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Soaker Hose Flow Rate and Water Usage

Many homeowners who maintain a garden are aware of the benefits of using a soaker hose. Others want to know more about soaker hose water usage before they make a change to their existing setup. If you are interested in soaker hose flow rate and water usage, we've got answers!

How Much Water Does a Soaker Hose Use?

Water usage should be a primary consideration for anyone who is considering a new hose for the garden. The subject is complicated, however. Water efficiency depends on many factors. The first thing to understand is that most plants require about two inches of water per week in order to thrive. This can vary according to plant species and climate.

This means you will need to gather some information about the types of plants you have and the area in which you live. Dry and arid environments are going to require more water. The good news is that a soaker hose can actually conserve water, saving you both time and money.

A logical consideration would then be how long a soaker hose needs to run in order to deliver those two inches of water. We can begin to understand by examining the soaker hose flow rate and how it helps you to apply the correct amount of water to your garden.

Soaker hose flow rate depends on a few different things:

  • The diameter of the hose
  • Water pressure
  • Length of the hose



All of these factors will have an effect on how much water is delivered from your soaker hose. The longer the hose, the lower the flow rate. Similarly, hoses with a smaller diameter reduce the amount of water that can be delivered to your garden over a set amount of time.

The great thing about soaker hoses is that they use a method of construction that helps to mitigate many of these factors in a way that other garden hoses do not. The soaker hose allows water to seep out along the length of the hose rather than delivering it all from the hose end. This allows you to get more efficient water coverage with lower pressure, a shorter hose, and a smaller diameter.

Determining the Flow Rate of a Soaker Hose

Soaker hose GPM and soaker hose GPH refer to gallons per minute and gallons per hour respectively. This is key to answering the question, “How much water does a soaker hose use?” The answer is actually scientific to some degree, but thankfully, there is adequate research that gardeners can turn to for knowledge.

Here are a few accepted guidelines for soaker hose gallons per minute. A 5/8” soaker hose requires about 200 minutes to deliver one inch of water to a garden. This number is affected by the length of the hose and the overall rate of flow from the faucet. A good rule of thumb is to expect about ½ GPM as a standard faucet flow rate.

We can break that down easy enough. For 3/4” of water, you would need to water for 150 minutes. A quarter-inch would require just under an hour. This is where things get a little bit tricky, though. Remember, soaker hoses are designed to disperse water evenly throughout the garden. Because the water flow is evenly distributed, there is more adequate coverage even though the overall flow rate may be lower.

To determine how long you should run your soaker hose, you might want to check the soil around your plants after watering. You can use a trowel or similar garden instrument to determine how many inches of water your plant has received. Always be careful when using gardening tools so that you do not disturb the root system of the plant.

Our hope is that this basic information will inspire you to evaluate the usefulness of a garden soaker hose. For those who care about the environment and efficient watering, a soaker hose is the correct choice.