Water Hose Kink Guide: Why Do Garden Hoses Kink? [Fixes]

A garden hose is a great tool to have around your home, but a kink in the hose can swiftly make it stop working and may even ruin the hose. Why do garden hoses kink?

A water hose kinks when its natural shape is disrupted (due to various reasons), causing a pressure point to form in the hose. This twisted angle of the hose prevents water from flowing properly. Some of the reasons a water hose will kink include:

  • The hose is made of low-quality materials
  • The hose was not straightened prior to use
  • The hose was not stored properly
  • The hose is old and the materials are degrading

Kinks can form all along a hose, but it is very common to see a kink formed near the water spigot. When a hose is maneuvered around a yard, the angle of the hose changes near the spigot, which can lead to kinking.

Some hoses will have a kink preventer near the fitting to help prevent the hose from kinking near the spigot. If your hose does not have these kink-preventing ends, you can buy kink preventers off at Amazon to attach to your hose. Here’s a look at a hose I own that has a kink preventer on the end:


But these kink preventers won’t keep your hose from kinking in the middle. To prevent issues along the length of the hose, you need to buy a hose made with kink-resistant materials, and combine that with proper storage and preparation habits (which we discuss in this article).

Kinks in your garden hose can be a hassle and drastically affect efficiency and hose flow rate. Let’s take a look at some of the common causes of kinks, the materials that kink the most, and some tips you can use to avoid this problem.

What Causes a Hose to Kink?

There are a few things that can cause your hose to kink when using it. These kinks will stop water from flowing through the hose and makes the hose ineffective. 

Causes of kinks in your garden hose include:

  • Improper storage: Proper storage like using a hose reel is important for keeping the hose in working condition. For example, shoving the hose in the corner of your garage will create improper shape and form pressure points on the hose, which will lead to kinking. To view options, visit our article about the best metal hose reels.
  • An old hose: As the hose gets older it can start to kink because the lining becomes weaker and more pliable. 
  • Materials in the hose: There are several types of hose material. Rubber and vinyl are the two most common materials you will find on the market today. Although rubber hoses are often very durable and last a long time, rubber hoses will kink easier. To read more about how rubber and vinyl garden hoses compare, visit our article comparing rubber vs vinyl hoses.

What Types of Hose Material Kink the Most?

The material used in your hose will make a big difference in avoiding kinking. These are the types of materials used in hoses and how they generally affect kinking:

  • Vinyl: Hoses made with vinyl are often the most kink-resistant hoses (there can be cheap exceptions). Many vinyl hoses have stiff braiding material that makes the hose resistant to forming sharp angles, just be aware that these types of hoses, yes, resist kinking, but can be a little harder to maneuver around the yard due to stiffness. Here I am straightening out a kink-resistant vinyl hose: 
  • Rubber: Rubber is a more durable hose material, but it usually kinks easier. A rubber hose is easier to maneuver because it isn’t as stiff as kink-resistant material, but rubber hoses can form kinks. Here I am straightening out a rubber hose. See how it naturally twists and kinks:
  • Polyurethane: This material is not as common as rubber and vinyl. These hoses are often drinking-water-safe, which can cause them to be a bit pricier. They will kink. Some PU hoses may have strain relief kink preventors attached to each end to prevent kinking near spigot.  
  • Nylon Expandable: This is the material used in expandable garden hoses which are usually kink-resistant but aren’t as durable as other types of hoses. Kinks still can be formed in this type of hose. 

Out of all the types, rubber is the one most likely to kink. But it is important to understand, that kink-resistance has a lot to do with what is inside a hose. There are cheap vinyl hoses that don’t have internal braiding to help it resist kinking.

If you are a homeowner, you need to decide if you want maneuverability or kink resistance. Most kink-resistant hoses are stiff, and it can feel like a wrestling match in your yard. Using rubber makes it easier to maneuver, and if you store your hose properly, and straighten it our before use, you can usually minimize kinking.  Using a hose reel cart can help you store your hoses properly and make them easier to use.

Nylon expandable hoses are kink-resistant, but don’t make sense for all applications. These types of hoses are easy to use, and lightweight, but don’t typically hold up as well as traditional water hoses.

Are Longer Hoses More Likely to Kink?

The length does matter when it comes to your garden hose. The longer the hose, the more likely it is to twist and tangle, and then kink.

Choose a hose that is only as long as you need it. Anything longer can be a big hassle and may kink. It is important to choose the right length for your goals. Consider this:

  • 25 feet: This is best for a small garden or deck that is near the water spigot. 
  • 50 feet: This is good for a medium yard or for a garden that is at the back of the lawn. 
  • 75 feet: This is a great length if the yard is big enough that you need to move around the sprinkler to get everything. 
  • 100 feet: This is the length most likely to kink so only get it when needed. This is best for really big yards.

We would recommend you to walk off or even measure the length needed for your hose. Be sure to build in some margin for error when choosing your length, and also be sure to consider any future changes you may have to your yard or home.

How to Store your Water Hose to Prevent Kinking

It is very important to store your water hose correctly to keep your hose from kinking and last as long as possible. There are two common ways to store your water hose.

  • Wind the hose up and store it on a hook or on a shelf. Make sure there aren’t any kinks.
  • Buy a storage reel to keep your hose stored without kinks.

Obviously storing your hose on a hook or shelf is less expensive. While using a hose reel may be more expensive, it does help you make sure you are storing the hose properly. When buying a hose reel, always make sure you buy one large enough for your hose. Also, buying an automatic hose reel will make putting your hose away a lot easier.

Regardless where and how you store your hose you should store it out of the sun. Storing your hose out of the sun will keep your hose in better working condition which will help prevent kinking.

Tips to Avoid Kinks in Garden Hoses

Here are some tips to help prevent your water hose from kinking:

  • Extend the hose prior to use. Take the time to straighten out the hose before turning on the water. Don’t keep the hose coiled up when you turn on the water.
  • Buy a hose made with kink-preventing materials. Often these types of hoses have strong braiding inside the hose that helps the hose maintain shape and structure while being maneuvered. Here’s a look at a kink-preventing hose I own. If you look closely you can see the internal braiding:
  • Use a storage reel. These are effective at storing the hose safely, and can help prevent kinking. No, these won’t prevent all kinking, and some types of reels work better than others, but using a storage reel is a much better option than simply throwing the hose in the corner of the garage.
  • Buy a hose with kink preventer. A kink preventer is a small attachment that encases the ends of the hose to prevent kinking near the spigot. You can buy these off Amazon, or buy a hose that comes with these already built in. Yes, this helps kinking near the spigot, but doesn’t mean you won’t get kinks in the middle of your hose. Some versions of kink preventers also make the hose fittings crush resistant.
  • Prevent sun exposure. Yes, this one is not always doable since hoses are used outside. Over time, harmful UV rays from the sun can degrade the materials in your hose, which can lead to more kinking. Store the hose out of sun as much as possible.
  • Use an expandable hose. Expandable hoses shrink up after use. They don’t kink as easily, and are lightweight and easy to use, but before you rush to buy one, make sure they are right for you. These hoses typically are not as durable as regular hoses.  

The truth is, even with your best efforts, there are times when the hose will get a kink. Just gently straighten it out as soon as you can and it should be fine. If you buy a hose made to resist kinking, and store it properly, you will have minimal issues.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson has been a contributor and tester for us since our beginning. He has extensive hands-on experience using and testing the hoses we discuss at length on this site. He has specifically contributed to the testing of hose flow rate, crush-resistance, and weight. We have also relied on him to use and test other hose accessories, like storage reels and spray nozzles. As we do with all our contributors, we ask him to use his hands-on experience with these hoses to provide authentic advice to our audience.

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