Automatic Hose Reels
A hose can be a hassle to pull and drag out – sometimes people even have to untangle it. Thankfully, there are automatic hose reels to help deal with the problem of a knotted, tangled, and in-the-way hoses. Self-retracting reels for hoses are used for maintenance of agricultural, mining, waste management, and construction equipment among others.
Automatic hose reels are a type of hose reel that uses electric, hydraulic, spring or pneumatic power to unwind and wind the hosing they house with minimum effort. Offering fully automatic retraction, the purpose of automatic hose reels is to keep hoses neat when not in use and kink free when being used. Hoses lying out are a tripping hazard to employees and customers; automatic hose reels prevent this danger and also prolong the life of the hose.
As revolvable drum-shaped devices designed for hoses to wrap around, automatic hose reels are designed for convenient, automated winding and unwinding in indoor or outdoor facilities as well as on the back of trucks. Automatic hose reels offer three main retraction methods: electric, hydraulic and pneumatic rewinding, which have motors that drive the reel's rewinding; and spring rewinding, with an internal spring that rewinds the reel. There are also two main types of automatic cord reel designs: open design and closed, or cage, design. Open design automatic hose reels leave the hose uncovered, which provides little protection. In closed design automatic hose reels the reel is covered by an outer structure. This outer structure is typically constructed from metal or plastic and referred to as a cage or box. The cage protects the hose from atmospheric threats such as sun, fumes or chemicals. However, both automatic hose reel designs are durable and will often last a lifetime. In addition, many automatic hose reels come with a latching mechanism that assures positive extension stop and easy retraction at any length.
As a retractable hose reel, there will be no problems with the hose bending and twisting. In fact, even the use of a manual reel requires a lot of time and effort just to reel up the hose correctly. For people who cannot seem to get the hose rolled up right, the automatic reel for the hose is the answer to the problem. This is why with the use of an automatic water hose reel, storing a hose has never been this easy without worrying about the condition and the shape of the hose.
While most automatic reels for hoses are used for storing hoses, there are certain tools that are utilized for transportation as well. There are also reels that enable the hose to be used even while it is wound up and this is known as live connection reels. On the whole, the automatic reels exist to provide easy access as well as storing efficiency.
Images Provided by Reelcraft Industries, Inc.
Problems with Hose Storage and Usage
There are some households, businesses, and organizations that store their hoses for such a long time. What they do not know is that this equipment has to put up with different kinds of damage, especially when they are stored for extended periods of time. This is because they are stored improperly. There could be other items in storage that could cause damage to the hose. Additionally, if the kinks are left in the hose for a long time, the twists will lead to weakened areas in the hose and will eventually result in cracks.
The cracks can also happen with too much sun exposure. It is no secret that the sun can dry out household items and the hose is not an exception. The materials used in the hose can become dry and brittle, leading to breakage. Another common problem is the soil. Some people just leave the hose on the ground and unfortunately, this can cause issues, such as the soil eating away at the hose and therefore leading to rotting.
Automatic Hose Reels Explained
As mentioned, this is a tool that can be used to keep the hose stored safely. The automatic reels can be powered by batteries or spring, but there are products that are water powered as well. Whether it is a water hose reel, an air hose reel, or the standard retractable hose reel, the tool is usually shaped like a cube with an opening that welcomes the hose to go in and out of that hole. When the hose is not in use, storing the hose in the reel is easy. The user will just have to turn the tool on and reel up the hose.
Automatic reels come in various sizes to match different hoses, but it is easy to find a heavy duty hose reel that can hold more than 100 feet. The retractable hose reel options can now be permanently positioned in a place in the house or building, such as a garage or close to a spigot for the hose. Of course, they are movable as well, so that the user can move the entire reel in and out of the storage whenever necessary.
There are two main designs of automatic cord reel:
Open Design: The reels leave the hose without a cover, so there is almost no protection for the hose.
Closed or Caged Design: The reel has a cover, typically an outer structure made of plastic or metal. It is often called a box or cage, which then protects the hose against threats like fumes, chemicals, or the sun itself.
Both designs of the reel are durable and generally last a lifetime. Plus, many automatic reels have a latching mechanism that gives assurance on positive extension stop as well as retraction of the hose no matter what the length.
The Benefits of an Automatic Hose Reel
There are many reasons why automatic reels are beneficial, including:
Automatic hose reels help reduce the risk of accidents. Needless to say, an unwound hose that is just lying around on the ground can cause injury to people as it increases the risk of falling.
They makes it easier to store the hose. Unwinding a hose from a hook is often hard and exhausting, especially if it is a long hose. With the help of an automatic reel for hoses, storing the hose properly becomes sleeker and cleaner.
They are convenient. The reels appear to be revolving drum-shaped tools designed to allow hoses to wrap around them. They are convenient in such a way that they can help wind and unwind in outdoor or indoor facilities. They can even be installed or placed on the back of the vehicles.
They provide more working space. A hose can take up a lot of space in the storage. With an automatic reel, this can be solved as it helps free up wall and floor space – wherever the hose is stored.
They can prolong the life of the hose. A reel can save the hose and extend its lifespan. As stated before, there are a number of ways that unwinding the hose can cause damage. With the aid of a reel, damage is lessened and therefore leads to more years of use for the hose. The automatic reel can also help prevent premature leakage, which normally happens if the hose is often bent or twisted.
They help save time. Untying, unknotting, and detangling the hose is not only tiring but can also waste a lot of time. A person has to find the end of the hose and pull it so that it will be usable. This can be a problem with firefighters if they have to unknot the hose they would use first since time is of the essence in putting out fires. A reel will not give this problem as the hose will automatically be in its desired position and shape.
There are many other benefits and uses of automatic reels for hoses, making them a necessity for construction and fire departments.
How They Work
The way the automatic reel for hoses works will depend on its manufacturer and how it is made. As mentioned, it can be a water hose reel, an air hose reel, or a heavy duty hose reel. Depending on its type, it will operate differently.
Battery-operated: A battery operated reel actually uses electricity to wind the hose. The inside part of the reel when the battery-operated reel is turned on will spin, which will cause the hose to wrap around it. As it is operated with batteries, it will usually come with rechargeable batteries. In this case, it is usually useful to have a spare battery charged, so that the user will not be left without power, especially while using the hose. Nevertheless, if the power runs out, the reel will most likely work manually. There is typically a hand crank if the battery runs out, but more often than not, the battery operated reel will require more work on the part of the user.
Water-powered: If the reel is powered by water, it generally uses an engine with pistons that turn the reel, which will wind the hose. Just like the battery powered reel, water powered reels may have a hand crank as well if in case the engine does not work. They are quite efficient and very easy to operate. Reeling the hose in is effortless as the device neatly coils up the hose around the reel using water power. After using the hose, there is usually a knob that should be flipped to begin the retracting mechanism. However, the water should continue running while the hose is being retracted. Water is ejected from the main hose or through a drain tube (depending on the design of the reel). This means three to five gallons of water will be wasted during the retracting process depending on the length of the hose.
Heavy duty: A heavy duty hose reel is mainly used for industrial purposes. How it works will depend on how it is made, its manufacturer, and the materials used. However, it mostly features a large frame and chassis to meet the requirements of its industrial use. Because it is a heavy-duty reel, it allows longer lengths and bigger diameters to allocate for the hose. Some designs even have two support points for the center shaft, which improves the stability of the hose during operation and therefore reduces vibration. These designs also help reinforce the structural integrity of the automatic reel.
Air powered: A retractable air powered hose reel is an essential garage tool; this is often made of PVC. Manufacturing of this reel is believed to be resistant to corrosion and other factors that could lead to damage. Air hose reels make it easy to reel in hoses with the use of their advanced technology. They typically feature a winding system that can layer hoses smoothly and easily back and forth. Just like the other options for automatic reels, an air powered reel comes in a variety of dimensions, fittings, and lengths to meet the needs of the users.
An automatic reel for hoses makes watering tasks so much easier. Whether it will be used for gardening activities, hose management, fluid dispense and transfer, extinguishing fires, or other industrial jobs, the reel can make hose use more convenient as it will do the cranking for the user. Just a short pull will cause the hose to be easily drawn to the reel. Oftentimes, extending the hose is easy with another short pull to stop or deactivate the lock. There is typically an integrated hose handle to prevent tangling, twisting, and bending.
How to Use Automatic Reels for Hoses
What is really great about automatic reels is that they are very easy to use. However, there are different options and kinds available. Depending on the manufacturing process it was subjected to as well as how it was designed, it can be used in different ways. In fact, there are some reels and retractable hoses that may require a little bit of assembly before a person can use it. The reel may have to be connected to the outer shell first or there may be smaller pieces that should be joined together before it can be used. Nevertheless, the entire process should be pretty simple.
Once the reel has been assembled, there are a few steps that need to be completed to use it. As mentioned, it will depend on the item itself, but here are the general steps to follow:
Connect the hose to the spigot.
After the hose is connected, the user can then put the hose on the reel.
The next step will depend on what kind of reel is in use. For instance, if it is a reel that is operated by hand crank, the process is simple. All the user needs to do is to crank the reel until the whole hose is reeled in. The same thing can be done if the reel is battery or water operated and the automatic functions are not working correctly.
For the fourth step, the user has to make sure that the hose is wound tightly and properly around the reel.
The work is done after checking that the hose is tight around the reel.
If it is a battery operated automatic reel, there is usually a pedal or a button that needs to be pushed to keep the reel spinning and winding the hose. If it does not work, chances are the batteries are out of power. This is mostly the problem with battery operated reels since they can run out of power easily. Therefore, it helps if there are two sets of batteries on hand so that there is always a spare in case one dies while reeling. Otherwise, the hand crank is available.
When using the automatic reels for the hoses, it is important to check the reels for any issue. This way, it will be easy to solve them before they become bigger. It is also noteworthy that the reels should be indoors during winter months, especially if the location gets very cold during this particular season.