If you’re looking for the best hose reel for your home then you’ll appreciate this garden hose reel buying guide. We cover a a variety of different types of hose reels for you to choose from, because we know that everyone has their own unique taste, style and budget. We review the cheapest water hose reel all the way to fancy and professional quality hose reels.
Also, we look at a couple of other important lawn accessories — garden hoses and air hose reels, just to round out the article. Basically, we did all the work so you don’t have to scour around the internet.
Intro | Best Hose Reel
What makes a perfect hose reel? Well, that will depend very much on you and what you need it for. For anyone looking for a hose reel, you want to keep your hose neatly stored and tangle-free. Leaving a hosepipe stretched out across the lawn is not too pleasant to look at and leads to the hose becoming deteriorated through exposure to the elements. A hosepipe that is not properly rolled up will form kinks and loops that will leave your hose knotted up and difficult to use. To that end, any hose reel will do the job of keeping your hosepipe in good condition and neatly stored, but you may have other factors to consider.
In this article, we’re going to look at the best hose reels. Because we all have different needs, we’ve divided the list into different categories. To help you in your search for the ultimate hose reel we’ve taken a look at every type, shape, and size available and only selected the best of each type.
Basic Designs | Garden Hose Reels
For those of you who don’t want to spend a lot and just want a basic affordable way store your hose (or electric cords) neatly without too much fuss, these two are worth taking a look at.
Bayco K-100 | 150-Foot Cord Reel
The Bayco K-100 is advertised as an extension cord holder but really, it’s best suited as a storage reel for a water hose. It can be used as either but it’s actually better used for a garden hose because the inner wheel diameter is quite small, which would damage the internal wires of an extension cord over time.
Either way, it’s up to you how you want to use it. For this article, we’re focusing on water hose reels; just keep that in mind. You can use it to store rope or wire if you want. It’s really up to you.
- Can hold up to 150 feet of 16/3 extension cord.
- Side mounted handle makes rolling up the cord quick and simple.
- Wide base keeps the cord storage reel stable.
- Handle makes it easy to carry the garden hose reel.
- Made from durable shatter and temperature resistant thermoplastic.
As you can see by the heading this is actually a cord reel but it can just as easily be used to store thinner hose pipes. For the price, it may well worth your while.
It has an easy to use handle for winding the barrel and one for carrying it around. It can accommodate 150ft of 16/3 cord but don’t expect it hold more if the water hose is larger because it will be thicker.
The Bayco K-100 has a sturdy base for floor standing and is made from thermoplastic — or the more common term we use everyday, plastic; making it cheap, lightweight and able to withstand the daily knocks and bumps you bestow upon it. When it comes to basic hose reels, this one’s as simple (and inexpensive) as it gets. If you’re just looking to spend as little money as possible and just want and just want a functional garden hose reel then this is a good choice.
Inexpensive and Simple : Liberty Garden Products 647
You won’t impress your neighbors with the Bayco K-100 but for the money it’s one of the best hose reels you can get. Don’t worry if you want something more elaborate because we cover a wide range of garden hose holders in this article and I’m confident you’ll find something you love in here. The Liberty Garden Products 647 (shown above) is still in the “cheap” category but it’s quite nice for the money (in my humble opinion).
It’s my goal to show a variety of hose reels because, let’s be honest, everybody has different taste with a varying budget to go with it. Yes, humans are a finicky species indeed — and that includes me.
Ames NeverLeak Side Mount Hose Reel | 2388340
- Holds up to 100 ft. of 5/8″hose
- Integrated hose guide aligns hose with the reel to make winding easier
- Leader hose included
- Clip provides a convenient place to store hose
- Reel is fully assembled and easy to mount
✓ View or download the INSTRUCTIONS for the Ames NeverLeak garden hose reel (2388340).
Again, this is something that is very affordable, though it does cost more than the Bayco. There are some distinct advantages over the Bayco though. It is designed as a wall mounted hose reel, so it has all the right connections for easy use.
The color is great in cream and brown, it should fit right in with any home’s exterior. It’s neat, easy to use and holds up to 100ft of ⅝” hose. The unit comes fully assembled and it has a handy clip to store the hose.
For its price, it’s truly fantastic but there have been some problems that people have experienced. Though with a bit ingenuity these problems can be overcome. Firstly, the name NeverLeak isn’t really a true statement. Many people have complained that it does start to leak over time. This problem is very easily remedied by replacing the “O-Ring” in the pipe assembly.
Deluxe | NeverLeak Hose Reel with Manual Hose Guide — 2415500
Quite a few people have mentioned that their units (model : 2388340) came loose from the wall as the plastic mounting cracked. This doesn’t seem to be a common problem, so I suppose some people are less cautious in the way they handle it. To prevent the plastic from breaking around the mounting screws, I would suggest using strong steel washers between the screw head and the plastic surface. As a cautionary measure, I do this will all screw or bolt mounted plastic frames and have never had a problem.
If you’re prepared to do a little extra to keep it working well, you can save a lot of money by choosing the Ames NeverLeak garden hose reel (2388340). This makes it a great basic hose reel for its price.
Best Retractable Hose Reels
Let’s step things up a notch and look at retractable hose reels. For these, you will be paying a fair deal more, but you have an advantage, in that you don’t have to manually wind the hose up once you’re done working.
Something everyone must remember about retractable reels, whether for electric cord or hose pipes, they’re usually spring loaded and need to be treated properly. Many people complain about hoses or cords that stop retracting after a period of regular use. This is usually because people place extra load on the spring mechanism by extending it to the maximum and then still pull on the pipe or cord. It’s best to leave a little extra pipe on the barrel (never fully unwind the hose) and never keep pulling beyond the point where you start feeling resistance from the winding mechanism.
RL Flo-Master 65HR8 | Best Hose Reel
With integrated 65-foot retractable hose.
- Slow, retractable spring-loaded hose with stopper; automatic guide prevents the hose from overlapping while retracting
- Includes : 8-pattern nozzle & 6″ leader hose
- Mounting brackets allows for 180 ° swivel; mounting hardware included
- Unit can be removed from bracket and includes a carrying handle
- Includes 65-feet of reinforced 5/8″ hose (threaded brass end).
This is a slow retracting hose reel with a stopper. It has an automatic guide that prevents the hose from overlapping on the barrel.
It comes complete with 65’ of ⅝” reinforced hose, an 8-pattern nozzle, and quality brass fittings.
It’s a wall mounted unit with a sturdy bracket. The hose reel can be easily removed and stored during winter and there’s a carry handle to make this easier.
The unit looks very pleasing and the mounting bracket allows it to swivel 180 degrees.
The only complaint I’ve found is that some users found that it stops retracting after a while. As I explained in the introduction to this section, this is a common complaint with retractable products and can be avoided with proper care.
Suncast RSW125D Aquawinder | 125′ Hose Reel
- Water-powered automatic hose reel
- Hands-free rewinding at the flip of a lever
- 125 ft. of 5/8″ standard vinyl hose capacity
- Smart Trak hose guide winds hose evenly
- Durable resin construction
- With leader and discharge hoses
- Comes fully assembled
- includes (2) Garden stakes
The first impression is that it’s a very attractive basket weave type design in brown durable plastic. It looks great and is very affordable. The second notable point is that it uses a water pressure retracting system, which seems to be much more reliable than a spring loaded system.
Quite a few users seem to have had difficulty winding and unwinding the hose, this seems to be mostly due to the fact that they don’t understand how it works. Though, it really is quite simple to use. When you unwind the hose, do so with the water turned off. To wind the hose up, keep the faucet on but close the nozzle at the end of the hose, you then flip the retract lever and the water pressure will do the rest. If this is done correctly it works fine and there doesn’t seem to be a problem with the system failing over time.
It has 125’ hose reel capacity, so you’ve got plenty of hose length to work with if you have a larger garden. The “Smart Track” hose system makes sure that the hose winds evenly and smoothly.
This hose reel offers great quality at a very affordable price and is quite an elegant piece of work.
Suncast CPLSSM200B | Best Hose Reel + Storage
- Smart Trak hose guide tracks hose neatly onto reel
- Easy reeling with half the effort
- Sturdy resin construction
- 225′ of 5/8″ hose capacity
- Comes fully assembled
- Patented Easy-Link system ensures a watertight connection between hose reel and hose
- Leader hose included
You get 225’ of ⅝” hose, so this gives you a really good length for almost any size garden. It’s also made from durable plastic and the cream and brown box housing is quite attractive in very neutral coloring.
The base can swivel in any direction, which makes it incredibly versatile and easy to use. It has a large handle for easy retracting with half the effort required from conventional manual winding systems.
Their patented easylink system seems to work perfectly and provides an easy-to-use watertight hose connection between the hose and the reel. People who’ve purchased this hose reel seem to be very pleased with the general quality and use of the product. It gets a good thumbs up.
Best Garden Hose Hangers | Hangout
Hose hangers are less complicated than wind-up reels. For this reason, they are cheaper and because they don’t have any moving parts there’s less to go wrong. It does mean that you have to coil the hosepipe onto the hanger by hand. They offer convenient storage for your hosepipe and avoid kinks and loops from forming.
Deluxe Wall Mount — Garden Hose Hanger
- Eliminates crimps, kinks and tangles
- Extends hose life
- Heavy duty bracing prevents sagging
- Made from steel : 13″ wide, 7″ high and 7″deep —weighs 2.5 lbs
- Versatile: Organize electrical cords, air hoses, or anything else that needs to be coiled for storage.
This is a very sturdy steel hanger with good reinforcement, so it can handle a good deal of weight. Because of this, it is capable of holding very long hosepipes without sagging.
It’s a wall mounted unit that attaches easily with two screw anchors or bolts and looks very neat with a minimal presence. It is dark green in color and the coating seems to be very durable, so there’s little chance of it chipping and rusting.
There’s no fancy mechanisms or ornate detailing. It’s a very practical neat way to store a hose and eliminate crimps, kinks, and tangles. It comes with a lifetime guarantee, so you can be sure it’s virtually indestructible.
Free-Standing Garden Hose Hanger
- Stores hoses where needed
- Extends hose life
- Heavy duty bracing prevents sagging
- Steel; Installed, stands 30 inches high, 13 inches wide and 7 inches deep; weighs 9 lbs
- Dig hole : Center hose hanger in hole at least 8″ deep.
- Add quick setting concrete. Allow to harden according to instructions.
- Optional : Hose Hanger will easily slide over a fencing “T” post.
For the most part, it’s identical to the Yard Butler that we’ve just looked at. The only difference with this one is that it’s freestanding – it is not wall mounted. Instead, this one is attached to a 44” square tubing anchor pole. This means you can place it anywhere in the garden.
It’s also made from steel with the same reinforcing and has the same durable green coating. It also comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Suncast DHH150 | Deluxe Garden Hose Hangout
- 150 ft. of 5/8 in. hose capacity
- Comes fully assembled
- Mounts securely to wall
- Enclosed storage compartment for watering accessories
- Sturdy resin construction
The Suncast DHH150 is a very neat looking wall mounted hanger with a modern design. It’s made from resin plastic and has a sturdy design capable of holding 150’ of ⅝” hosepipe. It probably won’t be as durable as the steel hose hangers, though if it’s not exposed to direct sunlight it should last for a very long time.
A fantastic feature on this one is a handy storage compartment where you can store hose fittings, small gardening tools, and garden gloves.
Liberty Garden Products 670 | Garden Hose Wall Mount
Hose and mounting hardware not included.
- 125′ of 5/8″ Hose Capacity.
- Cast Aluminum Construction.
- Attractive decorative design enhances your home.
- Durable Powder Coat Finish.
- Keyhole Mounting System.
- Weight : 2.1 lbs.
If you want a hose hanger that’s going to add an element of designer flair to the exterior of your home, then this wall-mounted unit is the one for you.
It has an attractive ornate design and is made from cast aluminum so it will never rust. The durable powder coating gives it a wonderful finish with a classical look and feel.
The round barrel shape is able to hold 125’ of ⅝” hosepipe, which is pretty good for such an attractive piece.
Best Garden Hose Carts
Garden hose carts are more in the domain of landscapers, commercial gardens, and plant nurseries but if you have a large enough garden they may be worth looking into. A garden hose cart is designed to move long hosepipes conveniently over a distance. They are large sturdy items with strong wheels that make it easy to move them over fairly rough terrain.
Liberty Garden Products 870-M1-2 | Industrial Garden Hose Cart
- 4 Pneumatic wheels
- Home or Pro landscaping needs
- Strong 13 gauge steel construction
- Holds up to 250′ of 5/8″ hose
- 5-ft. inlet hose included
90 solid brass swivel – prevents hose damage
- All brass/galvanized fixtures
- Durable powder coat finish
- Pneumatic tires with metal hubs
This is a sturdy durable product made from 13 gauge steel with a powder coated finish. It is definitely designed to work hard and suitable for heavy-duty commercial use. It is designed to hold up to 300’ of ⅝” hosepipe.
The four robust 14-10” pneumatic (air-filled) tires are very impressive with good tread that resembles those on an all-terrain vehicle. The good tires and strong handle should make it a pleasure to transport, even in tough conditions.
All the fittings are of a very high quality and brass/galvanized. A 90° swivel fitting makes it very easy and convenient to use and will prevent the hose from coiling as you use it. It also has a low center of gravity, so it won’t tip over like many others.
This hose cart has been praised by most users for its sturdy construction, easy mobility and excellent center of gravity. It deserves recognition for being one of best.
- Constructed with a tubular steel frame with a green powder coated finish, this cart is durable with an outdoor appeal.
- Our heavy-duty hose reel can hold up to 300 feet of 5/8” water hose.
- The product features a foam-padded handle and solid steel axles to help you get the job done easier and faster.
- The 10.5 in wheels roll smoothly over uneven ground making it easy to move around your garden
Product Dimensions: 26″ (L) x 24” (W) x 44.5” (H).
This one resembles the Liberty hose cart that we just looked at in many ways. It also has four wheels, though they are slightly larger at 10.5”. The wheels don’t look as good or durable as the previous one, though.
This one can take the same length and gauge hosepipe and uses similar fittings. At a glance, they are very similar but this one is quite a bit cheaper than the Liberty cart. So you may be wondering why you’d want to pay more for an item that seems to be very much the same.
To be truthful, the Best Choice isn’t quite of the same quality standard as the Liberty. The general build seems to be less sturdy and the coating used on this one doesn’t quite compare to the powder coating on the Liberty, so it can be prone to rust. Some people have pointed out their units developed leaks over time.
While it might not compare as favorably to the Liberty hose cart that we reviewed, the price does make it quite an attractive proposition.
Best Metal Hose Reels
Most hose reels use plastic fittings and pipes because this is cheaper. For people who need something more robust, metal pipes and fittings are the answer. They will cost more than those with plastic fittings, but they can take more of a knock. Remember that when a hose reel is referred to as being metal, it doesn’t mean that the entire thing is made of metal, though it can be. These hose reels use a water system that is made entirely of metal and the rest of the product can be made of any material.
NeverLeak Decorative Metal Hose Cabinet — 2519100
- Never Leak aluminum water system, which resists cross threading and stands up to cold temperatures.
- 8 times stronger than typical plastic water systems.
- New furniture inspired design.
- Holds up to 150′ of 5/8 inch diameter hose.
- Includes leader hose.
- Auto-Track system that quickly and automatically distributes the hose evenly across the reel while rewinding.
- Metal hose cabinet.
- Size: 21″ height × 23.5″ width × 20″ depth
They call it decorative and it is quite a good looking object. The hosepipe is neatly concealed inside a slatted box with an easy-opening lid. The design is modern and elegant, it wouldn’t look out of place standing on the patio among your garden furniture.
The box and handle are made of dark colored durable plastic. The water system is made from aluminum which resists corrosion and cross-threading. It also offers better operation in colder conditions. The manufacturers claim that their aluminum water system is up to eight times stronger than plastic systems. There’s no way of verifying this, but an aluminum system will be a good deal stronger. It holds 150’ of ⅝” hosepipe.
This is a good looking piece of garden equipment that has a great deal of style in its design. It is nicely built and easy to use.
Multi-Purpose Steel Wall and Floor Mount Garden Hose Reel
- Holds up to 200-feet of 5/8-inch garden hose (hose not included)
- Industrial grade, heavy duty, solid wall mounted reel that anchors to lawn or turf, rubber boots are ideal for a non-skid floor mount
- Made of tough 13 gauge steel with industrial strength powder coated finish that is weather resistant
- 5-feet of leader hose
- Mounting hardware not included
While this product may not have the good looks of the NeverLeak that we’ve just looked at, it is a fair deal cheaper and is all around more robust. This makes it ideal for using in unsheltered outdoor areas.
It’s made from tough 13 gauge steel with a powder coated finish. The design allows it to be wall mounted or floor mounted, it also has rubber boots so it can be free-standing. The Liberty Garden hose reel can hold 200’ of ⅝” hosepipe.
Despite the robust design and powder coating, some people have noticed rust build-up, though most seem to feel that it is a high-quality product. It does seem to be a durable item with a no-frills design. In general, one can say this is great value for money.
Best Water hoses
The hosepipe that you use is very important. Firstly you want something that’s going to last. The quality of a hosepipe can vary quite dramatically and some perish easily, become brittle and crack leading to the pipe developing leaks.
Many hosepipes will form a memory, meaning that they will retain their shape depending on how they’ve been stored. A hose with a strong memory will be difficult to straighten after being coiled up.
Hoses can be reinforced to handle greater pressure. For normal garden use, this is not too much of a factor as most of them will handle normal domestic water pressure. If you’re using a hose with a booster pump or for compressed air, it’s important to use one that is rated for the pressure that you’re using.
The diameter of the hose will affect how much water you get from the hose (liters per minute). Most garden hoses are ⅝” which is quite sufficient if you have decent water pressure. If you’re using a low-pressure gravity supply water tank, a larger diameter would make things easier.
For general household use, you’re going to want a ⅝” flexible hose that is less prone to tangle or kink and uses quality fittings.
Flexzilla Garden Hose Series — HFZG550YW
- Extreme all-weather flexibility
- Won’t kink under pressure
- Lightweight, coils easily
- Lays flat – no memory
- Crush resistant anodized aircraft aluminum male and female fittings
- Bend Restrictor
- 3/4 in. – 11 1/2 GHT fittings both ends
- Max. working pressure at 70°F: 150 psi
- Drinking Water Safe
There are seven options in the Flexzilla range starting at 3’ all the way to 100’. All the hoses in this range are ⅝” and have extremely good flexibility in all weather conditions. These hosepipes have no memory, so they coil and lay flat very easily. They are rated for 150 PSI.
The fittings that come permanently attached are of the best quality, made from aircraft grade anodized aluminum. The rib design of the inner core makes them highly kink resistant. Because it’s made from a flexible hybrid polymer, it’s lightweight and abrasion resistant with about the best flexibility that you’ll get from a hose – it will go around a 90° corner without restricting the water flow.
Video | Flexzilla Garden Hose Series — HFZG550YW
People who’ve used the Flexzilla absolutely love it for its lightweight and flexible design. The only complaint has been a tendency to collect mold, though this only seems to be in a few cases. I suppose it depends very much on the area you live in and how you store it.
Gilmour Flexogen | Super Duty Water Hose
- Patented 8-layer construction with reinforced core maximizes both durability and kink resistance
- 600PSI burst strength guarantees trusted performance and long life
- Crush-resistant and corrosion-resistant brass connections
- Stainless steel spring prevents kinks at the spigot
- Made in the U.S.A. and backed by a lifetime warranty
You get a choice of four lengths in this range – 25’; 50’; 75’ and 100’. As with the previous hose that we’ve reviewed here, it is ⅝”.
The most remarkable feature of the Gilmour Flexogen is its 8-ply double polyester reinforced design that can withstand a pressure of 500 PSI. The hose comes fitted with heavy duty brass connectors and Flo Guard Plus protective collar that prevents kinks at the faucet.
Video | Learn more about Flexogen Water Hose
The extra strength of the pipe walls means that it won’t be as flexible as the Flexzilla and won’t be 100% memory free. It is, however, one of the strongest garden hoses available with an incredible pressure rating and lifetime guarantee.
Neverkink 9844-100 | 4000 Commercial Duty Pro
- Industrial grade, crush-proof aluminum couplings heavy-gauges-icon
- Heavy gauge power coil strain relief
- All-weather flexible to 45°F
- MicroShield guards against mold and mildew
- Made in the USA
In this range you can choose between ⅝” and ¾”, each in 3 different lengths – 50’; 75’ and 100’. The Neverkink system makes use of a patented technology called Reflex Mesh. This is a network of mesh reinforcements which the manufacturer guarantees will never kink or twist.
Another innovative technology used in this design is their Microshield which prevents mold and mildew from growing on the pipe surface.
This is a high-quality hosepipe that uses some pretty high-tech solutions to overcome several common problems that we find in many hosepipes. It comes highly recommended.
Air Hose Reel
Having covered water hose products, let’s take a look at air hoses. These are not as common and used mostly by professionals and DIY enthusiasts who make use of pneumatic tools that require a compressor to provide high-pressure air.
The main difference with using compressed air is that you will generally be using a higher pressure and most conventional hoses will burst at this type of pressure. Because air is less dense than water, you’ll also be using different connector fittings, capable of sealing better than those used for water. Generally, you don’t need a hose that is as thick as you would for water because there isn’t as much friction against the pipe walls and you’re more concerned about pressure than volume.
Because you’re usually using these products indoors, there’s less need for durability in harsh weather conditions. For the rest, you’re looking many of the same qualities like flexibility and resistance to kinks and tangling.
Campbell Hausfeld Retractable Hose Reel | PA500400AV — 50-Foot Hose
- 50 foot hose length and 3/8 inch hose ID. 300 maximum PSI to tackle a variety of projects. Use the 2-1/2 foot leader to connect the hose to an air compressor
- Non-marring, abrasion-resistant PVC (Polyvinyl chloride) cover for heavy-duty use
- Comes with crack-resistant, mountable case which provides both durability and work-site convenience
- Handles temperatures from 35 to 250 degrees Fahrenheit
- PVC hose made of corrosion-resistant materials to deliver long life.
The 50’ foot ⅜” PVC hose is corrosion resistant and can handle temperatures of between 35° and 250° Fahrenheit. The retractable hose reel is crack resistant is mounted by a multi-directional steel bracket.
It has brass ¼” male fittings on both the hose and leader pipe, which is a standard fitting for most air tools. Though the fittings are not quick release, so most users will want to fit quick release fittings to make it easier to change between tools.
It’s durable and compact. For a good quality retractable air hose reel, the price is excellent and it has been very well received by those who’ve used it.
Hose Fittings —
No matter what type of hosepipe you’re using or what you’re using it for, you’re going to be using a number of fittings. Whenever you experience a leak, it will have something to do with the fitting that you’re using.
Hose fittings can be made from a number of different types of materials. The most common and cheapest fittings are made from plastic, they are also the lowest quality. Metal fittings made from brass, aluminum, galvanized iron, or even stainless steel are always stronger and will last longer.
You get two basic types of fittings – quick release or threaded fittings. Quick release fittings are much easier to use as they don’t require any tools to loosen or fasten. They are, however, more likely to give problems because they all use some sort of spring system to function.
In most cases where a fitting starts to leak, the situation can be easily remedied. Many people don’t know what to look for and don’t know how to fix the situation. They end up throwing away a perfectly good fitting and replacing it with a new one.
To help prevent you from wasting your money on replacing fittings that could otherwise be repaired, let’s take a look at the different fittings. Firstly we’ll look at how to use them correctly and then, how to diagnose and repair common problems.
Quick Release Fittings
— Nelson 50336 : Brass Hose Quick Connectors | Male + Female
These fittings will be more expensive than threaded ones and can be more problematic. They are very common because they are easy to use and for this reason, it’s a good idea to look at what can go wrong with them.
They use a spring-loaded clip on the female fitting that fits into a recess male fitting. A good quality metal fitting should function well for many years. If there is a problem with the spring mechanism, you will be able to detect this because it will be loose and not clip properly into place. Unfortunately, if this happens there isn’t anything you can do but replace it.
When a quick release fitting leaks, it’s almost always because of a faulty O-ring. An O-ring is a rubber ring with rounded edges. It will either fit into a groove in the inner wall of a female fitting or a groove on the outer edge of a male fitting. When an O-ring is subjected to pressure it will expand, forming a seal.
If an O-ring is damaged, twisted or collects dust it won’t seal properly. O-rings are very cheap, easy to find and very simple to replace. So there’s no need to replace a fitting purely because of a problem with the O-ring.
If the fitting develops a leak, first clean it out to make sure that the problem isn’t as result of dirt accumulation. If this doesn’t work, you’re going to need to replace it. To remove an O-ring prise it loose with the flat end of a small screwdriver. You’re going to need to take it with you as a sample when going to buy a new one. O-rings come in may sizes and thicknesses and you’ll want an exact match or else it won’t work properly.
To fit the new O-ring lubricate it first with oil or grease to make sure it doesn’t twist and slips easily into place. Never use a sharp instrument to put the O-ring into position as even the slightest tear or nick will cause it leak. If you can’t use your fingers to put into position, use a screwdriver that has been wrapped with electrical tape to protect the O-ring.
The most common problem with threaded fittings not working properly results from cross threading. This happens when the thread of the two opposite ends of the fitting don’t align correctly. To avoid this from happening, lightly turn the fitting back and forth whilst pressing it gently against the other fitting. At some point, the thread will engage and turn easily toward the other. If the fitting does not turn easily, the thread is not aligned and will become damaged. Once a fitting has been cross threaded it is useless, so make sure that you always fasten them correctly.
The second mistake that people make is to over-tighten the fitting. When fastening the fitting, you should tighten it as much as you can with your fingers and then give it a ¼ to ½ turn with a wrench. If it leaks after tightening it this much, chances are the problem lies elsewhere. Over-tightening a fitting will damage the thread or cause it to crack, either way, it will be useless afterward.
There are two types of threaded fittings; bull-nose fittings and flat fittings. Each of them has a different method of sealing and if they leak, they will require a different course of action.
This type of fitting has two flat surfaces that press together and use a flat rubber washer to seal the fitting. If a flat fitting leaks after being fastened correctly it can only be because the washer has worn too thin or has been damaged in some way. It is very easy to remove and replace the washer with a new one.
Bull Nose Fittings
These fittings use a rounded (bull nose) or beveled edge male fitting which seats into a concave recess in the female fitting that matches its shape exactly. The fitting will usually be brass or hard Teflon. Theoretically, a bull nose fitting should never leak if it’s not cross threaded or over-tightened. If they do leak, it’s probably because they’ve accumulated dust that is preventing the two surfaces from seating properly. If this happens, simply rinse the fitting or blow out any debris inside it.