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The Flow Rate of a Garden Hose

One of the most important tasks for a gardener is efficient and effective watering. Getting the right amount of water to your plants requires the proper hose. It also helps to know the flow rate of a garden hose before you buy. This will prevent you from buying a garden hose that is inadequate for your needs.

Take a look at some common questions about garden hose flow rate and the provided answers. By the time you are done reading, you will be a flow rate expert!

What Is Garden Hose Flow Rate?

Defining garden hose flow rate is a good place to begin. The most simple definition of flow rate is that it is the amount of water that passes through a garden hose per minute. That amount is generally expressed in gallons per minute, or GPM. When you know this, you can also determine how many garden hose gallons per hour are being delivered.

There are several factors that affect garden hose flow rate. 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.

Hose Diameter and Flow Rate

Hose diameter is one of the major factors that affects flow rate in a garden hose. The most common garden hose diameters are 1/2, 5/8 and 3/4 inches. The garden hose that you are using right now is probably one of these dimensions.

What you need to understand here is that a smaller-diameter hose will deliver fewer GPM. When using a smaller hose, you will limit the amount of water than can be directed to your garden within a minute or an hour.

Garden Hose Water Pressure

Most commercially available hoses have a garden hose PSI rating. PSI refers to pounds per square inch, and this determines the speed at which water is passed through the hose.

The average pressure from a home water faucet is about 40 to 60 PSI, but it can be as high as 80 PSI. In some cases, homeowners have to install regulators to reduce the PSI. Before you can accurately estimate your garden hose flow rate, you will need to know the PSI of your water connection.

How Hose Length Affects Garden Hose Flow Rate

You don't have to be a rocket scientist to comprehend that flow rate will decrease as the garden hose gets longer. When you are moving water over a greater distance, the drop in flow rate can be dramatic.

A hose that is 25' long could have a flow rate of 24 GPM, depending on the diameter and PSI. Couple four of those same hoses together or use a 100' hose, and the flow rate will drop by 75 percent. Shorter is obviously better when it comes to efficiently watering your garden.

How To Determine Garden Hose Flow Rate

To determine the flow rate of your garden hose, it is necessary to perform a few calculations. You can do this manually with a container and a watch, but the best method is to use one of the garden flow rate calculators that is found online. By inputting a little bit of data, you can arrive at a very accurate flow rate.

We've simplified the process for you here by providing some calculations for the most popular varieties of garden hoses. We have used 40 PSI for our calculations because this is the median in most homes. We have also covered the three most common lengths of garden hose used by homeowners.

Garden Hose Diameter Garden Hose Length Flow Rate
1/2" 100' 6 GPM
5/8" 100' 11 GPM
3/4" 100' 18 GPM
1/2" 50' 12 GPM
5/8" 50' 22 GPM
3/4" 50' 36 GPM
1/2" 25' 24 GPM
5/8" 25' 44 GPM
3/4" 25' 72 GPM

Garden Hose Efficiency

When you are evaluating flow rate for the garden hose that you intend to buy, remember that efficiency also depends upon the size of your garden and how often you need to water.

If you have a garden that is susceptible to standing water, using a hose with a lower flow rate will be beneficial. The water will have more time to saturate the ground, allowing you to water less often. If your soil absorbs water rapidly, a hose with a higher flow rate will minimize the time you spend watering your plants.

You should also consider whether you will be using your garden hose in tandem with a sprinkler. This has an effect on how much water is being distributed to your garden on an hourly basis.

Gardening becomes much more pleasurable when you delve into subjects like garden hose flow rate. This knowledge helps you get the proper amount of water to your plants in the shortest possible time.