A bitter cold winter can wreak havoc on the pipes in your house. Your garden hose can be just as fallible.
Wondering what temperature will a garden hose freeze up? Our guide answers all the related questions about a garden hose freezing up.
What Temperature Will a Garden Hose Freeze in Fahrenheit?
32 degrees Fahrenheit.
A garden hose is filled with water. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. While this is the temperature that water will freeze at, it must be exposed to the temperature for a certain amount of time. The volume of water will determine at what length of time the water must be exposed to the temperature to freeze.
What Temp Will a Garden Hose Freeze in Celsius?
0 degrees Celsius.
Celsius, standardly used as a measurement of temperature in almost every other place in the world other than the United States of America, has a slightly different scale than Fahrenheit.
While the number representation may change with measurement in Celsius, the actual temperature itself remains the same. 32 degrees Fahrenheit is equal to 0 degrees Celsius.
How Long Will It Take the Water to Freeze Inside the Hose?
For the amount of water in a standard garden hose, it will take 6 hours for the water to become frozen solid. This amount of time remains the same if you are measuring in Celsius or Fahrenheit.
What Happens if Your Water Hose Freezes?
Do try not to let your garden hose freeze. The consequences of the garden hose freezing can range from disappointing to downright disastrous.
When something freezes, it tends to expand. The water in garden hoses is no different. Ice takes up about 10% more space than liquid water. When the water expands, it can create holes in your hose. This can essentially render our lovely garden hose useless for the next season.
When water is in your pipes, it has nowhere to escape to. Pipes are not made of material that will easily rip to create holes. This can lead to damages in your pipes. The damages can impact your toilets, sinks, bathtubs, and showers.
Garden hoses can be replaced easily, but your pipes are a different story. You should always disconnect your garden hose to prevent damage to your house’s pipes.
When Should You Disconnect Your Garden Hose?
We get it, sometimes life throws you curveballs and it freezes a month or two early. Or sometimes it doesn’t freeze until later than expected. To be on the safe side, and reduce the possibility of damage to your pipes, you have a couple options.
First, you can disconnect your hose at the end of every use. This will ensure that it will not be connected to your pipes when it is not in use. This almost guarantees that your garden hose will not freeze and damage your pipes, as long as you follow through with the plan. However, we understand that this solution may not be reasonable.
As an alternative, it is recommended that you disconnect your garden hose from the spigot or faucet at the end of the season of use. If you only use the hose for the spring, disconnect it at the end of spring. If you use your hose throughout the summer, disconnect the hose at the end of the summer.
If you use your hose in autumn, be very careful that you don’t leave it out overnight. It can sometimes freeze overnight, and this could lead to your hose freezing. If you use your hose during autumn, the first option might be best.
It is wholly recommended to disconnect your hose after the very first dip below 36 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius, if you have not done so already.
Be sure to empty the hose of all water before OR after disconnecting!
Can You Prevent Your Garden Hose from Freezing?
Fortunately, you can prevent your hose from freezing if you are not able to disconnect your hose from the spigot. The best way to prevent your hose from freezing, and subsequently damaging your pipes, is to wrap your hose with a heat cable.
To do this you will first need to run the purchased heat cable along your hose to determine how much you will need. Line it up properly and attach the cable with high-temperature tape. Apply the tape every 6 inches along the hose to limit the size of the gaps that are exposed and to properly adhere the cable to the hose. This method can also be used for creating a hose with heated water for other occasions.
Will Running Water in a Hose Freeze?
Running water is a good way to mitigate the chances of your hose freezing, however, it is still very possible that the hose might freeze. It just won’t freeze as easily as still water.
Water still has the same freezing temperature, no matter if it is running or standing. It may adjust the exposure time limit and may take more time to freeze, but it will still freeze eventually.
What to Do if You Forgot to Disconnect Your Hose Before a Freeze?
Not disconnecting your hose is not advised, but if you did leave your hose connected it is possible to save it.
First, you will want to make sure that the hose is turned off. You want to make sure that no pressurized running water is going through the hose. Do NOT disconnect the hose while the water is still running. This can cause severe damage to anyone in the vicinity.
Next, you will need to thaw the outdoor faucet your hose is connected to. Use a heat gun, or a hairdryer, to propel hot air toward the valve of the spigot or faucet. Hold the tool 4 inches away from the faucet and blow cold air onto the faucet for approximately 10 minutes. This will make it easier to disconnect the hose from the outdoor faucet.
After you have heated the outdoor faucet, you will want to disconnect your hose. Remove the hose by using pliers, as it may be quite tight. You do not want to hurt yourself trying to remove the hose from the faucet.
When is it too Cold to Use a Garden Hose?
Now that you know when your hose will freeze, what happens if it does, and how to remove it afterwards, let’s discuss when it is too cold to use a garden hose.
You will want to stop using your garden hose before you remove it. The temperature around which is the last recommended time to disconnect your hose is 36 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius. It is too cold to use your hose around this time as it is very close to the temperature at which the hose will freeze.
Discontinue garden hose usage around 40 degrees Fahrenheit, or 9 degrees Celsius.
Can I Leave my Garden Hose Outside all Winter?
The short answer, yes!
You may leave your garden hose outside all winter; however, you must drain all of the water out of the hose prior to leaving it alone. If you do not do this, you risk the water in your hose freezing and creating holes in the hose itself.
Can My Pipes Inside Bust from a Garden Hose Freezing?
YES! Your pipes inside can burst from a garden hose freezing. As unpleasant as this may be, it is true.
Water expands when it freezes. When water is in pipes, it doesn’t have anywhere to expand to, so it can indeed burst the pipes. Any pipe damage can cause damage to the entire system.
Note: This is only true if the hose is still connected to the faucet. If it is not connected to the faucet, a frozen garden hose is just a frozen garden hose.
A garden hose can be very useful during the spring and summer seasons for a variety of activities. In the autumn and winter, it is a bit trickier as your hose can freeze and cause damage.
Explore the above tips and tricks for dealing with a garden hose in the winter!
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.