frozen faucet

For those of us that live in northern climates, winterizing your garden hose, hose reels, and watering tools are critical items on your fall checklist when preparing for winter.  Failure to properly prepare for the winter could result in serious damage to your hose, hose reel, and tools, not to mention the outdoor faucet and the plumbing feeding it. Essentially, we want to extend the life of the reel as much as possible. With just a few hose reel accessories, you can winterize your Eley hose and reel, so they stay protected and secure for the season.

Will it freeze in your area tonight?   Find out by viewing your local weather forecast from the Weather Channel.

You have two options when it comes to winterizing your above-ground garden hose system. They are:
  1. Heated Indoor Storage
  2. Gravity Drain

Indoor Storage

We are often asked, "Do I need to take my hose reel inside for the winter, or is it okay to leave it out?" Doing either is fine, however, you still will want to drain all the water out of the hose reel. Since our garden hose reels are made of aluminum-alloy, brass, and stainless steel, the cold winter temperatures and moisture will not harm them. However, if you have the heated indoor space available, moving your hose reel indoors is a very practical method of protecting your garden hose reel and hose from winter freeze damage. It is also a very easy method if you own a free-standing or portable hose reel, like a 2-wheel cart or 4-wheel wagon hose reel. wood post winterization screwYou simply disconnect the inlet/feeder hose from the faucet and move the hose reel into the heated storage space. For wall or post-mounted hose reels, however, you’ll have an additional step. For post-mounted hose reels, whether it is a wooden or aluminum post, simply remove the hose reel from the post by removing the four screws that attach the reel to the post brackets. For wall mounted hose reels, you can either remove the flange and drum assembly from the axle and leave the wall plate/axle on the wall for the winter, or remove the four wall plate lag screws or anchor bolts from the wall and carry the entire hose reel assembly indoors for winter storage.  

A Common Mistake

Many customers mistakenly assume that simply disconnecting the inlet hose from the faucet or simply storing it in the garage is all that is needed to protect the hose and reel from freeze damage.  Unfortunately, it is not.  The water needs to be drained out of the garden hose and the internal plumbing of the reel before the onset of freezing temperatures (32°F and below).  Unless your garage is equipped with it's own heat source, most attached garages can easily drop below freezing during cold winter nights.  Simply storing the hose reel in an attached garage is not sufficient protection from freeze damage.  The only safe protection against freeze damage is to fully drain the water out of the reel and the garden hose. 

Gravity Drain Method

This is a fairly simple method of winterization.  The one requirement for it to be effective is that the hose needs to be able to drain downhill. If the only direction you can pull the hose off the reel is uphill, then you should not use this method. Below is a video demonstrating this proper winterization technique.

Hose Reel Covers

eley hose reel cover on 1043If you are leaving your hose reel outside, you may want to consider adding an additional layer of protection by covering your hose reel and garden hose with one of our premium quality ELEY Hose Reel Covers. Available in two sizes, these covers will not only help protect your hose reel from the harsh winter weather but also from the sun’s harmful UV rays. They’re made of durable polyester fabric with an oversized zipper. The interior features a urethane coating that increases the cover’s water and mildew resistance as well as stops the fabric from rubbing the reel’s paint. These are wonderful for any hose reel model you own.



¾” Brass Garden Hose Cap

eley brass garden hose capThis is a small but useful item we offer that will be incredibly useful if you struggle with small critters around your property during the winter. Once your hose is winterized, you can use our Item 1123 Brass Garden Hose Cap to screw onto any standard 3/4" male garden hose thread fitting. It includes a premium ELEY garden hose washer with large grips for easy on/off twisting. This handy cap will keep dust, debris, and tiny critters like insects and mice out of the hose.

Now that you’re winterized, you can relax knowing your garden hose and reel are safely stored and will be ready for use next spring. Until then, enjoy the winter!