Ask a Question forum: WARNING! Hoses with Aluminum Fittings/Couplers

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Garden Ideas: Level 1
May 18, 2016 2:12 PM CST
Katie said to put this here and if the admins wanted it elsewhere, they would move it.

If you have purchased any garden hose with ALUMINUM end fittings/couplers, you should be aware there is a warning (small print) on the BACK of the package label that cautions users to remove the hose from the faucet and any attachments a minimum of 3 times a year! You should remove the couplings from ANY Brass connections as often as you can think of it (even if every time you use it). If you do not, the aluminum WILL FUSE to any brass connection!

This is a result of Galvanic Corrosion, a condition that occurs between two dissimilar metals pressed together (aluminum coupler (hose) to brass fitting (faucet). Aluminum and brass are far apart on the ‘dissimilar metals’ chart and will corrode/fuse quickly. The more water there is present, the faster the corrosion/fusing.

For instance, if connected to a brass ‘ball’ valve (a one-into-four splitter, for instance), and you let it connected too long, when you eventually use some channel lock pliers to get it off, the male end of the faucet will unscrew from the ball housing and the whole thing will pop off and the male faucet end will be stuck in the aluminum female coupler.

Even worse, if connected to a house hose bib, this fusing will cause a costly repair as the entire faucet body will have to be removed and a new one installed.

I discovered this problem myself by leaving an aluminum hose attached to a hose bib that had a one-into-four splitter for a couple of months. When I went to remove the hose, I had to use channel-lock pliers to get it off. As it came off, I didn't notice it was turning the brass male faucet end, not the aluminum female coupler. Suddenly, the whole thing popped off and water was shooting everywhere. Fortunately, turning off the main faucet saved the day. I shudder to think of what I would have had to do if it had been on the main valve (running to the house supply, turning off the water main, unsoldering the faucet body, getting a new one, soldering the new one in place, turning on the main again). Think about all that water going everywhere, digging a big hole in the ground!!!!

I would recommend wrapping 2-4 turns of Teflon tape around the male ends of any connection to help reduce fusing of the connection. Even better, remove the connection to both faucet and whatever you have at the other end after each use.

If you have recently purchased one of these hoses, return it (if you can) and get one with BRASS fittings. If you haven't purchased one, DON'T. If you have one beyond the return period, just keep it removed after use.

I'm trying to post to as many sources/forums as I can but, please, forward this everywhere you can to spread the word about these dangerous hoses.
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
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May 18, 2016 4:50 PM CST
Good advice. Thumbs up Thank you for the warning.
My husband had explained to me about the reaction between dissimilar metals. I'll try the Teflon tape; sounds good!

Many times I pick up hoses that have been discarded as trash (free is good) but I buy a plastic fitting and place it between the hose and the faucet; that seems to work.

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Dave
Southern wisconsin (Zone 5b)
Region: Wisconsin Lilies Dog Lover Garden Photography Daylilies
May 18, 2016 5:30 PM CST
I would also suggest, if you use tape, get the good stuff like the brand "monster" the cheap stuff will just tear as you thread the ends together.
Name: Barbalee
Amarillo, TX (Zone 7a)
May 18, 2016 5:52 PM CST
Welcome, SilverCBX! There's a ton of good information (and very helpful people) here, but this's the first time I've heard this. Thank you! Thank You! Welcome!
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Jun 1, 2016 12:30 PM CST
I had that happen with a new 3/4 hose I bought at Fleet Farm.
I saw no warning.

It had a life time warranty, I called the company.
They told me I was not the first person to call them on this and that they had fixed the problem and sent me a new hose free of charge when I sent them the paper work on the label.
I put a new end on the bad one and now have two heavy duty hoses.

One way to help avoid the problem is go to a automotive store and get anti-seize compound used on aluminum cylinder head bolts.
Name: Ken Ramsey
Starkville, MS (Zone 8a)

Orchids Greenhouse Vegetable Grower Ferns Region: United States of America Hummingbirder
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Jun 1, 2016 12:38 PM CST
Good information, @RpR.
drdawg (Ken Ramsey) - Tropical Plants & More
If God wanted me to touch my toes, he would have put them on my knees.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
Jun 2, 2016 12:04 PM CST
One warning about using the tape, if the threads cut through the tape it will still fuse.
I found this out the hard way.
Name: Mary
Glendale, Arizona (Zone 9b)
Region: Arizona Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers hot summers Plumerias Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Composter Hummingbirder
Jun 2, 2016 12:16 PM CST
@silvercbx Thank You! Went to Lowe's last week for a new hose and MOST had aluminum fittings. I remembered reading your post and opted for brass.

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