Shortening a soaker hose is actually really simple and you should definitely just do that instead of trying to buy a new one that’s the exact length you need which might be difficult. Usually soaker hoses will come in 25-foot sizes all the way up to 100-foot sizes which is usually the longest manufacturers will make. You can sometimes find a 15-footer but usually the shortest most manufacturers will go is 25-feet.
Anyways, now you have excess length either because it’s impossible to buy the exact size you may need for your garden or you might have bought too long of a soaker hose to begin with and instead of buying a shorter one, you can just shorten the soaker hose you already have. Here’s how you can do so!
How To Shorten Your Soaker Hose Easily
To Successfully Shorten a Soaker Hose: Cut & Add New Fitting
This is the safest bet when shortening your soaker hose. Cutting and properly attaching a new fitting will ensure there are no leaks afterwards. You will need to get a new fitting though which depending on the material you get will go anywhere usually from 2 dollars to 5 dollars.
What Materials You Will Need
- X-Acto Knife
- New Fitting (correct inner diameter – preferably plastic for soaker hose)
Step 1 – Get Your Soaker Hose Ready For Trimming
The first thing you need to do is detach the hose from the spigot or faucet. Now you are going to want to drain all the water out of your hose before you cut. So pick up one end of the hose over your shoulder and just walk the entire length of the hose out to efficiently drain it out.
Now lay out the soaker hose throughout your garden nicely and keep the excess part you are going to trim laying outside the garden. Don’t attach the one end to your spigot just yet. Just leave it placed right by it.
Step 2 – Decide Where To Cut
First you need to know where exactly you want to shorten your soaker hose. So you have already laid out your soaker hose nicely in your garden and now you have the excess length hanging outside of your garden that you need to get rid of.
Now use a sharp knife, preferably an x-acto knife to evenly and smoothly cut the hose so you have completely divided it. Make sure you cut in a straight line so the new fitting can be easily attached.
Step 3 – Measure Interior Diameter & Attach New Fitting
So this process can be a little tedious if you’ve never done it before. First you need to accurately measure the inner diameter of your hose. The packaging will say what the ID is which is probably 1/2″ or 5/8″, maybe 3/4″. But measure just to make sure because some manufacturers will incorrectly label their packages.
Now you need to get the appropriate sized fitting and correctly attach it to the cut-end of the hose. With soaker hoses, I like using plastic fittings/menders. Brass ends I will use with my regular garden hose but a plastic fitting will do just fine with a soaker hose.
I find the plastic menders with the two screws work the best. Something like this:
Basically with these all you do is slide the top portion into your hose where you made your cut. Make sure it is nice and snug and pushed in all the way. Then you clamp the bottom portion of the mender (part with 2 screws) right behind the fitting you just attached. Then tightly screw the screws in as far as they can go with a screwdriver.
Note: Some of these fittings may just be one whole piece in which you just slide the whole thing on (bottom goes first) as far as you can and then tighten the screws. Literally every fitting is a little different so it’s hard to pinpoint the exact process of what you will need to do.
But if you bought a completely different one (brass ones vary a lot) then it may require a different process to appropriately connect it to the cut-end of the hose. That’s why I like these ones because they are so simple.
Step 4 – Test Your Shortened Soaker Hose
So there you go! That’s all you need to do. Now you have successfully trimmed your soaker hose and attached a new mender and all of it is nicely placed in your garden with no excess!
Turn on the spigot and open your soaker hose valve and see if it works just like before. If you attached the new fitting correctly, you should be getting no leaks out of that end of the hose.
Here is a helpful video if you get stuck. However, note in this video that he is shortening the end of the soaker hose that attaches to the spigot/faucet where the water comes out. So it’s pretty much the exact same process except he adds the quick-connect after attaching the new mender so he can connect the whole thing to his faucet.
What To Do With The Excess Hose?
Guess what? Now you have excess soaker hose and you shouldn’t just throw it away! I mean depending on its length you could very well make another soaker hose out of it.
If it’s just a couple of feet though then I wouldn’t really worry about it. But if you have over 10 feet of excess hose, then you bet I would make another soaker hose out of it.
Maybe you had a 50 footer and you cut it in half, well now you have another 25 footer that needs repairing. Well the other end of that one already has a connector attached to it that you would connect to your spigot/faucet. And the other end you just cut and so all you do is follow the exact same process above!
Voila! Now you have two soaker hoses you can use. If you ever need to repair a soaker hose, it pretty much follows the same process except you are reconnecting the cut-ends together in which you would need a full soaker hose repair kit.
Other Tips When Shortening A Soaker Hose
- Some people say that instead of adding a new mender, you can just cut the hose and fold the one end back onto the other end and tie-wrap or wire it together. Honestly, I would not recommend this. Eventually, it will most likely just lead to more problems. Securing a new fitting onto your hose is your best bet.
- As stated above, I prefer plastic fittings/menders for soaker hoses and brass ones for regular garden hoses.
- Take your hose to a hardware store and ask what the inner diameter of it is if you’re unsure if you measured correctly. The hardware store worker can also give you the appropriate fitting you will need.
- Soaker hoses can sometimes become clogged. To shorten a soaker hose, you will be fiddling around with it which could cause some of the holes to get debris in them. So follow the process of unclogging your soaker hose to make sure it can work as efficiently as possible.
Well I hope you found this tutorial informative. It really is that simple. No one should have to garden and waste water, especially when soaker hoses are designed to conserve water and efficiently water your plants better than you could manually.
If you have any other questions or concerns, just leave me a comment below and I will definitely get back to you!