illustration of hose
Q: My dad suggested I ask you about fixing a hose that he backed over after I washed his car. Do you know how to fix the end part that got squashed? Next time I'll remember to put it away.

— Zack, Southbury, CT

A: Roger Cook replies: I hate when that happens! Just the other day, the same thing happened to me. But I've found a pretty good repair that doesn't cost much: metal or plastic fittings, called couplers, that clamp around the hose. The key is to know the diameter of your hose so you can get the right-size coupler.

First, cut off the damaged end of the hose and take it to the hardware store, where you'll find a "male" or "female" replacement, depending on which end of the hose is damaged. Coat the end of the new coupler with liquid soap, then slip it into the end of the hose. Once the end is in, screw the two-piece "saddle" tightly together around the hose.

This is a lot cheaper than buying a new hose. And if you're a real Yankee (that means you don't throw stuff out if it's still usable), you can reuse the coupler if the hose ever gets too stiff and has to be replaced. Just unscrew the saddles and save them for the next time there's a hose that needs fixing.
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