Many home gardeners use soaker hoses to save water. But how much water does a soaker hose use per hour and overall? The answer to this question lies in the way you make use of your soaker hose.
Many variables affect the amount of water a soaker hose uses. This article discusses correct soaker hose use and shares tips to help you get the most from this valuable garden tool.
Table Of Contents
- Why Are Soaker Hoses Valuable Garden Tools?
- A Soaker Hose Fits Right Into A Standard Hose Watering Setup
- How Do You Know How Much Water Your Soaker Hose Is Using?
- So, Exactly How Much Water Does A Soaker Hose Use?
- How To Set Up Your Soaker Hose Successfully
- How Do You Know How Much Water You Need?
- Soaker Hose Use Tips
Why Are Soaker Hoses Valuable Garden Tools?
A soaker hose is a very efficient way to water. It does not spray water into the air where it evaporates before it hits the ground. Additionally, soaker hoses provide focused watering.
With a soaker hose, you can place the hose exactly where you want the water. When set up correctly, a soaker hose delivers a slow, steady delivery of water. This reduces runoff and maximizes the number of gallons of water your plants receive.
Soaker hoses are a good alternative if you:
- Cannot install a drip irrigation system
- Need a more flexible system
You can connect soaker hoses to a standard spigot or a standard garden hose. They can move from place to place easily. They are available in many different lengths to suit any situation.
A Soaker Hose Fits Right Into A Standard Hose Watering Setup
Typical soaker hoses are the same diameter as a standard garden hose. The porous material used to make a soaker hose allows the water to drip slowly to specific locations.
The slow drip lets the moisture seeps evenly into the soil at plants’ root zones. This type of hose is very effective for watering:
Choosing to water with a soaker hose can bring a lot of benefits, such as:
With soaker hoses set up in permanent locations, you will not need to hand water or move a sprinkler hose around to water plants.
Soaker hoses use less water than any other watering methods, saving money and water.
Correct use of a soaker hose promotes the delivery of the right amount of water to your plants.
Not only do soaker hoses conserve water, but most are made of recycled plastics.
How Do You Know How Much Water Your Soaker Hose Is Using?
To determine how much water your specific setup is using, you must take several variables into account. They are:
- Water Pressure
- Hose Diameter
- Hose Length
For example, with 100′ hundred feet of 1/2″ inch hose and water supply pressure of 40 PSI (pounds per square inch), the water flow rate is six gallons a minute. If you add more hose, the flow rate will decrease.
For a hose with a larger diameter, the flow rate will increase. For example, 100-foot hose of 5/8″ inch irrigation pipe and a water pressure of 40 PSI, your flow rate will be eleven gallons a minute.
It’s important to note that these are general examples. When using a soaker hose, your goal is to have a PSI of about 10. Less pressure means less water output.
From a standard faucet a rate of 1/2 gallon per minute is a good rule of thumb.
To deliver an inch of water using a 5/8″ soaker hose requires about 200 minutes.
- 200 minutes delivers 1″- inch of water
- 150minutes delivers 3/4″- inch of water
- 100minutes delivers 1/2″- inch of water
- 50minutes delivers 1/4″- inch of water
So, Exactly How Much Water Does A Soaker Hose Use?
It’s easy to see that there is no straightforward answer to the question “How much water does a soaker hose use?” There are just too many variables in question, including:
- Garden Layout
- Plant Type
- Plant Size
Soaker hoses are generally available in 1/2″ and 5/8″ inch diameter. Most gardeners use the 1/2″ inch size because this fits a a standard garden hose.
Soaker hoses often have a flow regulator installed inside the hose. This naturally affects the flow rate. If you custom make a soaker hoses by cutting the perforated material to length and fitting the attachments yourself, you’ll need to install a flow regulator.
Flow/pressure regulation is essential. The best PSI for soaker hoses is 10. Higher PSI levels can cause a soaker hose to burst.
Generally speaking, low PSI is preferable when using a soaker hose no matter the length of the hose.
This is especially true when watering small, tender, young plants. It’s better to water longer at a low PSI than risk damaging your soaker hose. Plus, inundating plants by delivering too much water all at once is not a good growing practice.
How To Set Up Your Soaker Hose Successfully
Pick a Good Location
Soaker hoses work best on level ground in the garden or under shrubs, hedges, raised garden beds and trees. They are not suited to lawn watering.
Use the Right Attachments
At the faucet, you will need:
- Backflow preventer
- 10 or 12 PSI pressure regulator
- Garden water hose
Set up the attachments in the order given. Next, attach the soaker hose to the garden hose. Don’t connect the soaker hose directly to the faucet.
Measure Before Purchasing Your Soaker Hose
Get the length that fits the area you want to water. A soaker hose that is too long wastes water.
Space Your Soaker Hoses Correctly For The Type Of Soil
If you have clay or loamy soil, your soaker hoses should be between 18″ and 24″ inches apart. If you have sandy soil, place the hoses between 12″ and 18″ inches apart.
Place Your Hoses The Right Distance From Plants
For established plants, hoses should be ” – 2″ inches away from the plants’ stems. If plants are newly planted, place hoses closer to deliver water directly to the roots and help establish the plants.
Control The Flow
Remember that soaker hoses should seep, not spray. At first, turn your faucet on a quarter of the way. Wait a few minutes and then check to see how the water is flowing. Adjust accordingly.
Establish a Schedule
Start by watering with soaker hoses for half an hour, two times weekly. The day after watering, check the soil. It should be moist several inches down. Make adjustments to your watering schedule until you have attained the desired results.
How Do You Know How Much Water You Need?
The water requirements in your garden will vary with the seasons.
In early spring, keeping the soil uniformly moist helps seeds and seedlings get a good start. During the hot, dry days of summer, set your soaker hoses to deliver a long, deep drink in the cool part of the day.
Naturally, during the rainy season, you may not need to water at all. As autumn draws near and days shorten and cool, reduce watering as you reduce your crops.
Determining exactly when and how long to use your soaker hoses depends on your specific situation. Variables such as:
- Average Temperature
- Types of Crops
- Soil Structure
… must be taken into consideration.
To determine what you need to do in your particular setting, it’s a good idea to consult local gardeners. Joining a local gardening club is invaluable in learning what works best in your area.
Soaker Hose Use Tips
Avoid kinks in your soaker hose. Lay out a new hose out in the sunshine to warm up and “relax” before putting it in place.
Keep your soaker hose clean and clog-free by flushing it out before using it for the first time. Do this several times during the summer to wash out any sediment that may collect inside.
To do this, just unscrew the end-cap and run water through it as you would a regular garden hose.
Protect your soaker hose and conserve water by covering it with two or three inches of mulch after you have it permanently positioned.
Don’t cover your soaker hose with soil.
Devise a marking system using flags, decorative stones or other objects to help prevent accidentally damaging the soaker hose when digging in the garden.
Don’t leave your soaker hose connected to an outdoor faucet when not in use. This can cause contaminated water to backwash into your water pipes. Disconnect your soaker hose between uses.
When you disconnect your soaker hose, plug or cover the open end to prevent dirt and bugs from getting into it.
Consult your local agricultural extension for focused, pinpointed tips on growing and watering in your area.
A good rule of thumb is to expect about ½ GPM as a standard faucet flow rate. We can break that down easy enough. For 3/4” of water, you would need to water for 150 minutes. A quarter-inch would require just under an hour.How much water does a 50 foot soaker hose use in an hour? ›
6 gallons per foot-of-hose per hour. So, a 50 foot soaker hose would apply about 30 gallons of water per hour. Comparing this to the output of one gallon drip emitters on standard 3-foot spacings, the soaker hose applies double the amount of water over the same given time.How long should I water with a soaker hose? ›
Start running your soaker hose about 30 minutes twice a week. After a watering day, check your soil to see if the moisture has penetrated several inches, then adjust accordingly. When you find the magic number for your conditions, use a timer to water the same number of minutes every time.Do you leave soaker hoses on all day? ›
It is not recommended to leave your soaker hoses on all day.
Doing so can lead to over-watering, which can damage plants and encourage root rot. It's best to adjust the length of time according to the type of soil you have, the amount of sun that area gets and other factors.
A 5/8” soaker hose requires about 200 minutes to deliver one inch of water to a garden. This number is affected by the length of the hose and the overall rate of flow from the faucet. A good rule of thumb is to expect about ½ GPM as a standard faucet flow rate.How long should you run a 50 foot soaker hose? ›
The size and type of your landscape will help determine how long to run the soaker hose for but typically about 30 minutes twice a week is the right amount of water.What is the disadvantage of soaker hose? ›
The drawback to using soaker hose is that the release of water is unregulated. This can especially cause issues when installing for a larger irrigation system or when you require precision watering. These issues are mainly cause by loss of pressure and water flow over longer lengths.Should I use soaker hose in morning or evening? ›
Mornings and evenings are excellent times to water gardens when using a drip irrigation system or soaker hose. Watering in the evening isn't a problem as these methods don't wet plant foliage.What are the pros and cons of soaker hoses? ›
Advantages: Soaker hoses require less time than hand-watering and result in less water evaporation than hose-end (overhead) sprinklers. Disadvantages: They are not suitable for uneven or sloped beds and require proper placement to ensure that the soil is evenly moist.Does a soaker hose use less water than a sprinkler? ›
'Not only are they cost effective, they're water conserving too, saving up to 70 per cent water when compared to standard irrigation methods,' says Edward Cantle. As they come in a range of lengths, you can select a soaker hose to fit the area of the yard you are irrigating.
Whereas soaker hoses deliver water directly to the plants' root-zones, sprinklers broadcast across a wide area and don't penetrate the soil any further than an inch or so. This method – if it doesn't kill the plant from dehydration – leads to shallow roots that can buckle sidewalks or fry in the heat of late summer.Which is better round or flat soaker hose? ›
The round soaker hose is more durable than the flat type. It is made from high-quality materials and some even have more than one exterior to prevent it from external elements. This type of hose has a higher pressure rating than the flat type but, it is bulkier and takes up a lot of space.How efficient is a soaker hose? ›
Regular, pour-over watering can result in water evaporating or running off before it reaches a plant's thirsty roots. Some studies have shown that a soaker hose can use anywhere from 30 to 50 percent less water!How far does water spread from a soaker hose? ›
Soaker hoses wet an area 1 to 3 feet wide along their length, depending on soil types.What is the proper PSI for soaker hose? ›
Problem number one – a soaker hose only works properly if the water pressure to the hose is about 10 psi (pounds per square inch). Most home systems are around 50 psi.How deep should soaker hoses be? ›
Most gardeners desire a depth of 8 to 12 inches with some variation for soil type. In most cases, you'll be able to assume that the same depth will require a similar irrigation time so that you'll know how long to let your soaker hose run.What is the difference between a weeper hose and a soaker hose? ›
A Soaker Hose is a plastic hose with holes throughout its length and emits a spray outwards, similar to a sprinkler. A Weeper Hose slowly "weeps" water and looks like it is dripping.How many feet of soaker hose per zone? ›
When several soaker hoses are connected end to end, most of the water will seep from the hose closest to the faucet; less water will reach the far end. Avoid uneven distribution of water by setting up separate watering zones with no more than 100 feet of soaker hose each.Does a soaker hose need pressure to work? ›
Soaker hoses are perfect for domestic garden environments as they operate under low pressures (between 0.5 – 1 bar). To maintain an even level of watering along the length of the hose, you will need a Pressure Reducer to ensure water from your hose is seeping, not spurting.What is the best alternative to a soaker hose? ›
Similar to a soaker hose is drip tape, a more lightweight product that works for row crops and raised beds. Easy and inexpensive – Simply attach to a garden spigot. Useful for small gardens – good alternative when drip is not a possibility.
Soaker hoses drip water from many tiny holes along their length onto the soil around plants. Placing a soaker hose under landscaping fabric maximizes the amount of water that reaches the soil.Why is drip irrigation better than soaker hose? ›
#1. More Precise. When you want to water the plants precisely and not everything else around them, the drip irrigation system is your best pick. Unlike the soaker hose, where water seeps out throughout the entire length, the drip emitters will only focus it where you direct them.What is the blue disc in a soaker hose? ›
The female connector of the soaker hose contains a patented, blue restrictor disc that reduces the flow of water by restricting the water through a very small hole. It also reduces the water pressure because of this restriction. It's intended to be used only at the water source (either the faucet or the garden hose).Can I use a regular hose as a soaker hose? ›
Specialty catalogs sell short pieces of regular garden hose to connect soaker hoses without wasting water. For example, if you have two beds separated by lawn, you could run a regular hose between them through the lawn.Do you have to poke holes in soaker hose? ›
If you have a good amount of water pressure in the hoses, you can take a small nail (or push pin) and poke a few strategically placed holes in the hose. This will create a stream of water that can water the dry patches. Once you've punctured your hose, keep track of it.Can I leave a soaker hose out in the winter? ›
Can soaker hoses be left out over the winter? The answer is most definitely yes, but consider a different scenario. You plan to completely change the landscape in the spring. Removing soil, sod and gardens is part of the plan.Where do you put a soaker hose around your house? ›
Soaker hoses should be placed around your foundation. It helps to bury them a few inches deep, generally 4 to 6 inches from the edge of your foundation. By burying the soaker hoses, you help to direct the water down and you also help keep the sun from deteriorating your hoses.Should I bring my soaker hose in for the winter? ›
Hoses can be stored outside as long as you make sure to drain all of the water from the hose. Hoses can be drained easily by running them over a tall place where gravity forces water to exit the hose. This ensures that the hose won't split when any residual water freezes.What is the least efficient watering method? ›
Surface or flood irrigation is the least efficient manner of irrigation. When a field is flooded, more water than is needed by the plant is applied to the field and water evaporates, seeps into the ground and percolates down to the groundwater, where it can be out of reach of the plant's roots.Can a rain barrel feed a soaker hose? ›
The Soaker Hose connects effortlessly to your rain barrel and can be laid anywhere in your garden to provide drip watering to nearby plants. Soaker hose watering has been proven to be the best watering method for foliage and leaves, causing your plants to grow more green and healthy.
Soaker hoses typically come in 25, 50, 75, and 100 feet. The length of the hose you choose depends on your garden size. For a large garden, a 100 feet soaker hose would be ideal.How many gallons does a water hose put out per minute? ›
These include the diameter of the hose, the level of water pressure, and the length of the hose. A typical garden hose flow rate is usually between 9 and 17 gallons per minute. The average garden hose GPM would be around 12 to 13, but this can vary depending on the type of hose.Is a 50 ft water hose long enough? ›
Most urban yards need only a 50-foot hose, at most. If you need a longer length of hose than 50 feet, consider buying two hoses and joining them together when you need to go beyond 50 feet. That way you're not lugging around a long, heavy garden hose all the time.How many gallons per minute is a shower? ›
A standard 2.5 GPM shower head uses 2.5 gallons of water each minute. That's 25 gallons for a 10-minute shower. VS. A low-flow 1.8 GPM shower head uses 1.8 gallons of water each minute.How many gallons per minute does a 1 2 inch garden hose use? ›
• Length of the Hose
A 25-foot, 1/2-inch diameter hose attached to a faucet that supplies water at 40 psi has a flow rate of 24 gallons per minute, while a 100-foot hose only has a flow rate of 6 gallons per minute.
For example, a garden hose may have a flow rate of 10 gallons per minute (GPM). That means you can run 100 gallons of water through your hose reel in 10 minutes.What are the pros and cons of soaker hose? ›
Advantages: Soaker hoses require less time than hand-watering and result in less water evaporation than hose-end (overhead) sprinklers. Disadvantages: They are not suitable for uneven or sloped beds and require proper placement to ensure that the soil is evenly moist.How effective is a soaker hose? ›
Regular, pour-over watering can result in water evaporating or running off before it reaches a plant's thirsty roots. Some studies have shown that a soaker hose can use anywhere from 30 to 50 percent less water!How much water does 100 ft of 5 inch hose hold? ›
It is an accepted fire service understanding that 5-inch LDH will hold 1 gallon of water per foot of hose. On average, a 100-foot section of 5-inch hose empty weighs 110 pounds. With water weighing 8.33 pounds per gallon, a 100-foot section of LDH filled with water will weigh approximately 944 pounds.Does a longer hose mean less water pressure? ›
The length of your hose can seriously affect the garden hose flow rate, as the longer the hose, the less water pressure there will be. This is because as water travels down the hose, it can lose pressure and offer far less flow rate. If you need a longer hose, then it will likely be worth having a smaller diameter.
The capacity of a 100-foot length of 1-inch diameter hose is 4 gallons.