Ohuhu Expandable Garden Hose: Product Review
Expandable hoses, which stretch to full-length when filled with water but shrink to about a third of the size when the water is turned off, have been on the market for a few years now but I’ve been skeptical of how well they would perform. There is a significant range in quality from one brand to another, as well as a significant range of prices (see our review of the Best Garden Hoses for more information about expandable hoses). The Ohuhu Expandable Garden Hose is the first expandable hose I’ve used and so far it’s been one of the best hoses I’ve used.
Lightweight But Durable
What I liked best about the hose was how little it weighed and how easy it was to maneuver around the garden, even when full of water.
When empty, the Ohuhu hose weighs less than 2 lbs. and is an easy-to-carry 17 feet in length. Turn the water on and the hose quickly expands to a full 50 feet. The hose also comes in 75- and 100-foot lengths, although I didn’t test those.
It comes with an eight-pattern watering nozzle and a washer to place in the female connector of the hose that has successfully kept the hose from leaking at the faucet. The connector at the other end has a valve to turn the flow of water on and off. The fittings are brass, which should make them longer-lasting than expandable hoses with plastic connectors.
I didn’t try using the hose with any other attachments such as sprinklers or pressure washers, but the company states it is only safe to use with attachments that meet the standards of normal operating water pressure within 43.5-87PSI/3-6Bar and safe operating water pressure under 145PSI/10Bar.
Using the Ohuhu Expandable Hose
The hose is 1/2-inch in diameter. I had no problems with water flow or pressure for the purposes of watering the garden. If, for example, you wanted to use it to wash down sidewalks (something currently prohibited here in California due to water restrictions), the pressure might seem less than optimum but probably good enough to get the job done.
To use the hose, you begin with the valve turned off. Turn the faucet on, letting the hose fully expand and fill with water, then turn on the valve and begin watering.
The manufacturer instructions state that when turning off the hose, you should turn off the valve on the brass connector first, then turn off the tap, in order to avoid having the hose jump back and hitting you. I tried it both ways–turning off the valve first and turning off the faucet first–and it didn’t seem to make any difference. I never had any trouble with the hose jumping around wildly when either filling or emptying, but that may be dependent on your water pressure. If you have very high pressure, you may have to exercise extra caution. What is essential in every case, however, is that when you are finished watering, you empty the water out of the hose (allowing it to shrink back to its short form).
Don’t Drink From It
The hose itself is made of latex and is unleaded but does contain cadmium. The product came with a warning sticker indicating that “This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and birth defects or other reproductive harm.” While no one should ever drink water from a garden hose unless it’s clearly sold as “drinking water safe”, I can’t find anything to indicate that it would be unsafe to water edibles with a hose containing cadmium.
Easy to Store
To store the hose, I just coiled it easily into a terracotta pot in the shade, but it could also be stored hanging loosely on a large hook. I don’t think it would be good to wind it up on a hose reel where it might get wound too tight and stretch it out.
Extra Care Recommended
In spite of the fact that I’ve had a positive experience with the Ohuhu hose, I’d suggest taking some extra precautions with it. I wouldn’t recommend using it around thorny bushes or cacti and for longer life, it would be best to store the hose out of direct sun when not in use. And most importantly, failing to empty the hose when not in use will certainly shorten the life of the hose.
After a long day of weeding or digging, the last thing I want to do is lug a heavy hose through the garden to water. Compared to the heavy-duty hoses I’ve been using, which were not only heavy, but also cumbersome and prone to kinking, the Ohuhu hose was problem-free. I experienced no trouble with the hose kinking or leaking. The watering nozzle that comes with the hose has worked well so far, but it is of similar quality to other nozzles I’ve used that didn’t last long so I’m not sure how long a life this one will have. Even so, the nozzle is easily replaceable with any standard watering nozzle. I think with the minimal care mentioned above, this hose will prove to be worth the price.
Where to Buy
The Ohuhu Expandable Garden Hose costs about $40 for the 50-foot hose (slightly more for the 75-foot and 100-foot lengths) and is available through Amazon and other online retailers.
Now over to you – Have you tried an expandable hose before? How did it work? Let us know in the comments below!
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