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During the summer I often find that I have to water my garden when it has not been raining to ensure that my plants survive and therefore regularly use a hose, which I keep attached to my outside tap. I chose this hose with a reel as it can be stored easily in a corner of the garden and does not look unobtrusive.
I must admit that this is the second one of these hose reels that I have owned and this one is about 3 years old. I am beginning to think that they only have a shelf life of a few years and after that need replacing for reasons I will explain later in this review.
The hose is part of the Hozelock brand, which produces a number of different hose attachments such as sprinklers, which can be added to the hose just by slotting them together. This is very convenient although I have never used any attachments apart from the straightforward nozzle.
The hose attaches to the tap with a plastic connector and I have not found it to leak at all.
The hose itself is bright yellow and the nozzle can be turned to vary the type of spray or turned completely off. This makes it very easy to operate. The hose is housed in a green and silver metal reel and is easily rewound into the reel by the handle within a few minutes without too much difficulty. The length of the hose is 25 meters which is long enough for even a large garden and which easily is long enough for all the uses I have for it. You can also buy other lengths of hose.
The problem I have with this hose (and its predecessor) is that however hard I try after a few years the hose gets lots of kinks in it. This means that when I am using it and moving around the garden I have to stop every few minutes as the kinks jam the flow of water and make it stop. I then have to try to unwind the kink but find that as soon as I do that and move again to another patch of garden another kink suddenly appears. Honestly this is currently driving me mad. I have tried totally unwinding the hose and doing everything possible to straighten it and then rewinding it into the reel but even doing this does not seem to stop more kinks occurring the next time I use it. If anyone knows how to stop this happening please let me know!!
To be fair the hose did not kink like this for the first year of use and apart from the kinks works really well. However I am disappointed that it does not seem to last for more than a few years and that I am going to have to buy another one next summer (I am determined to put up with this ones kinks for the few remaining sunny days we will have this year!) The hose costs about £30 and despite its problems I will probably buy another one unless anyone knows of another similar product that lasts for longer.
With my recent house move and the fact I love gardening, it is no surprise that I have already made a lot of progress with it whereby there is a lot to water. Last year at home with mum and dad I don't think I had to get the hose out once, I only recall using the watering can to give some vegetable plants some liquid food but mother nature provided the rest and turned soil into mud at the same time.
The recent weather is a return to form for the UK and I lost count of how many watering cans I was putting out per day but it was becoming a pain as it took too long and didn't really give the garden the soaking it needed.
I first purchased (about one week prior to this hose) something called an "X-Hose" which is a lightweight expanding hose and the new big thing advertised on TV and even won "Gardening product of the year" at the Chelsea flower show - I won't rant about it here, it isn't available to review yet but this became only the second product in my entire life that I ever returned for a refund because it was faulty.
I bought the Hozelock hose from a gardening centre for £22; this was the one that came supplied with the minimum of 25 meters of hose line which is perfect to reach all areas of my garden.
The box contains the hose reel to hold your hose on, the hose line itself and the various connectors and nozzle.
Instructions were quite basic and I kind of worked it all out myself! But it is quite simple to assemble and took me around 5-10 minutes. There is one piece of hose (a smaller piece) that you cut down to the required size - this piece is the one that attaches to your tap and is then attached to the reel. The longer main piece of hose is attached to the opposite side of the reel with the nozzle on the end.
This is very clever because you can leave the reel in one place not having to move it around and just pull out the desired length of hose - you can even wall mount this if you wish and simply unroll the hose and roll it back up again from the wall.
There is a small plastic connector which fits onto your tap that the hose itself clips onto - a lot of reviews on all hoses mention that these frequently leak - that is almost always the case because getting a 100% water tight seal between metal and plastic with a multitude of taps and manufacturers of both taps and hoses is almost impossible. A small piece of "plumbers tape" as I call it wrapped around the thread on the tap sorted out any leaking issues right away - this can be purchased from any DIY shop and can be obtained for as little as £1 and is just one of those useful things to have around the house. (this is ultra thin tape, usually white and non sticky that simply increases the size of the thread ever so slightly stopping any breaks in the seal).
The end of the hose that attaches to the tap is a simple clip which clicks on and off very easily. There is also a little "notch" on the reel itself that you can clip this onto (this saves it simply being thrown down onto the concrete ground and getting damaged or dirt inside it and also keeps it nice and neat!)
I unravelled the entire hose for its first use and turned it on from the tap. No leaks at all. The nozzle is closed at the end so when you turn the tap on, nothing comes shooting out of the end! To open the nozzle you simply twist the end holding the grey part of the nozzle and the water will come out.
The water comes out at varying degrees; you can have a nice spread light spray or a steady stream that can reach a good 25 meters away from where you are standing!
An excellent buy which will last for many years to come I think, to put it into perspective it took about 40 minutes to water the garden with a can, with the hose I can do it in less than 5 minutes! With the busy life I lead with lots of time spent going to and from work, this is a must. You can really give the garden a good soak with the hose rather than a splash with the watering can.
Advice - don't leave it unravelled! I have heard stories in the past of mice chewing at the hose causing holes and leaks.
With the recent wet summers, watering the garden has seldom been necessary. However the recent hot, dry weather has made watering my garden a regular evening chore. My garden hose could probably be classed as an antique and has given many years of loyal service. However it had sprung leaks along the hose where the plastic had began to perish, so it was definitely time for a new one.
I wanted a decent size hose that would reach to the end of my garden and also wanted something that looked like it would last. As I am about to go on holiday I didn't want to spend too much and was shocked at some of the prices being charged by garden centres. Whilst browsing the garden aisle in Tesco I noticed 1 remaining hose by Hozelock. The item was not priced but a quick check by a member of staff revealed it was on sale at the bargain price of just £15! Not only was the hose a fantastic price, but it also boated a 50 metre capacity and was just what I had been looking for.
Whats inside the box.
The box contained a very lightweight hose reel, 25 metres of 12.5mmk hose plus plastic connectors to enable to hose to be connected to an outside tap. There is also a hose end connector that screws to the inside of the reel. The pointed nozzle allows the hose to reach up to 60 metres. The hose reel is48 cm in height x 38.5 cm wide and 27.5 cm deep. It weights 6.04 KG and is easy to lift. The hose reel has a carrying handle to allow it to be moved easily around the garden.
There are fittings that allow the hose reel to be fitted to a wall,but this was not something I needed to do so can't comment on how easy this is.
I was surprised that there were no printed instructions included and the only clue of how all these bits of plastic fitted together was a poor diagram on the side of the box. It actually took me about half an hour of getting very frustrated before I had figured out how things fitted together! Fitting the nozzle was the worst bit as I didn't realise you need to twist the nozzle to open the valve that allows the water to flow through! I had several soakings before the penny dropped!
The hose in action.
The hose comes on a flimsy plastic reel. There is a plastic handle to turn when you want to wind the hose back in after use. The hose feels and looks quite robust, although it dose have a tendency to kink when in use. The nozzle sprays well and the pressure can be adjusted by turning the nozzle.
Although the cart is designed to be moved around the garden it needs to be connected to an outside tap to work. If you pull the cart to far from the tap everything disconnects! Even when I am being careful not to pull the hose too far it often pulls apart at the reel connections. This means I spent extra time having to turn off the tap and screw the hose back into position.
Another gripe is that the plastic tap connector leaks no matter how firming I screw it on. It still allows a good water pressure, but is annoying.
Overall I feel for the price I paid this is an excellent purchase despite the negatives. I find the easiest way to use this hose is to enlist the help of one of my children to help feed the hose to me and deal with any kinks. Needless to say they like to be on the nozzle end, so they can turn the hose of their sibling if possible.
I see on the Tesco web site that this hose retails for twice the price I paid, so am not sure why the store price was so much cheaper. Hozelock products are widely available
If you have had the opportunity to read my previous review on the Argos 25m value hose and reel you will know that our experience was a complete disaster with our one and only use ending up with a very kinked hose, almost snapping in several places where the thin green plastic had gone white and the leaks that had happened in our hallway (on laminate flooring) while we were out using it on our pressure washer in our reasonably small back and front gardens, or in deed the fact that none of the fixings could be used on our taps or directly on the pressure washer for which we bought it!
After taking the defective product back to Argos we considered carefully whether to buy a Hozelock product from the store but were less than impressed by the range in their catalogue which seemed excessively priced and as I'd walked over to B&Q from work one lunchtime and looked at their range of hoses I already had an idea of which to buy. With the refund put back on my card my wife and I travelled over to our B&Q warehouse and spent less than 5 minutes looking at their range of hoses before deciding to buy the Hozelock 2 in 1 reel which was on sale at £34.98, or as I was to find £29.99 + shipping at Amazon. In fact, my wife (Sue) had sussed out B&Q and had only a week or so before joined the B&Q club and with her barcode to hand had a 20% discount that day making it only £27.98.
We bought a 25m yellow hose that is mounted on a sturdy green plastic reel with metal handle and base supports. The reel can be left on the ground or can be wall mounted using the fixing brackets that are in a small plastic bag that is located underneath the hose. This product also comes with 3 fixings allowing you to connect your hose to your taps (indoor or outdoor) and to additional items such as pressure washers. It also comes with a 4th spray fixing. To date, we have not used any of the new fixings because we are still using 3 Hozelock fixings that we used for the Argos value hose, one of which has to be used to allow the other fixing to connect to our narrow mixer taps.
The reel comes with a connector that allows you to leave the hose on the reel but in order to do so it would mean cutting the hose or buying an additional length that is not needed for the size of our garden.
As we have only recently joined the ranks of homeowner and with our front and back gardens being paving slabs our use of hoses is relatively low but certainly this product does exactly what we want. The hose itself is made of what appears to be thick rubber and although it does bend slightly doesn't bend to the extent that it would crack and compared to our previous hose is free from holes! It will certainly be used more regularly in the future but as Winter is approaching I doubt we will use again until Spring even though it now offers us the ability to clean our car rather than use the local car wash. We also plan on buying a modest greenhouse next year and as long as no hosepipe bans are in force will be in frequent use.
I would definitely recommend the Hozelock 2 in 1 hose for anyone that is looking for their first hose. The only question really is what size you need and what additional attachments you might need.
Our only concern is the cost of the extra fixings that range from around £5.
After the demise of our long-standing and utterly reliable Hozelock garden hose reel, it was up to me to find a suitable replacement. I had never realised the world of gardening merchandise until I visited a proper garden centre and realised a lot of hoses on offer without holders just to replace whatever you have. A lot of companies these days are offering replacement hoses that use the same kind of design of Hozelock, only needing to be screwed into the existing feed connectors if you require an extra length of hose, or replacing something with holes and far too many kinks received over the years of use. But then you need to know the measurement diameter of the hose, because there's only so much depth between the plastic and the hose that will be accepted by the existing Hozelock hose and shearing down the plastic, metal sheath and whatever other grid material companies have put in place for robustness can be a trying time. My mind was definitely settled on Hozelock thanks to our 16 years of reliability and no surprise to find that the older design was out of stock. In its place I came home with a 2 in 1 Hozelock garden hose 2471. At a cost price of £39-99 this was by far probably the most expensive hose I had seen outwith the larger plastic encased bodied hoses that mimicked the 20 metre box we used to have and I was attracted to the 2 in 1 design because of the open reel element as opposed to being totally encased which would add more weight to the wall if it was mounted or appear to be too big and too expensive - some prices for example reach up to £120 for the larger box "encased" hose.
So, what makes it a 2 in 1 design? Well out of the many bags you get filled with Hozelock connector accessories, this reel holder can be wall mounted. It's as simple as fitting the hooks on walls thanks in part to the lid of the box which Hozelock have helpfully drawn a permanent diagram of how to line up the corresponding holes and fixtures; there's even a diagram in the user manual to show you what to do and you get plasplugs incase the long depth metal screws have problems screwing properly into outside plaster and cement. The hanging brackets are very simple to put on - thankfully - the wall mount procedure is far easier than fitting the reel brackets together and assembling the hose before use.
After a lot of swearing and raising my blood pressure, it took me an hour to fit the reel together and model number 1 the first time didn't have the hose connector to connect the hose internally to the side reel brackets. The problem then comes after you have fitted the left and right hand reel sections together, because a plastic spindle bar has to be added in the middle to give the reel strength and to direct the hose properly instead of it bending and blocking out water flow. Access to the space for the connector to be pushed through is very restrictive once the main plastic bracket is in place and unless you have small fingers, forget it! For an older person who doesn't have much strength in their hands or suffers from back problems, the constant pulling, pushing and twisting is a total bind - and you will require someone with muscles and added amount of patience to put this altogether, especially knocking through the locking bolts to secure the reel to the holder. Luckily model number 2 had all the correct fittings - but it still took an HOUR to fit together. You can forgo all this nonsense if you just need a hose and fit the connectors, but then you'll be left with a long 25-metre heap of bright yellow garden hose that will tangle due it to being tied and rolled up when it left the factory and although it is already installed on the hose reel, the fact that you have to prise it open apart to get at the hose means you can't just fit the brackets together and hope for the best.
The instructions are written in black and white lettering and it's the diagrams, which are similarly written that provide very little actual info that is suggestively precise. They suggest putting the metal bars on until the end when it would be better to put them on at the start and there are fold over secondary hole guiders which need to be bent over so that the metal bars are guided on for extra strength. Likewise the central reel added to the side brackets show one side only to be constructed before dabbling with locks to secure one side of the reel in and they need a hefty shove or a straight edge hammer when pushing the hose connector in so that it meets the outer connector - when the main garden hose from the tap can be connected. But because of the fact that bar the metal pipes, the whole construction is made out of thick PVC, I find I had to be really careful not to crack the plastic with the hammer when trying to push the ratchet style locks into place. Once the reel is firmly locked to the brackets and the metal bars are installed top and bottom you are left with a reel holder that can be turned around and hung onto the wall mounts if you so wish the desire - or do as I prefer and just have the hose reel independent to transport whenever the hose needs to be used. It 'ain't over until the hose is wound around the reel holder though - and this is a very trying time! It took me the help of another person at one end of the hose and me at the other to wind in the hose without it constantly kinking every couple of seconds. It's all very well having it already done for you - but when it came to assembly; the Hozelock 2471 is a nightmare and you can't just add the hose onto the connector with the hope that the hose will just work and keep the reel together - it all needs to be assembled first.
When it comes to use however, the hose is very helpful but not as well made as the older system/boxed hose and you soon begin to realise why an encased hose with a small opening door is better than an open reel; the hose is liable to kink every so often and despite the same yellow colour, Hozelock have cheapened the actual hose by not fitting an extra and thicker diameter metallic sheath. As with most Hozelock products however you get a few connectors such as a hose end connector with "Aqua Stop" (basically the connection part you can put into a pressure washer that stops the water flowing and automatically transfers the action to the job of the pressure washer) two hose end connectors for either ends of the hose, another tap connector and a tap adaptor which can be used with a lot of other appliances or different shaped garden taps. A side winding handle makes release of the hose easy as well as turning it to rewind the hose back in after use and is very comfortable to use thanks to its larger turning knob and comfortable action - thanks to that pesky central spindle bar. The sides of the reel wheels however wobble out of angle looking as if they are going to break apart - and the joy here is soon discovered that it can happen if you try and rewind the hose back in too quickly.
Despite all these wonderful design aspects, the 2471 model is fairly versatile but isn't as free to pull because of its added weight and extra length of 25 metres. So much for Hozelock's advertising; "A Quality hose reel is the key to a stress free garden environment..." This is because the hose can kink awkwardly, but only happens sometimes if you wind up the hose at the end and accept that there's kinks in the hose without them being bent back into shape. Compared to the old, this hose is flimsier in feel and yet it is relatively easier to bend out kinks. Overall though, the whole reel and hose together is a heavier item though - around 6 to 7kg once the hose is placed on the light as a feather 2kg reel holder and there are no wheels on the back where you could drag the reel along, so you have to lift and place the reel holder on the ground whenever you need to use it. At least it does remain stable - unless you pull two quarters of the hose out and then the reel holder falls over if more of the hose is pulled. There are however connector points on the brackets behind the reel that allow you to store the connectors you get in the box but you'll need the connectors themselves to plug them in for the storage design to work - tricky when the hose that comes out of our external tap has the Hozelock connector already added permanently so that it can connect to the other end of the hose. The spray attachment for example must be used with a connector and it's a pity Hozelock didn't think about putting a storage point for the spray head alone - without connection points.
The added length of 5 metres more to what I was used to previously (20 metres) hasn't really made much of a difference though - not when I'm continually having to check why the water pressure in my pressure washer is low and then finding there's a kink in the hose at odd points in use. Hoses do kink - that's guaranteed - but usually around right angles or between difficult branches. However I've had surprising moments when the hose will just kink in open areas - a downside again to the fact that the hose in the factory was permanently coiled - and takes a fair old time before the hose starts to change its shape when made to go flat. When the hose works, it flows very easy - a nod to Hozelock's quality design - but it also drags up dirt and seems to be harder to clean afterwards than the smoother and thicker feeling hose on our old box holder.
Is this Hozelock product a lot of old hoof? No but it lacks promise and quality and I'm disappointed compared to our 16 year old Hozelock that went before it. For £40 when the assembly is so difficult, it simply isn't good enough to put up with so restrictive directions and design. This is a product that should in theory, be already assembled for the price, with only perhaps the added assembly being threading the hose to the connectors - which only takes a matter of seconds before being screwed in permanently. Hozelock must change the instructions and general assembly to make this product much more accessible. Without the improvement, the product is only suitable for those who love to build things and need the added exercise to bend down to remove kinks, because even if it will be wall mounted and left permanently in one place, it may need more maintenance than it should. Thanks for reading! ©Nar2 2011