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    Eley Watering Systems

    Polyurethane vs. Rubber Hose.
    Which is right for me?

    rubber hose vs polyurethane hoseThe right hose for you depends on your needs and personal preferences.  In a nutshell, here are the primary differences:

    Weight - The rubber hose weighs twice as much as the polyurethane hose. This is most noticeable while pulling the hose out and reeling it back in. 

    Durability - The outer cover on the polyurethane hose is made of the same material as the wheels on in-line roller skates.  It is the most durable covering we have ever found.  This will be important if the hose is pulled across rough or sharp surfaces, such as rock, or if pulled around stone corners, etc. The outer cover on the rubber hose is softer and easier to tear.  

    Flexibility - The rubber hose is a softer and more flexible material than the polyurethane.  The rubber hose will wrap back onto the hose reel very uniformly for a nice 'look'. The polyurethane hose is more of a rubbery material.  It has a certain amount of spring or bounce to it. This is an advantage when it comes to kink-resistance, (which is discussed below), but not so much when it comes to creating a nice smooth wrap on the hose.  The poly hose can roll up quickly and easily onto a hose reel, however a picture-perfect looking wrap is not as easily attained as it is with the rubber hose.  Also, the longer lengths of polyurethane hose should only be used with a hose reel. Trying to loop a poly hose into a circular coil on the ground will be an exercise in frustration. Both hoses remain extremely flexible, even in cold temps.

    Kink-Resistance - The rubber hose is much more likely to kink, like traditional garden hoses, and also retain a 'kink memory', which is what happens when a hose seems to remember where it kinked, and then has a tendency to more easily kink over and over again in that same spot.  The positive side of the rubbery nature of polyurethane hose, is that it has a tendency to 'flip' out of a kink rather than collapse down into one.  Plus, the polyurethane has zero kink memory.  

    Fittings – The Eley polyurethane hose comes equipped with nickel-plated, crush-proof brass fittings.  The Eley rubber hose is equipped with crush-proof brass fittings.  While they both offer crush-proof strength, the fittings on the poly hose is nickel-plated, which is the same fittings used on most hoses rated for potable (drinking) water.

    Size/Storage Capacity - Although both hoses provide the same 5/8" ID of water flow, the cover on the rubber hose is much thicker, which is one contributing reason for the additional weight.  The thicker covering also means you can't store as much of the rubber hose on the hose reel.  The maximum capacity of our standard reels with the 5/8" polyurethane hose is 150 feet.  The maximum capacity with 5/8" of rubber hose is only 100 feet.  With the Extra-Capacity Kit, these capacities are 225 feet and 175 feet respectively. 

    Pressure Rating - The poly hose is rated up to 160 PSI.  The rubber hose is rated at 150 PSI. 

    Temperature RatingThe poly hose is rated at -40°F to 165°F.  The rubber hose is rated at -40°F to 190°F. 

    Non-Marking - The polyurethane cover is 100% non-marking, meaning you don’t have to worry about it leaving marks across clean surfaces.  The rubber hose is a softer material and can occasionally leave marks on surfaces or a small black residue on your hands after reeling the hose in.

    Warranty - It's difficult to find a warranty period advertised for most garden hoses sold today.  Not so with Eley. Both our warranties are better than virtually any other hose on the market. Our polyurethane hose is warrantied for 10 years, primarily because of the durability of the material, while our rubber hoses are warrantied for 5 years.   

    Drinking Water Safe - Eley polyurethane garden hoses are "Drinking Water Safe". The Rubber hose is not.  

    2-Wheel Cart vs. 4-Wheel Wagon Hose Reel

    Without question, this is the most asked question regarding our portable garden hose reel models. The primary differences involve balance, mobility and price. The Quad-Wheel Kit, which converts the 2-wheel cart into a 4-wheel wagon will add $50 to the price tag. What does that $50 buy you?  

    First, it will buy you a bit more 'non-tip' stability. The two additional tires out front adds another 7-1/2" to the width of the front part of the frame and makes it slightly more stable than the 2-wheel model.  Also remember that another significant factor with regards to the hose reel's tippiness has to do with how tight you set the tension on the adjustable cam-lever brake.  

    Second, the Quad-Wheel Kit allows to you maneuver the unit with a simple push/pull action (like a grocery cart), rather than the tip & push/pull action of the 2-wheel cart.  The 2-wheel model will require you to balance the unit while either pushing or pulling it to the desired location.  Their really is no balancing involved with the 4-wheel model.  However, unlike a grocery cart, the 4-wheel model does not have front wheels that turn.  So you'll still have to either lift the two rear wheels, or the two front wheels, in order to change direction with with the 4-wheel model.

    The two extra tires on the front of the 4-wheel wagon does add about 8 more pounds that you'll have to lift-by-tipping, in order to change direction.  We do have a number of customers who state that they believe the 2-wheel cart offers better turn-on-a-dime maneuvering than the 4-wheel wagon.  

    One last point to consider is that you don't have to make the decision right now. The Quad-Wheel Kit is an optional upgrade that can always be purchased at a later date and used to easily upgrade an already assembled 2-wheel cart.  One advantage to buying both now, is that you would be saving about $7 from the total shipping costs of having to ship you the Quad-Wheel Kit at a later date.  Check out all of your options on our Portable Garden Hose Reel product page. 

    Another Unsolicited Email About Our Customer Support

    Every now and then a customer will send us an unsolicited email thanking us for a level of customer service that has, sadly, become too much of a rarity these days.

    Mike B. of Boerne, TX, took a chance on Eley Hose Reels back in September of 2012, when he purchased our popular Free-Standing Garden Hose Reel. Recently, the brass swivel, (also referred to as a rotary union), developed a leak. This is a very uncommon occurrence, as all of our hose reels are guaranteed not to leak for 10 years! Anxious and bracing for a battle, Mike gave us a call, unsure of what kind of hassle he might have to endure to get his problem remedied. On the other end of the line, he was greeted warmly by Scott Jelinek, our Customer Service Manager.  We can only surmise the Mike was pleased with how his dilemma was addressed, because following is the unsolicited email we received soon after.


    WOW! I'm extremely impressed.

    I work for a large fortune 200 company with industry leading customer loyalty and the highest customer service scores in the financial services industry. While we ceaselessly strive to improve customer service at my employer, I've come to expect the companies that serve my needs strive for lower performance standards.

    Your company is clearly exceptional and I thank you for your outstanding service to me. You've made me a lifetime customer and a very strong advocate of your products among my family, friends, peers and acquaintances. Thanks!

    Mike B, Boerne, TX

    As you may or may not know, Eley Hose Reels has been a family-owned company since it's founding almost 25 years ago.  It has been our mission from the beginning to provide our customers with the same kind of small-town service we grew up with in our rural Nebraska farming community. Scott Jelinek was one of our early hires back in the 1990's. Nebraska born and raised himself, Scott is a hard-working, detail-oriented kind of person. Always the professional, he is friendly, efficient, articulate and knows our hose reels intimately.  Great job Scott.  

    Eley Customer Service manager Scott Jelinek

    Read more customer emails about Eley post-sale support.