Assessing Winter Freeze Damage
What is Freeze Damage?
The most common form of damage to outdoor watering products is structural failure of a component due to exposure to freezing temperatures. Water freezes at 32° Fahrenheit and 0° Celsius and when it does, the expansion of the ice is unrelenting and will cause structural failure of any vessel that contains it unless the vessel is able to flex or expand with the ice. Freezing water can expand up to 9% in size with a force of up to 25,000 PSI. Unfortunately, most forms of metal, including iron, copper, steel, brass, stainless steel and aluminum are unable to flex and usually have some type of structural failure caused by the expanding ice.
A Common Mistaken Made By Customers
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.
Regions Where Freeze Damage Can Occur?
Failure to properly winterize your outdoor watering products can happen to anyone. For those that live in northern climates and are used to winterizing outdoor products, sometimes a sudden arctic front can descend without much warning or we just simply forget. However, those that live in the warmer, more southern states, are typically the ones caught off guard, simply because they don’t often have to worry about freezing temperatures.
How to Find Out if Your Area Got Freezing Temperatures
If you're not sure if your area was recently subjected to freezing temperatures, there is an quick and easy way to find out. Visit the World Temperatures website which will show you your area's recent highs and lows based on your zip code. This link will default to Lincoln, Nebraska. Simply enter your zip code and select your city from the dropdown menu to view the recent temperature history for your location.
Freeze Damage on ELEY Products
On a hose reel, the swivel is usually the component to fail. Our polyurethane inlet hose and garden hose often have the ability to expand enough with the ice so as not to sustain structural failure. However, the hose fittings could easily get cracked due to freeze damage. If the failed component is the swivel, then please watch this video so you can properly assess whether or not your swivel will qualify for warranty consideration.
Not Covered Under Warranty - If it turns out that the swivel on your reel has failed from freeze damage, then unfortunately, it’s not covered by our 10-Year Warrant which states, in part, that the warranty "specifically excludes failure or damage due to freezing,.." Also, structural damage due to freeze damage is non-repairable, so the swivel will need to be replaced.
Not Freeze Damage? - If you believe the failure of your component is not due to freeze damage, please initiate the warranty claim process by submitting our Warranty Claim Form, and one of our customer support specialists will reply to your request promptly.
Getting a New Swivel
The good news is that a replacement part is available. Also, since so many customers were caught off guard this winter, we've lowered the price of our replacement swivel by 50%. We're not the type of company that looks to take advantage of your misfortune. Regardless of what your original swivel looked like, the replacement swivel for ALL ELEY and Rapid-Reel hose reels sold since 2009 is Item #4291, which will be shipped from our Reno, NV facility so you can have it repaired in just a few days. Click on Map to ENLARGE.
Purchase the #4291 Replacement Garden Hose Reel Swivel
How to Prevent Winter Freeze
The best way to prevent winter freeze damage is to properly drain the water out of your hose reel. We have an article and a video that covers this subject in detail. View "Preparing Your Garden Hose Reel for Freezing Temperatures"