If you are considering buying a hose reel, or are looking to know more about what they do and how hose reels work, look no further! In this hose reel guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know so you can set up and install your hose reel with ease.

Hose Reel Set Up and Install

What is a hose reel?

A garden hose reel is a handy piece of equipment providing an easy, secure way to store your hose in between uses. Hose reels also make it easier to get around your garden and transport your hose without unnecessary wear, tear, damage, bends or kinks appearing.

How do hose reels work?

Hose reels work by providing a spindle design which the entire garden hose can coil around, to keep it neatly stowed away and off the ground. Many hose reels operate with a hand crank, although some work on an automatic retraction/ pulley system that can wind in the hose after use.

What kind of garden hose reels are there?

The main types of hose reels are freestanding hose reels and wall mounted hose reels. Depending on how you plan to use your hose reel and where it will be positioned, one option may be more suited. For easy access and transportation, a freestanding hose reel is for you. Standalone garden hose reels are a good option if you need to easily move your hose reel from spot to spot. This will allow you to transport the hose reel to your driveway to wash vehicles, or water your front or back garden easily.

Otherwise, a wall-mounted hose reel can provide the perfect base point for a retractable hose, so it is neatly stored away after every use with minimal effort.

What to look out for when buying a hose reel

Ease of use

Some hose reels will naturally be heavier and harder to assemble than others. If this is a concern for you, it may be worth purchasing a fully assembled, lightweight hose reel or a retractable for a hose that’s easier to use and manage.


There are a number of hose reels available, including our own range of hose reels on our website. Depending on your budget and how much you are looking to spend, you can find reliable options within your price range, or invest in a hose reel with a higher price tag that allows you to automatically retract the hose. At Easy Garden Irrigation, our garden hose reels range from £30-£160, depending on specific features and hose lengths.


Depending on your plans for your garden and your particular aesthetic, there may be a certain style of hose reel you’d be comfortable with. Hose colours are something to consider, too; for example, a dark grey or green will blend in well, however, a bright yellow will be easy to spot on the grass or the drive.


A number of hose reels come pre-assembled, meaning there's no fuss or additional assembly required once you have bought it. If your hose doesn’t come pre-assembled, you may need to set up the hose reel yourself.

How to set up a hose reel

Ever wondered how you attach a garden hose to a hose reel?

  1. Take the new garden hose, lay it on the ground in a long straight length and straighten it to eliminate bends. Let it rest in the sun for 20-30 minutes to soften. This will make it more pliable when winding on to the hose reel and reduce kinks.
  2. If your hose does not already have hose end fittings attached, attach these now to both ends of the hose pipe.
  3. Guide one end of the hose through the opening of the hose reels drum and connect the hose end fitting to the hose connection on the inside of the hose reel. This should be a male snap-on fitting/coupling similar to what you find on a garden tap.
  4. Make sure you have a good connection by pulling the hose back. If the connection is not lost, this now means you can begin to wind the hose onto the hose reel while it stays connected.
  5. Wind the hose onto the hose reel slowly, layer as you wind and taking the time to ensure there are no kinks, bends or twists in the hose as this can cause you issues with cracking over time.
  6. Coil evenly so that you can coil up the entire garden hose. You’ll need to use the hand crank if your hose reel is fitted with one.

Tips for coiling up your hose onto the hose reel

If your hose reel is separate, you’ll need to attach the hose to the hose reel.

  • Unroll the new hose so it's in a straight line with no kinks or twists and let it rest in the sun for 20-30 minutes to soften.
  • Get rid of any kinks as best you can so that the hose is relaxed when it's rolled up, without a single twist.
  • Hold the reel with your hand and neatly and tidily start rolling up the hose.
  • Avoid any crossover so that it tucks in nicely, pushing it up as you go.
  • This should form nice tidy wraps that will be balanced and smooth.
  • If you are assembling the entire hose reel, you may be able to place the crank on either side of the hose reel depending on whether you are left-handed or right-handed.
  • Automatic hose reels retract automatically and have a built in hose guide to ensure the hose is correctly wound up every time its used.

Hose Reel Hose ConnectionHose Reel Hose Coil

How to connect the hose pipe to a tap

  • Check that your hose reel is not too far away from the tap, and check how long your feeder hose or connector hose is, as this will give you a measurement to work with.
  • Don’t install your hose reel directly above the tap, as if it is being affixed to an external wall you could hit a water pipe during installation.
  • Your hose reel will likely come with a hose connector that allows you to connect your feeder hose to your garden tap.
  • You will likely need an outdoor tap connector, which has been designed to attach a hose connector to a tap with a secure, tight seal, for no leaks and non-corrosive material.
  • Attach the feeder hose/ connector hose to the outdoor tap connector, which itself attaches to your outdoor tap, You can find a number of branded hose tap connectors and universal hose tap connectors that will fit most outdoor taps.

Fitting a hose reel to the wall

  • Place bracket on the wall and mark where you’re going to drill holes to install. Measure twice; double-check.
  • Try to use a drill bit of good quality for clean, clear holes.
  • Use sticky tape on the drill bit to make sure you don’t drill too far into the brick.
  • Screw the holes, taking your time to achieve the right depth.
  • Push in the masonry plugs or fittings from the pack, and make sure any fittings sit flush with the brick.
  • Screw the bracket into the wall following product instructions.
  • Screw the bracket in a little at a time to avoid uneven installation.
  • Tightly secure the screws or brackets process with a spanner or appropriate tool.
  • Once affixed tightly, the bracket should be able to take the weight of the hose reel so it fits on the wall nicely.

Benefits of a hose reel for your garden hose

Helps keep your garden hose clean and tidy

By having a permanent place for your hose, you’re more inclined to coil it up after every use. Not only does a garden hose become unsightly if left in a heap on the grass, but it can also be a trip hazard and cause damage to the hose over time.

Helps to avoid kinks and bends in the hose

Coiling up your hose neatly after each use gives you the opportunity to remove any kinks in the hose. You should always avoid kinks in your hose if possible, as over time kinks and bends in the tubing can actually damage the lining and cause cracks to appear, permanently damaging the hose.

Helpful for those with limited mobility

If you are a keen gardener but want to avoid stooping down to collect your hose and untangle it, a hose reel is a perfect solution that keeps it tidy and organised without causing you pain or discomfort. Automatic hose reels or manual hand cracks can keep it simple.

Can easily affix to an external wall

Wall-mounted hose reels will also come with a bracket, allowing you to easily affix the hose reel to an external wall in your home with ease. This can keep your hose reel safely tucked away, sheltered from bad weather or direct sunlight, both of which can impact the hosepipe over time.

How to pack away your hose reel

Empty the hose reel of water to prevent bacteria from building in the inner tube. Water in the hose can also freeze and expand, cracking the hose, or heating up and causing similar damage. Water left in the hosepipe can also make freestanding hose reels difficult to transport due to the added weight.

Pump the water out of the hose by spinning the hose reel, or laying the hose downhill to rid of water.

Using the hand crank, wind the hose back in, being careful to straighten out any kinks or bends in the hose itself.

Explore our collection of garden hose reels and garden hoses. Our help and advice section can help you with plenty of garden irrigation tips. Feel free to contact us with any other questions or enquiries about products.