No Tools Garden Hose Connect

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I have tried a lot of different ways of connecting garden hoses together. This includes a bunch of different snap fittings. They seem attractive but have some downsides:

  • Tend to leak.
  • Tend to break.
  • Need to use same type of connection on all hoses
  • Not cheap.
  • Restrict the flow

So I have gone back to the simple screw together connections. There are two major issues with them:

  • Take longer to connect.
  • Too often you cannot get a good grip and need tools.

The Fix[edit]

Many brands of hose have figured this out with a better handle on the female end of the hose. But these are not always the brands I want. The solution? One name is the Hose Nut, or the Hose Wrench. A picture makes it clear:

This is a 3D printed part that often needs to be customized to the hose because:

  • Some hoses end with cross sections of hexagons, others octogons, and finally some circles.
  • The different ends are different sizes.

So I have created a small set of parameterized models in FreeCad that you can use to print a Hose Nut to fit your particular hose.

Tools Needed[edit]

Design Details[edit]

Lets look at one of the models. ( when actually making a nut make sure you open the model with the right shape ) Open up ..... You should see a representation of the nut. In the model view you should see something called nut_dims. Double click on it and you will open a new tab for the spreadsheet that controls the size of the nut.

  • Height of the nut. 15 mm seems to work well for me, but measure your hose.
  • Inner radius -- this is the dimension that must fit the nut. I try to get within .01 mm of the "right" size if I can. You want a tight but not hard fit over the end of the hose.
  • Outer radius -- this is not very important, but if too large "eats up the fingers", too small and the part is weak.

The part in the model you want to print is the: the_nut. To print it you need to:

  • dimension it in the spreadsheet.
  • make a mesh of it
  • export the mesh as an *.stl file.

This work flow is discussed in an article about another design: Parametric 3D Printed Electronics Case/Enclosure see the section on Use.

Getting the Right Inner Radius[edit]

You can measure your hose with a micrometer, add some cleareance, print and hope it fits. Or I have provided you with another method: a test gauge. This is sort of a test part, but quicker to print. To see it hide everything in the model then show ( spacebar ) the LabledSlice_of_nut. Print it in different sizes and write the size right on it ( maybe later we will print the size right in ). With a set of these gauges you can be sure you nuts will fit.

Fasten to the Hose[edit]

I have used epoxy for most of my hoses, but I have now added the option for a 3m machine screw and trapped nut. Take your choice. There is not much force on this connection, most of the force is twisting and is taken care of by the geometry of the part and the good fit.