O ring KitO ring Kit

LEFT: The black rubber O ring is clearly visible around the male connector of this hose gun. RIGHT: If the connection starts to leak, it’s a simple task to replace the perished O ring with a new one.


Simple seal swap could save millions of litres of water, says Hozelock

Gardeners who use poorly maintained hose systems could be wasting millions of litres of water needlessly this summer, according to Hozelock, the leading manufacturer of garden irrigation equipment.

Most drips and leaks are caused by worn out rubber seals in the connectors which join a hose to the tap or to a watering tool such as a spray gun, nozzle or sprinkler. These seals, called O rings, start to perish after three years – or sooner if they are left out in the garden through the winter – whereupon the connection will no longer be watertight.

The fix – a new rubber O ring – costs very little and could hardly be easier: the old ring can be rolled out of its channel using a thumb while the replacement slides into position like a wedding ring.

The trouble is that most people don’t carry out these inexpensive water-saving running repairs. According to hundreds of gardeners interviewed by Hozelock in focus groups, the majority of those who had developed a dripping hose connection just kept using it regardless of the recurring puddles of wasted water until they eventually discarded perfectly good connectors and bought new ones.

The irony isn’t lost on Consumer Services Manager, Phil Cotterill. “Leaking supply pipes grab headlines for the water companies but gardeners don’t realise that by fixing their own leaks they could save millions of litres every year,” he said. “We should all be doing our bit to conserve water, especially after the dry start to the year, and that should include carrying out simple, routine maintenance on watering equipment.”

Gardeners should also store hose and fittings in a frost-free environment. “Allowing residual water to freeze inside a hosepipe can cause damage to the hose and to connectors and fittings,” Mr Cotterill added.

For help and advice on keeping watering equipment in good working order, see the Hozelock watering FAQ at

Hozelock will be distributing O rings from its stand at Malvern, Chelsea and Hampton Court Palace flower shows and at Gardeners’ World Live. For those unable to visit one of these gardening shows, a packet of ten O rings and five tap connector washers costs £3.38 – with no UK delivery charge – from the Hozelock online spares service at See also Hozelock’s other water-saving suggestions, including water-storing gels, drip irrigation systems and garden pumps at

The site also offers a wide range of other spare parts to keep garden watering kit, pressure sprayers and pond equipment in good running order.


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