Garden hoses are not a strict requirement for watering your garden, but they save considerable time and effort over hauling the watering can to various plants. Garden hoses have inside diameters of 1/2 inch, 5/8 inch or 3/4 inch. The male and female ends of the hose are often slightly larger than its inside diameter, so measuring isn't as simple as holding up a ruler at one end of the hose. Measure the hose diameter if you need to replace a damaged hose or connect it to an existing hose.

portrait of a mother and daughter holding a garden hose in the yard
credit: George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images
Dowel rods provide a simple garden hose measuring solution.

Step 1

Disconnect all fittings or attachments from the ends of the garden hose, including couplings, soaker hoses, spray nozzles and lawn sprinklers.

Step 2

Insert a 1/2-inch wooden dowel into one end of the hose and check the fit. Try a 5/8-inch wooden dowel and a 3/4-inch dowel until you find the size that has the best fit. There's no need to purchase dowels specifically to measure a garden hose. If you don't have dowels on hand, use other objects such as high-speed metal drill bits. Do not use wood paddle bits; they have pointed tips that could puncture the hose.

Step 3

Remove the dowel from the inside of the garden hose. Hold a ruler against one end of the dowel and measure across the center of the dowel to find the true dowel diameter. This is simply a safeguard to ensure the actual measurement of the dowel is consistent with its label.