Selecting a garden hose involves deciding on the diameter of the hose. Most people use their garden hose for a number of years before it wears out. However, many people give little thought to selecting or replacing that tool. Sometimes people just head to their local hardware store or garden center and buy whatever is on sale or is cheapest. It is handy to know beforehand some of the key differences between two of the most common garden hose sizes available, the 5/8-inch and 3/4-inch.
Stores commonly sell garden hoses in standard lengths of 25-foot increments, usually up to 100 feet. Longer hoses often cost less per foot than the shorter hoses, regardless of the diameter. However, if you only need to reach 25 feet, there are two reasons to buy a hose that length instead of one that is 75 or 100 feet long. First, the volume of water a hose delivers per minute is lower in longer hoses. Second, shorter hoses take less time to drain and to coil before you put them away.
The most commonly used garden hose is the 5/8-inch diameter, followed by the 3/4-inch size. To make comparisons easier, remember that a 5/8-inch hose is 0.625 inches in diameter while a 3/4-inch hose is slightly bigger at 0.75 inches. The hose with a smaller diameter delivers less water over a given time period than the larger hose does.
5/8-Inch Water Delivery
For example, the average home has water pressure of 40 pounds per square inch. At that pressure, a 100-foot, 5/8-inch-diameter garden hose would deliver 11 gallons of water per minute. However, a 25-foot-long garden hose would deliver 44 gallons of water per minute.
3/4-Inch Water Delivery
Using the same water pressure, a 100-foot garden hose in the larger 3/4-inch-diameter would deliver 18 gallons of water per minute. Water would move through a 25-foot-long hose at the rate of 72 gallons per minute. The ability of the 3/4-inch hose to maintain water pressure and to deliver more than 60 percent more water per minute is the major difference between it and the 5/8-inch-diameter garden hose.