How Long Will A Garden Hose Last Underground?

Many homeowners find themselves carrying hoses all around the backyard in order to access various portions of their yard. This isn’t a major concern until it comes time to mow the lawn and you accidentally hit the garden hose with the mower. When this happens you generally have to replace the mower blade, the hose, or even both.

If you don’t intend to move the hose anytime soon, it makes sense to simply bury it. This would make mowing so much easier, you wouldn’t have a tripping hazard in the yard, and you wouldn’t have an unsightly hose sitting in an otherwise beautiful yard.

Also, burying a garden hose is a wonderful option if you’re weary of dragging your garden hose and coiling it back up each time you need to water a garden that isn’t close to your faucet. This might be exhausting, especially if your hose is heavy, and it can be tough if there are bothersome obstructions in the path, like plants and trees. You may also want to leave your garden hose out for a season, but you don’t want it to be visible on your ground. 

Burying your hose it’s a simple answer to the many problems, but can you bury a garden hose without causing any other issues?

So How Long Will A Garden Hose Last When Buried Underground?

The answer involves many aspects, some of these include, among other things, the type of soil in your garden and the material used to make the hose. But the short answer is that a buried hose will normally last anywhere from a year to a few years. The hose’s quality, soil type, and depth at which it is buried will all play a role in its longevity.

What To Think About When Burying A Garden Hose

If they want to, anyone can bury a garden hose. The more immediate concern is whether it’s a good idea and how to implement it. The major elements to consider are the climate, the type of ground, the type of hose, and any chewing critters you may have living in your backyard.

What About Subzero Temperatures?

This is most likely the most crucial thing to keep an eye out for. Of course, you won’t have any temperature issues if you bury your hose during the warmer months. It’s the winter that can be a little frightening. Ideally burying a garden hose should be a seasonal occurrence, and it should be dug up before the winter arrives.

This is certainly inconvenient, so here are some things you can do to prepare if you plan on leaving your hose buried all year.

Which Garden Hoses Should Be Buried?

You are undoubtedly aware of the numerous varieties of garden hoses on the market. However, not all of them are appropriate for usage in such circumstances. You probably won’t consider burying the most costly expandable garden hose. But shouldn’t reconsider burying the cheapest garden hose on the market either. Having said that, consider buying and burying one of the following types of garden hoses.

Rubber Hose

The popular rubber and polyurethane hoses should be among your preferred hose for getting water to your desired underground location. Rubber hoses are strong, able to withstand water changes and are impervious to the pressure exerted by the soils and rocks above. They also do not kink readily when being laid or buried. Get the larger diameter to convey as much water as possible for diverse uses.

Drip Or Soaker Hose

If you wish to water through the areas that your garden hose runs through, soaker hoses are the ideal option. If you don’t have the money to buy a soaker hose, you can modify your old leaking hose with a few tools. They work best in vegetable gardens and other similar settings.

Weather-Proof Garden Hose

Many modern-produced hoses are more efficiently designed to handle significant temperature swings, both hot and cold. As a result, more temperature-inclined garden hoses are available that are better suited for burying underground.

These hoses can withstand freezing temperatures and are a good idea since another issue you may have is water freezing in your hose, which makes it easier for the hose to break down and restrict the water flow.

Burying A Garden Hose

  • Plan the route your hose will go and avoid any sharp turns or bends.
  • Create a trench that is at least 3-4 inches deep and 2 inches broad.
  • The trench should be dug the entire length of the hose’s intended trip.
  • Place the hose at the bottom of the trench and turn it on to ensure that there are no leaks in your hose.
  • Cover the hose with the earth excavated to create the trench.
  • Lightly pack the soil back in. Make sure not to walk heavily over the trench, compacting the soil tightly into the hose.
  • Attach another hose to the end of the underground garden hose so that you have plenty of line on the hose to which you connect your nozzle to use the hose. Make sure you have the right hose nozzle for your needs.

Extra Tips

You can bury it further if you really want to, but this depth should be sufficient for whatever reason you intend to use it. Keep soaker hoses no more than 4 inches deep to hydrate the roots of new, shallow-rooted plants while allowing moisture to seep down to deeper-rooted plants.

Avoid using vinyl hoses because they do not have the longevity of a quality hose, and do not use an outdated hose that has kinks or bends in it. A hose with a permanent kink will be useless underground since it cannot be adjusted.

Things To Be Mindful Of

There are a few things to bear in mind while you go through this procedure:

  • It is best to avoid hose menders and use large diameter hoses. Keep in mind that the longer your line, the more pressure drop there will be between the faucets and the far end of your hose. That being stated, reduce pressure drop by employing wide diameter hoses and minimizing potential constraints brought on by hose menders.
  • It is preferable to utilize an extra hose and wrap it around the faucet’s legs rather than cutting it off and using hose menders at the end.
  • Make sure to keep your garden hose in straight lines. This not only reduces the distance between the source and the destination, but it also eliminates the need for guesswork when determining where the underground lines run. If you need to bend the hose around a house or tree, draw two straight lines and carefully indicate the intersection.

Additional Winter Preparations

Blowing out the line for the winter (as you would for a sprinkler system) is highly suggested. If you do not do this, the hose will be rendered ineffective until the ground has completely thawed. Because you’re unlikely to dig beyond the frost line anyway, blowing out the hose line before winter is a good idea.

Other options for dealing with freezing temperatures include PVC tubing, PEX lines, and poly pipelines. These are often more winter flexible than commercial rubber lines and can withstand freezing temperatures and winter pressure better.

Benefits Of Burying A Garden Hose Underground

1 – No need to carry a hose around. Avoid hauling your garden hose to the same area repeatedly. If you have a large backyard, live in the suburbs or in a rural region, and have a few acres or more, installing an underground waterline with a garden hose will save your back from hauling hoses to and from where you want to access water.

2 – Hose protection from the elements. If you run a hose and simply leave it out on the ground, it will be damaged by the sun in the summer and frozen in the winter. Burying it keeps your garden hose safe from UV rays, which are known to harm the materials used to make hoses over time.

3 – Avoid puncturing the hose. When a hose is exposed on a surface, such as laying on the ground, it can be damaged by a variety of factors. If you drive on your property with any cars or want to mow that area, the hose can be punctured or cut, resulting in a hose that you will need to replace.

4 – Better Winterization. A garden hose placed in the ground is less prone to freeze. A buried hose can be used all winter long without requiring additional precautions to prevent a rupture due to a frozen line, especially in warmer locations where it gets cold enough for surface freezing but the earth never freezes. However, if the hose is not blown out like irrigation systems before the winter freeze, it may still freeze in severely cold locations with frozen ground. You can dig deeper to try to mitigate this problem, but you must measure the benefits against the time required to dip a deep trench for the line.

The Disadvantages Of Burying A Garden Hose

There are two major disadvantages to burying your garden hose that you should be aware of:

1 – Rodents. Some rodents, such as rats, voles, moles, and squirrels, are drawn to underground water supplies. Unfortunately, they have a habit of gnawing through hoses in order to puncture the surface and gain access to your water. This can be avoided by investing in a metal hose system.

2 – Soil Complications. Digging a long trench down to a depth of one foot or more can be quite difficult if you have heavy clay, rock, or compacted soil. Even a simple surface trench in a relatively moderate environment should be at least 3″ or 4″ deep. So, even a short trench would be nearly impossible to dig with conventional hand tools under these conditions.

Alternatives For Burying Underground Hoses

There are a few common alternatives to burying a garden hose across your land, each one with its own set of advantages.

PVC Tubing 

When installing a water system that will last for many years, if not decades, PVC pipes can be an ideal alternative for laying a line underground. This heavy-duty rigid pipe is built to withstand a great deal of strain without breaking or collapsing.

The only thing to be concerned about with a PVC underground pipe system for your water system is a leaky connection or tree roots eventually growing into it and destroying the pipe. If you inspect the system for leaks before burying the trench and avoid running a line near large growing trees, you will have a long-lasting underground water system.

Polypipe Lines

Poly pipe, which is widely used in irrigation systems for lawns and gardens around the country, is a popular type of hose to run underground. It is available in a range of widths and lengths, and it can be customized with all of the many components that may be added to satisfy highly specific watering demands for a whole yard.

If you intend to install an irrigation system with your underground hose, consider using a poly pipe rather than a garden hose.

What To Avoid

Avoid PEX pipe, especially if you want to bury a hose underground to provide watering for a garden. PEX is utilized in a variety of liquid transport systems, but it has been outlawed in the state of California due to research indicating that the piping will leak contaminants into the water.

Final Thoughts

If you’ve been considering laying down your garden hose to reduce drag and enhance the aesthetic of your garden, think no further. As you can see, installing an underground hose is a little more complicated than it appears to be, but it is well within the capability of a person with some basic DIY skills.

Burying a garden hose is a great weekend project that will make it easier to manage your watering needs across your property for years to come.