Just imagine how many tons of water a shower hose is pumping through! It is not surprising that over time it breaks, starts flowing, and then the question of replacing the hose becomes. It would seem, what’s so difficult? But in the store, an unprepared customer will be met with hoses of different lengths, with different braids, and even with a different threaded connection. Of course, you can just take an old hose with you and trust the opinion of the seller, but in order to buy a really high-quality and suitable product in all respects, it is better to first figure out how to choose a flexible hose for a shower head, and what is important to pay attention to when buying.
# 1. Shower hose design
The flexible shower hose has an extremely simple design:
- inner tube;
- outer braid (may not be available);
- two nuts for attaching the hose to the mixer and watering can.
The inner tube is made of plastic or rubber; you can also find products with a nylon tube. Plastic is the cheapest option, but it does not differ in record durability. In addition, it is sensitive to pressure drops. The best option is an inner tube made of rubber, but such a hose will cost a little more. It is not difficult to understand what kind of material is used. It is enough to look inside the hose, and if you see a white tube, then it is most likely plastic. You can also try stretching the hose: the rubber stretches well, but this won’t work with a plastic tube.
Some manufacturers produce shower hoses that are made of only transparent plastic. Such products look very interesting, especially when water flows through them. Such a hose can be taken if there is a flow filter at home, otherwise you will soon be able to observe lime deposits inside the tube, so there is no question of any aesthetics.
However, a hose without external winding is a rarity. The tube coating has several important functions, including protection from external mechanical influences, twisting and destruction under the influence of pressure drops and high temperatures. The outer winding increases the aesthetics of the hose and can be made of metal, plastic, or have a silicone coating. The appearance and performance depends on the type of material.
There are connectors at both ends of the hose. A flat nut is designed for connection with a mixer, a cone nut – provides a connection with a watering can. When deciding which shower hose to choose, it is important to pay attention not only to the winding and design, but also to the quality of the nuts: the thicker they are, the better.
# 2. External winding types
The outer braid protects the inner tube from a number of negative influences, increases the elasticity of the hose, its strength, wear resistance and durability, and improves aesthetics. This is in general, and if you dig deeper, then many properties of the winding will depend on what material it is made of. The most popular options today are:
- metal winding;
- plastic winding;
- silicone coated winding.
Metal wrapping is a classic. It is made from stainless steel, less often from copper alloys. Has a spiral shape. The metal body provides the hose with excellent flexibility and protects the inner tube well from kinks and kinks. Moreover, outwardly, such a hose looks flawless, it can have a chrome surface, be made in bronze or gold, so you can equip a bathroom in any style. Metal hoses are inexpensive, but they also have some drawbacks. First, low durability (on average 5-7 years). Secondly, over time, the winding begins to unwind, exfoliate and break, damaging the inner tube. In addition, limescale and dirt on the metal will be quite noticeable.
The plastic case copes well with exposure to high temperatures (up to 70-800C), has increased flexibility, is resistant to corrosion, easy to clean, can be smooth or spiral. There are transparent, colored and chrome plated plastic hoses on sale. Chrome-plated products are outwardly indistinguishable from metal ones, colored ones give free rein to imagination in the arrangement of the interior, and transparent ones only at first look spectacular. Then streaks and even blackened spots appear on them. The main disadvantages of plastic winding are the tendency to dry out and crack. To prolong the life, it is better not to coil the hose tightly – let it hang freely in the shower or bath. The plastic case is not repairable.
Also sold are plastic hoses reinforced with metal wire. Such products receive additional strength, durability, resistance to kinks and microcracks.
Another good modern solution is a silicone-coated metal hose. An additional layer protects the metal from delamination, increasing the durability of the product. In addition, flexibility and resilience are increased. Such hoses last longer than ordinary metal hoses, they leak less often, and it is much easier to keep them clean – fungus will not appear on the silicone. Of the minuses, the higher price and weight.
No. 3. Connector size
The standard thread diameter of the nut on both ends of the hose is 1/2 “, but 3/8” nuts are also available. It is important that the size of the hose fittings matches the size of the hand shower and mixer fittings. Otherwise, you will have to use special adapters.
The European inch system is widely used today in determining the size of a thread. There is also a domestic metric system, but it is used very rarely: hoses and watering cans with Russian threads are difficult to find today. By the way, by the way, it is not easy even for a professional to determine which thread is used in a particular sample. Our sample nuts are slightly larger. In order not to be mistaken, the easiest way is to take an old hose with you to the store.
No. 4. Hose length
The standard is considered to be a length of 150 cm. Such hoses have gained maximum popularity, they provide complete freedom of movement, and all the most remote parts of the bath or shower tray with such a hose can be washed without problems. At the same time, the hose is not too long and will not get in the way under your feet, there will also be no need to twist it several times.
On sale you can find hoses with a length of 125 cm (the best option for a hygienic shower and arranging a shower panel), 175 and 200 cm.The latter are quite problematic to find, and they are suitable for tall shower panels. Be sure to consider the size and features of the shower or bath when choosing the length of the hose. A hose that is too short or too long will cause a lot of inconvenience. So do not save and do not take with a margin.
No. 5. Anti-twist protection
The twisting ability of the hoses causes a lot of inconvenience and negatively affects the durability of the product. It is better to take a hose with protection against twisting, which is realized due to the presence of a bearing or a special swivel cone at the point where the hose is attached to the mixer. Whatever you do with such a hose, there will be no kinks or kinks.
No. 6. What else to consider when choosing?
To choose the right shower hose, pay attention to the following points when buying:
- in preference, hoses with additional antibacterial and antifungal protection;
- the base of the connecting elements must be brass, not plastic;
- there should be no burrs, sagging or other defects on the hose;
- a curved thread is a sign of a poor-quality product. We hope it is clear that such a hose will cause a lot of problems during installation and operation;
- heterogeneous color and corrugation of different sizes are another sign of an unscrupulous manufacturer;
- a pair of gaskets for nuts should be included with the hose;
- the packaging must indicate the manufacturer, as well as all important parameters of the product.
No. 7. Shower hose manufacturers
German companies are the market leaders in flexible shower hoses. Their products are of high quality, durability, reliability, but also cost accordingly. Decent products can be found from Czech, Hungarian and domestic producers. In most cases, Chinese hoses are of low quality, but sometimes there are pleasant exceptions.
The largest manufacturers of shower hoses include:
Hansgrohe is a large German company specializing in the production of sanitary ware. Hoses are presented in several collections, made of different materials. The range of prices is sufficient, there are budget products, the most expensive (with antibacterial coating) are guaranteed for up to 5 years
Grohe is another German company. Her products combine impeccable quality and excellent design. All hoses are guaranteed, all products receive a Twist-Free protection system;
Ravak – Cheaper Czech hoses. The company uses anti-twist protection in the models, produces products from 150 to 200 cm in length, gives a guarantee;
Aquanet – a domestic manufacturer, offers a wide range of different hoses, prices are reasonable;
Zegor is a Chinese company, that is the exception to the rule. Manufactures hoses with different windings, incl. plastic with metal reinforcement.
You can also recommend the products of KorDi (Switzerland), IDDIS (Russia), Kludi (Germany) and Nobili (Italy).
No. 8. How to install a shower hose?
Replacing an old shower hose with a new one is easy – you don’t have to be a plumber or have any experience in this area. The sequence of actions is as follows:
- unpack a new hose, check its integrity;
- unscrew the watering can. There are usually no problems, everything is done by hand, but sufficient strength may be needed. If the connection does not lend itself, then the cone of the old hose can be held with a pipe wrench, and the watering can be turned by hand so as not to damage;
- unscrew the nut on the mixer, you can use an open-end wrench;
- we clean the threads of the mixer and watering can from dirt;
- insert the gasket into the union nut and screw it onto the mixer;
- the second gasket is inserted into the cone nut and the watering can is tightened. You need to work with your hands, since you can tighten the thread with the tool;
- turn on the water and check the work done. If water leaks somewhere, then tighten the nuts a little more tightly.
If the thread size on the hose and the mixer or watering can does not match, you will also have to attach adapters. In this case, installation becomes somewhat more complicated.
No. 9. Care and maintenance of the hose
In order for the shower hose to serve faithfully for more than one year, follow a few simple rules when handling it:
- after showering, place the shower head in the holder. Do not throw the hose into a bathtub or a drip tray, do not twist around the mixer, do not twist, bend, stretch or pinch the product;
- abrasive substances, aggressive chemicals and hard metal brushes are not suitable for cleaning the hose – it is better to use a soft cloth, a synthetic brush and ordinary detergents;
- it is better not to allow long-term passage of very hot water through the hose.
If you follow these rules, then even the simplest hose will last long enough. With careless handling, an expensive product will quickly break.
No. 10. DIY shower hose repair
If the hose bursts somewhere in the middle, then all that remains is to buy a new one and make a replacement. If the inner tube is damaged near the watering can, and this happens quite often, then you can try to carry out a small repair:
- remove the watering can from the hose;
- the nuts slide gently onto the corrugation, the gasket and brass bushings are removed. It is better to act with a knife, screwdriver and pliers;
- carefully pull out the inner tube to the point of its damage, cut off the unnecessary part;
- the tube is heated in warm water (its flexibility and compliance increases), reassemble all the elements, install a new gasket and insert the tube into the braid until it stops. It remains to screw on the watering can and check the quality of work.
You cannot perform such a repair more often 1-2 times – the hose will become too short.
Finally, we note that it is better not to save on the shower hose. The load on it will be significant – a poor-quality product will quickly fail.