Jan 202008

Gilmour hose menders

These Gilmour hose menders and couplers are absolutely brilliant. I discovered them last season, after messing around for years with regular brass fittings and hose clamps. Made of nylon, with stainless steel screws, they’re light, durable, and feel like precision parts. Inserting and screwing tight are both smooth and straightforward. They’re no more expensive than brass couplers, and they eliminate having to use a separate clamp. I use mainly the couplers, to make up custom pieces of hose (the top row is for 5/8″-3/4″ hose, the bottom for 1/2″), while the menders can be lifesavers if you accidentally slice a hose. I’ve yet to install a full drip irrigation system, so my small-scale irrigation is intimately connected with regular garden hoses. I suspect even with a fully installed irrigation set-up, hoses on the tiny farm will still play a part, and these will come in handy. I have tried one other plastic connector of similar design, but it broke. I’d recommend this particular brand since it’s the one I’ve field-tested with great success.

Dec 312007

Brass quick couplers

If you mess about a lot with hoses, you can save a lot of time with quick couplers. I’ve only used these brass ones with zero problems, and there are plastic versions which may be just durable. In my case, where I’m more or less hand irrigating a couple of acres, dragging around and joining 100′ hoses, and attaching a variety of sprinklers and shut-off valves, they’re a luxury. I do wonder if I’m significantly reducing water flow by having several inline, haven’t figured that part out yet, but there’s no obvious noticeable difference. The couplers also come in handy for changing nozzles on a single hose, like in the greenhouse, where I regularly use a gun-type nozzle, water breaker, fan head and watering wand. In this application, an inline mini shutoff valve placed between the hose and the female fitting completes the convenience. They come in pairs, but you probably need way more male fittings. I get mine at Lee Valley (click the link), where you can get singles. I’ve seen the same ones at hardware stores. Get extra step washers as well!