I bought a hose nozzle that looked robust (though made mainly of plastic) last year and let it sit out over the winter (temperatures get down to -30 ºC). This spring, naturally, the nozzle was leaking from all its seams. I bought another one of the same kind with the plan to bring it in before the really cold weather starts. To my dismay, the nozzle started leaking this week after we had some mildly frosty nights.

Any thoughts on what I should look for in a nozzle so that it'll withstand the frost? I don't expect it to survive the winter. I am thinking I need a nozzle made of all metal, possibly with metal seals.

  • P.S. I know this is probably Taboo; but in addition to general characteristics if anyone has experience with a really nice hose nozzle, could you please attacth that as a comment to this question?
    – Om Patange
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 4:52
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    Have you tried changing out the washer inside the nozzle when it starts leaking? Typically those washers are made of rubber which can shrink or become brittle and break in cold weather.
    – wax eagle
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 13:23
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    The cheap plastic ones and even the cheap white-metal ones suck. Go with real brass... Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 16:23

1 Answer 1


I use my hose all winter as part of maintaining a backyard rink. We use brass fittings and they don't leak. Now, we don't leave the hose outside with water in it, and I don't think you should either. (At the risk of being overly clear I mean the habit of turning off the hose at the nozzle (the business end), then walking back to the tap and turning off the water supply, then going back to the business end and opening the nozzle to empty the hose. This makes it much lighter and easier to move around (in true winter we bring the empty hose inside after each rink watering) and if you're going to leave it outside, pretty much eliminates freezing worries.)

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I probably got mine from Lee Valley (eg http://www.leevalley.com/en/garden/page.aspx?p=10369&cat=2,2280,33160&ap=3) or else Canadian Tire, which may not be an option for you depending on where you live.

My hoses are currently mostly still outside and we've had a few frosts already this year. They don't leak. Also cold plastic shatters when you drop the hose on hard-frozen ground (and for sure on a rink) but brass does not. My fittings look nothing like the picture these days - they are 10-20 years old and not shiny. But they don't leak :-)

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    +1 "don't leave the hose outside with water in it". If you don't drain it and it freezes, it is going to leak. If drained, brass fittings will probably outlive you. This is definitely one area where it pays to not buy cheap.
    – bstpierre
    Commented Nov 8, 2011 at 19:08
  • Without a vacuum breaker, your method isn't going to get the water out of the hose. You can install a vacuum breaker at the top of the house easily enough, though, and perhaps you already have if you find your hose is lighter. They also help with backflow prevention... watts.com/pages/_products_details.asp?pid=910 Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 16:22
  • I don't leave hoses out when it's -5, -10C. But for days like this when it might go -1 overnight, my method empties the hose enough. I've been doing it for decades and never had a leak from freezing. Since I attach hoses to things like laundry taps and tank takeoffs, I doubt I have vacuum breakers on them. Commented Nov 9, 2011 at 16:41

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