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Since it’s the middle of August, watering is on our minds. Looking at garden hose quick connectors such as those sold by Gilmour Mfg., we wonder whether they are a product with a need or just another way to add complexity to the seemingly simple task of using a hose.

On one hand it can be a pain to screw an old hose threaded coupler onto a faucet if you have limited hand mobility. The couplers have auto shutoff so you can couple and uncouple without turning the faucet on and off. There’s also the risk of losing the rubber washer inside the hose coupling when removing the coupling from the faucet.

On the other hand is it really all that hard to couple and uncouple hoses? Most of the starter kits sold at the hardware store only have connectors for two or three ends, which can’t be that great an addition. If you only have one or two hoses, is the time/effort savings that great? With the quick connects there are more parts to wear out as well over time. Finally, there are a bunch of different systems, all of which don’t seem to interchange with each other — which could lead to problems when purchasing additional components.

Hot or Not? Let us know in comments.


26 Responses to Hot or Not? Garden Hose Quick Connects

  1. uqbar says:


    I purchased some of these (brass, but from a different vendor) some years ago. They are very useful, especially if you get a connector which lets you shut off the hose at the “business end” (saves you having to run back to the faucet to shut off the water). Very useful for swapping out sprinklers, hand-sprayers, etc. I don’t think I would get plastic because I don’t think these would stand up to wear and tear. I expect my brass connectors to outlive me.

  2. mark in folsom says:

    I’ve been using Gilmore quick disconnects for over twenty years now. Wouldn’t go any other route. No leaks, swivels at the hand sprayer connection, and no worries about squashed hose connectors if you step on the hose end.

  3. Bob says:

    Metal = Hot
    Plastic = Not

    The plastic ones I’ve used don’t seem to last very long and are more prone to leak.

    The auto shutoff can create it’s own problem where you can’t connect something unless you depressurize them. Not a problem if there’s a manual shutoff valve behind it. Just shutoff the valve and screw them loose enough to dump the pressure.

    I took a hydraulic lab course many years ago and we had a problem with students popping the last hose fitting on a pressurized hose. No much you can do at that point.

  4. Matt says:

    HOT. These attachements make washing a car or any job much easier. The rotating head makes attachments easy to use and you won’t kink the hose. Switch from soap mixing nozzle to pressure washer to sprinkler by just swapping out the nozzle. You can either kink the hose to stop the flow of water or you can buy something like this: http://www.kimballmidwest.com/Catalog/CatalogIndex.aspx?p=4289
    that has a pneumatic type stop inside it. Obviously it will drop the pressue a little, but not having to go back and turn off the spicket is a great time and frustration saver.

  5. Shopmonger says:

    HOt plastic ones are awesome, then leave it easy to disconnect, and also they don’t get hot in the sun. The metal ones always leak and they get so damn hot… My wife loves these because she changes the ends all the time…


  6. Dennis says:

    Hot, definitely. For my mom, who has arthritis in her hands and loves to work in her garden, being able to switch between various watering nozzles and sprinkler heads easily is a godsend. She always used to struggle with screwing them on and tightening them enough so they wouldn’t leak all over the place. I use them too, because they solve the problem of bent or damaged threads and allow for swiveling of the various nozzles and help keep the hose from twisting up. I’ve always used the metal ones because I doubted the plastic ones would withstand abuse or heavy use, but I haven’t compared them.

  7. Joel Spangler says:

    I say HOT for metal ones… not so much for plastic. The disconnects that I use are brass + came from Harbor freight…. they don’t leak + don’t seem to restrict water flow at all.

  8. older than you says:

    Not hot. I don’t wash my car or water my lawn. Water is a dwindling precious resource not to be used for such frivolities.

  9. Joel Spangler says:

    @older than you….

    I don’t water lawn or wash my car either… I do still use the hose often though.

    I irrigate my garden if its dry (which it hasn’t been this year), wash the dog outside during the summer, I have to get the horses water every couple of days in a barn that doesn’t have running water (well until I drag the hose in there).

  10. Toolaremia says:

    @older than you — The Earth is 7/10 covered in water. It’s neither created nor destroyed when you use it to wash your car. Good grief it falls from the sky! (And will do so more often if global warming is a fact.) Washing a car is an important maintenance task. Keeping the car clean and rust-free keeps it out of the junkyard longer, which does more for your fellow man than not washing it.

    Hose Quick Connects: Hot. I use the plastic ones and they have been working fine for three years.

  11. BadBob says:


    I’ve used several diffrent versions of these over the years. The plastic ones suck. The metal work great when they are new but gradually get more difficult to use and begin to leak. But the main reason I quit using them was that they reduce the water flow considerably. I don’t have any to spare.

    People with weak hands have trouble connecting them.

  12. FredP says:


    Ignoring facts to support your position doesn’t make you right, it just makes you feel good. The earth may be 7/10 covered in water, but only 3% of that is fresh water. Further, 2% of that is trapped in glaciers, leaving a whole 1% of the earth’s water as fresh and available.

    Also, water doesn’t always fall from the sky. When it doesn’t, it’s called a drought. I don’t know where you live, but in the U.S., the entire West is faced with major drought issues right now. Check out how Lake Mead is looking currently:


    It’s at 46% of it’s capacity.

    Also, if global warming melts the polar ice caps, it goes into the ocean where it becomes… yes, salt water! Again, useless for the most to humans.

  13. Toolaremia says:

    @Fredp — Though tempting, i’m not going to argue with you. I just think the scaremongering is inappropriate when the topic is quick disconnects.

    So what do you think of the quick disconnects? 🙂

  14. eric says:


    with quick-loks, taking the ball end and smacking it (the ball) against a cloth covered board was messy but always worked for me,

  15. Dustbuster7000 says:

    Metal – Hot, Plastic – Warm

    Over the years I’ve fitted and removed dozens of these things of different brands and designs. The major factor here is the product quality. Well designed and well made units of both materials will seal well, are easy to use and relatively durable. Plastic ones are generally less durable (to both mechanical abuse and UV damage) than the metal ones, but are also lighter and cheaper. Cheap copies of name-brand quick connects aren’t worth buying, they usually leak or can’t contain the water pressure and pop off the end of the hose. If you work a job that requires using and moving a hose (from one site to another – gardener or landscaper for example), these are a godsend. And while its true that some brands are not cross compatible, you can generally get a low-leak connection from poorly matched pairing at a pitch (it leaks at the tap, but you still get enough flow to get the job done).

    Toolaremia – be thankful you live somewhere where it does rain often and plentifully, but be aware that there are many places where it does not and thus watering lawns and cleaning cars fall somewhat down the priority list as far as using the available fresh water is concerned. Most of Australia falls in this category, large parts of Africa, portions of the Western US (although they only now seem to be realizing it), as well as areas of China and Russia.

  16. Zathrus says:

    I’ve got a number of brass ones, all bought at HD or Lowes, and the only one I particularly care for is the manual shut off valve.

    Perhaps it’s lack of use/maintenance (they tend to be left out year round), but after only a few years the sockets are nearly impossible to use; the balls do not want to fully retract, or the collar doesn’t want to lock. And, as pointed out, unless you have a manual shut off valve (or kink the hose, which is bad for the hose) then you can’t just swap out the heads.

    Honestly, I don’t find turning the head around that big a bonus. As for switching out heads — I have a multi-flow sprayer head and wand, both of which work very well and have 8-10 settings. If I want a different flow, it’s just a quick twist on the head. The wand has no on/off though, so the manual cut off tends to live on it.

  17. Jim says:

    Hot! I inherited a bunch from my dad, and had bought a bunch of the same style as well (Brass) – they all have worked fine for 30+ years!

  18. Matt says:

    wow, glad I live way the hell up north in canada. water? we got lots. The reason I don’t wash my truck? lazyness. yep that’s it. The more people move up north the further north I’ll go.

  19. shopmonger says:

    I am the biggest eco-crazy guy out there, at least one of them, and this is stupid… hoses are a tool, what you use them for is up to you……HOT OR NOT if you need to debate eco issues go to a eco site…..

    And yes cleaning your car is a huge maint issue Salt ruins cars…..

    These are Def HOT HOT HOT……..


  20. Sebastian says:

    These are Great – Voted HOT

    I used to live in Australia, and the plastic connectors have been standard fare there for decades. I never recall much trouble with leaking, although I do remember that after some time, if not kept clean, dirt could get in there and make it hard to connect/disconnect.

    Other than that, I can say that it’s something I have missed since leaving Australia… they’re SO much more convenient than screwing a hose on.

  21. Dr.No says:

    Yeah, I live in Australia and I didn’t realise there was an alternative to these quick connect hose connectors.
    These have been starndard here for at least 30 years and hoses normally come with them when you buy them.
    Plastic is the standard and they seem to work ok although the cheaper ones can leak a bit and the o-rings can deteriate after sitting out in the sun for years.

  22. Jim K. says:

    Personally I love my metal quick connects. I’ve got them in a few places around the property to allow for quick changes to switch from my soaker hoses to a handheld spray nozzle and also connect a long hose to get to back part of the property occasionally.

  23. Brau says:

    Hot. I use them on all my hoses and attachments and would not be without them.

    As for some who say they are too difficult to connect … Gosh, try turning the water pressure OFF before connecting. Nobody would leave the pressure on when they had to screw an attachment onto a hose, yet I’ve watched a number of people fight against the pressure then declare them too hard to use. Blows my mind.

  24. russ says:

    Hot – The “good quality” brass ones are. The plastic ones I have found to break and leak faster. The ones I got from Northern Tool worked great. Over time they all wear but the good brass ones last longer.

  25. fred says:

    Have use Nelson – brass connectors for years on hoses, pressure washers etc. with good results:


  26. bert says:

    Garden hose quick connect fittings are the wave of the future just like power steering was to an automobile. Yes, they break with time and sometimes leak, but nothing is without vulnerability to age and wear. The fact is they provide very important features: ease of use and speed in functionality. Quality is a must to achieve this end. If they were an overnight sensation we wouldn’t be here discussing them now and as you can see most of the post are warm if not hot. The o-rings can be replaces fairly easily and quality made stainless steel couplings can outlast brass and possibly the life of your hose.

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