Automatic Hose Reels
A hose can be a hassle to pull and drag out, sometimes even requiring people to untangle it. Thankfully, there are automatic hose reels to help deal with the problem of knotted, tangled, and in-the-way hoses. Self-retracting reels for hoses are used to maintain agricultural, mining, waste management, and construction equipment among other uses.
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. Automatic hose reels keep hoses neat, offering fully automatic retraction 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 prolong the hose’s life.
Quick links to Automatic Hose Reels Information
Automatic Hose Reel Characteristics
Automatic hose reels are designed as revolving, drum-shaped devices that hoses wrap around. Their design allows for convenient, automated winding and unwinding in indoor or outdoor facilities and on the back of trucks.
Reels are a tool used to keep hoses stored safely. The automatic reels can be powered by batteries or springs, but some products are also water-powered. Whether it is a water hose reel, an air hose reel, or the standard retractable hose reel, the tool is typically shaped like a cube with an opening for the hose to go in or out of. When the hose is not in use, storing the hose in the reel is easy. The user only has to turn the tool on and reel up the hose.
- Retraction Methods
- 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.
- Cord Reel Designs
- There are also two main types of automatic cord reel designs: open design and closed, or cage, design:
- Open Design
- Open design automatic hose reels leave the hose uncovered, which provides little protection.
- Closed Design
- 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.
- 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.
- Cord Reel Sizes
- 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. Additionally, 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.
Types of Automatic Hose Reels
The way an automatic reel for a hose works will depend on its manufacturer and how it is made. 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 Automatic Hose Reels
- A battery-operated reel uses electricity to wind the hose. When the battery-operated reel is turned on, the inside part of the reel will spin, which will cause the hose to wrap around it. It is operated with batteries, and will typically 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 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 for the user.
- Water-Powered Automatic Hose Reels
- If the reel is powered by water, it generally uses an engine with pistons that turn the reel, which will wind the hose. Like the battery powered reel, water powered reels may have a hand crank if the engine does not work. These types of reels are efficient and 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 flips 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 reel’s design). This process wastes three to five gallons of water during the retraction process depending on the hose’s length.
- Heavy-Duty Automatic Hose Reels
- 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 primarily 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 Automatic Hose Reels
- A retractable air-powered hose reel is an essential garage tool; this is often made of PVC. The 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 using their advanced technology. They typically feature a winding system that can easily layer hoses back and forth. Like the other options for automatic reels, an air-powered reel comes in a variety of dimensions, fittings, and lengths to meet the user’s needs.
Improper Storage of Automatic Hose Reels
Some households, businesses, and organizations store their hoses for a long time. They may not know this equipment sustains different kinds of damage, especially when it is stored improperly for extended periods of time.
Improper Hose Storage and Usage
Damage to hoses can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Improper Storage
- There could be other items in storage that could cause damage to the hose.
- Kinks or Twists
- If the kinks are left in the hose for a long time, the twists will lead to weakened areas in the hose and eventually result in cracks.
- Cracks from Sun Exposure
- 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.
- Corrosive Soils
- Another common problem is the soil. Some people 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.
Advantages of Automatic Hose Reels
An automatic reel for hoses makes watering tasks so much easier. Whether 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. A short pull will cause the hose to be easily drawn to the reel. Often, 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.
- Benefits of Automatic Hose Reels
- A primary benefit of the retractable hose reel is the user generally won’t have 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 correctly, the automatic reel for the hose is the answer to the problem. 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, certain tools are also utilized for transportation. Some reels 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 and storing efficiency.
- Improper hose storage can cause wear and damage; however, there are many reasons why automatic reels are beneficial, including:
- Reducing Accidents
- An unwound hose lying on the ground can cause injury to people as it increases the risk of falling.
- Easier Hose Storage
- Unwinding a hose from a hook is often challenging and exhausting, especially if it is a long hose. However, with the help of an automatic reel for hoses, properly storing the hose becomes easier and faster.
- Convenient Winding and Unwinding
- The reels appear to be revolving drum-shaped tools designed to allow hoses to wrap around them. They are convenient in 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.
- Space-Saving Solution
- A hose can take up a lot of space in the storage. However, with an automatic reel, this can be solved as it helps free up wall and floor space – wherever the hose is stored.
- Prolong Life of Hose
- A reel can save the hose and extend its lifespan. As stated before, there are several ways that unwinding the hose can cause damage. With the aid of a reel, damage is lessened, leading to more years of use for the hose. The automatic reel can also help prevent premature leakage, which usually happens if the hose is often bent or twisted.
- Time-Saving Storage
- Untying, unknotting, and detangling the hose is tiring and can 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 process 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.
How to Use Automatic Reels for Hoses
What is great about automatic reels is that they are straightforward to use. However, there are different options and kinds available. Depending on the manufacturing process it was subjected to and how it was designed, it can be used in different ways. There are some reels and retractable hoses that may require a little bit of assembly before a person can use them. 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 simple.
Steps for Using Automatic Reels
Once the reel has been assembled, a few steps 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 put the hose on the reel.
- The next step will depend on what kind of reel is in use. For instance, reels operated by hand crank have a simple process. The user needs only to crank the reel until the whole hose is reeled in. The same can be done if the reel is battery or water operated and the automatic functions are not working correctly.
- Make sure that the hose is wound tightly and properly around the reel.
After checking that the hose is tight around the reel, the work is done.
Troubleshooting Automatic Hose Reels
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 to wind the hose. If it does not work, the batteries are likely out of power. This is primarily 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 vital to check the reels for any issue. It will be easier to solve problems early on in the process before they become bigger issues. It is also noteworthy that the reels should be indoors during the winter months, especially if the location gets very cold during this particular season.