can make ice.

Loose end

Without water, you have NO ICE.  I also like to use high quality rubber garden hoses.  The ones that are low quality rubber or plastic don’t lay flat meaning they too can gather water.

Stored here

Look where this hose was stored before I started my project today.  Again, NO ICE.  If you let the water drain out of the loose ends and gather the hose somewhere flat, you’re golden.

Have you ever had to fight one of these?  Look close.  This thing is frozen solid because it was stored poorly.

Ice in the hose
Hoses flat with NO ice

You can see the light gray, lower-quality hose is part plastic with high and low spots that can gather water and create ice.  Not the good ones.  I think they are made by Goodyear or one of the big tire and rubber companies.

Horse trough

When you are filling a horse tank, it’s no big deal unless you have to fight ice.  I dig out the pine needles, check to be sure the knucklehead horses haven’t stepped on the heater element in the tank and we’re good to go.  When the garden hose is frozen, it’s a whole different project.


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