Best Powered Retractable Hose Reel: Buying Guide
Every gardener knows that there will be a time when your plants, garden, or lawn will need to be watered. Mother Nature is great, but she often does not supply the needed irrigation when you need it, so out comes the hose. If you are one of the lucky ones, you will have faucets in a couple of places scattered around the yard; if not, you may have one long hose. Either way, when the job is finished, you need to put that hose away.
Hot, Tired, and Messy
You have been working hard in the yard all day, the last thing you want to be doing is trying to gather up the wet and messy, nasty, dirt covered hose. You try wrapping it up around your arm, the mud feels slimy, water is either slinging out of the end, or the hose is heavy because it is still full. Why go through all that hassle, there is an easier solution? A Powered Retractable Hose Reel.
Benefits of an Electric Reel
Safety- When your hose is not being used, and it gets left laying out on the ground, it becomes a trip hazard. They tend to be the same color as your lawn, so you may not see it as easily. They are also made of rubber, and when they get wet, they are slippery.
Storage- Hoses are not cheap, at least the good ones aren’t, so you need to take care of them and make them last as long as possible. If you leave it laying on the ground hoses, tend to dry rot, get cracks, and split, the reel takes care of that. It will also take the kinks, knots, bends, and twists out of the equation, which will cause you issues later, the rubber doesn’t always agree with being tangled together.
Ease of Use- Manual reels, ones that you hand crank or just wrap the hose around, are time-consuming and use more energy than you may have left after working all day. Most are operated by a switch or button. Electric reels are much more time efficient and generally do a better job than you will be doing it by hand. It will wrap the hose tightly around the spool, thus squeezing any water in it that could cause the hose to split if it gets heated by the sun.
What to Think About When Choosing a Reel
Figure out how long of a hose or hoses you have. Some reels can handle longer lengths than others, and there is nothing more frustrating than trying to put a one-hundred-foot hose on a reel only meant to hold a fifty foot one.
The material the reel is made of. Cheap plastic will degrade in the UV rays of the sun and in the adverse weather conditions of constant heat and freeze cycles. There are models that you can carry around or are fixed permanently that are in a heavy-duty plastic casing that will protect it from the elements.
Motor durability and warranty. These are still moving pieces and can and will eventually wear out, so knowing that the company will stand behind their product in the future will give you peace of mind. Some are electric powered and are plugged into the wall; then there are others that are battery powered. Many units will come with a hand crank, just in case the power goes out, or your battery does not have enough of a charge.
Most reels will have the fittings to attach it directly to the water faucet. You may want to consider getting a nozzle for the end of your hose that can start and stop the water flow if it doesn’t already. That way, if you want to walk the hose end out to where you want to start but must make a side trip before starting, you don’t have to worry about the water running uselessly.
There are some Electric Hose Reels that can function as a piece of garden furniture. This is great for those that have worked extensively on making their yard look nice and don’t want the sight of a hose and reel marring it up. The hose is stored completely out of sight.
Cautions and Conclusion
All Powered Retractable Hose Reels are made differently, and they all can be used in different ways, make sure you follow the manufacturers instructions. Do not try to stop the wheel manually; you can injure yourself and damage the reel. Keep your hands clear of any moving parts, turn the power off before attempting to remove any blockage.
Make sure you get the proper size wheel for your needs. An automatic powered retractable garden hose reel is great to have; it can make your life so much easier for when you must use a garden hose. It is also a nice way to store your hose keeping it in tip-top condition and your yard looking neat and tidy.