The most LOVELY new garden hose

August 21, 2009 - Blog -

That's a picture of my new garden hose: 100 ft of hot
water... I use my hose to make hot water for my solar
electric home.

BUT, the hose is a bit dangerous, it turns out.

There was the tiniest of warning labels on it that I
almost missed. It said something about how I should
wash my hands after use because the hose is made
from something that people in California know causes

Thank you, California people!

Today I researched garden hoses, and sure enough
there's a neurotoxin in the composition of most garden
hoses: lead. Apparently it's likely to be in my lovely
yellow hose, too. And, when it's not in the hose, the
brass fittings have lead in them.

It's when a hose sits in the sun that the most lead
leaches into the water, so it's not good to fill pet
water dishes without first letting the water run.

Because I use hot hose water for washing clothes
and even me under my solar shower I thought I'd
order a "drinking water safe" hose from some
merchant I have an affiliation with. But none remain

I began calling. Lowe's, Home Depot and Big Jo
Hardware in Santa Fe don't have drinking safe hoses;
Newman's Nursery and Payne's Nursery were each
very nice, but no; on to the RV dealers: Ah, success:
25 foot, 5 ply is $15 one place and $16 another.

Lovely, Dangerous Garden Hose
Your fingernails reflect your health --
Learn some warning signs --
Karen Kline
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Health Boundaries Bite

Lead Awareness

But, I began thinking: perhaps the real problem is lack of
awareness of lead: I've known people who drink hot water from
the tap, oblivious of the fact it has elevated levels of lead in it
due to lead solder used in plumbing. And, hot water in a bath
has lead in it for the same reason unless you run the water to
rinse the tub prior to filling it.

I've decided to order a drinking safe hose, and I'm going to be
more careful about how long the water sits in any hose but
especially when I heat water. I will rinse my hot-water-washed
clothes with fresh cold water from the hose to eliminate
whatever lead might be residual from the wash.

Also, I will be careful not to let any of the water that has been
sitting in a hose get into the
wasps' swimming pool. (There
were wasps patrolling my raspberries today, so I don't think
there will be more bug-nibbled leaves on them).

Awareness is an essential first step on the path to good health.

Drinking Water Safe Hose Arrives

9/10/09 -

My Gatorhyde drinking water safe hose ordered from Factory
Direct Hose has arrived. 100' is by far lighter than the black
hose I had, pictured above. I've rinsed the new hose out and
have it filled with water which is now heating in the sun. In
about 5 more minutes it will have been heating for 15 minutes
and I can see if new hose heats as well as the black.

I noticed right off the bat that the water ran through it to rinse it
did not smell like hose.

I also noticed that my arm is itching were I was cradling the
black hose to carry it, due to its weight.

Hmm. Failed to see that I was supposed to leave the water on,
so that the hose would be under pressure for the first 30
minutes. Oh, I think that's suggested if you want your hose to lie
flat. I want mine to stay coiled so that it's sort of out of the way
along the edge of my deck when I'm heating water.

Heating test results: The water is warm, not hot. But then it's
relatively cloudy today. Also, there were streams of rather cool
water, so I think I have the hose looped so that sun isn't
uniformly hitting its surface.

Colors and Heat

Gosh,  I wish I had put all the information here that I tweeted
while I was researching which color hose to get if I wanted to
use it to heat water. There were some lovely sites dealing with
color and heat. I learned that wearing red on a sunny day is
cooler than wearing blue. Dark green appeared to heat less
well than dark brown, but I ordered dark green because it
looked more beautiful.

Later - Totally lovely shower using water heated in my new
hose. I'm clean and I don't smell like hose!