Thursday, April 29, 2010

Simple fixes, part 1: garden hose

This will kick off the...wait for it...series of TWO whole posts about how taking a second (or 30 minutes, or one hour) to fix those little things around your house that have been bugging you can help you reach a zen-like state. This is partially inspired by an after-school conversation I had the other week with my friend Cara, as we caught up and compared notes on the little things we needed to finally handle in our lives.

Exhibit A: Constantly leaking garden hose
Simple fix: a washer!

If you know me or you've been reading this blog for more than a day, you might already know that I try to be green, and my husband Matt is even more environmentally conscious than me. So, it was wearing both of us down when we turned on our outside spickets last month and found them spouting lots of water that wasn't making its way into our garden hoses.

Now, this water loss was partially the fault of our old hoses, so we knew it was time to get some replacements. First, though, we tested the garden hose of our trusty neighbors Paul and Mimi. We took their coil hose and tried it in our spicket. It worked magically with absolutely no wasted water, so we knew a quick jaunt to Home Depot to find our replacement hoses would solve our dilemma.

We got two of these fun coiled hoses (regularly $19.97 each, on sale when we purchased them for $30.04 for two). They are awesome because they automatically save space without the extra work involved in wrapping up the hose on your own after every use.

We brought home two new hoses from Home Depot and hooked them up, only to discover -- no dice! We had a similar case of spouting water as we had before. We compared the hoses we bought to the one from Paul and Mimi, and we couldn't see a difference. Baffled, Matt drove back to Home Depot while I held down the fort.

A few minutes later, Matt returned with the solution: washers!!! We did not have a washer inside our hoses' connections to the spicket, and that was giving us our ongoing problem. By simply inserting this little washer into the end of the hose, we solved our problem.

Look at that beautiful, leak-free connection in our backyard!

We have one spicket and hose inside our garage, and this was proving to be even more problematic than the one in our backyard, but now we've solved that problem as well. What a little washer can do!

And our yard has been reaping the fruits of this hosing labor.

First of all, I planted some grass seed on April 3.

Here's what the grass looked like on April 16:

Here's what the same patch of grass looks like today

Pretty good for less than two weeks later, eh? I see the patchiness, which I plan to work on fixing this weekend with some more soil and seed in the patchy areas.

I've also got that scallion experiment update for you.

The scallions on April 9, right after planting.
On April 16

They're starting to look like actual scallions! They are not quite the height of the kind you buy in the grocery store, but I would bet that in the next two weeks they will be approaching their full-grown state. I have to say, I find it so awesome that all this came from the ends of the scallions we usually throw away.

Next up...simple fixes, part 2: oven cleaning.


  1. I think you mean spigot rather than spicket. Also, I think we are having the same issue with our hoses. You're talking about water running down the outside of the hose at the faucet, rather than leaks in the actual hose, right? How does one choose the appropriate size and type of washer?

  2. I guess I am just a backwoodsman with my education, but this dictionary doesn't seem to think so:

    You are having the same problem we were having. Matt simply brought our hose back to Home Depot and asked, and the person told him a washer should have been included with our hose. Apparently this is a common problem, so I would just bring the hose with you to a hardware store.

  3. I should know better than to correct an English teacher :)