Draining Hoses..How Does Everyone Do It?

It is about 200ft from the house hose spigot to the barn n trough, in the summer I can leave the hoses drug out near the fenceline n ponies leave it alone.

In the winter I am dragging the 4 50ft hoses out, and then dragging them back, running them up the slope in the yard with both ends going downhill and essentially playing crossfit waving the U bend part over my head and working them up n over my head to drain them out before I wrap them up.

Is there an easier way then looking like the wavy inflatable arm man and my neighbors thinking I am nuts?!?


I have a 100’ reel that I keep two 50 hoses linked together on, once I’ve used it I turn the water off, leave the end open which will allow the water to drain as you wind the hose back up on the reel. This pretty much empties the hoses. In your case find a heavy duty reel on wheels that will hold your 200’ of hoses. The one below holds 300’. Do the same when winding the hose back on the reel, leave then end open and the water will drain out.

Ironton Garden Hose Reel Cart — Holds 5/8in. x 300ft. Hose | Northern Tool


Not seeing the slopes in your particular situation I am suggesting things that may not work for you.

Install quick disconnects between the four 50-foot hoses. Leave the hoses laid out from house to trough and when done filling just separate the 4 hoses and leave each section to drain independently.
if you have an air compressor plus a portable air tank, use a charge of compressed air to blow the water out of the 200 feet of hose.


I disconnect them everytime but they do not drain enough on their own, tried that, totally regretted it. The air compressor is a good idea, we do have one of those!

So disconnect the hose from the cart on both ends and then reel? That may work!

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No, leave the hose at one end connected to the reel, leave the other end open; while you reel the hose up the water will drain out the open end. Just leave the hose reeled up all the time. If it gets really cold you can wheel the whole thing inside to help prevent any freezing.


Yep, this is my approach. Hose reel, take the far end off and hose drains as you reel it up. Only down side is if you let it outside, unwinding it in the cold ain’t gonna happen. You pretty much have to take it somewhere warm for storage.

I use those fabric type hoses that don’t weigh very much or get kinks, they don’t freeze like rubber hose do; although I have my hose reel inside anyway.


We bring the hose(s) into the slightly heated garage during the winter. Draining on every use is done basically like described above with the hose reel, just no hose reel.
Disconnect hose from spigot, so both ends are open. Go to end of hose that in on the uphill side (our slope is very slight, I am not talking about a huge hill here) and start coiling the hose (loops to carry it). By the time you work your way to the end the hose is drained. (It is drained enough to work fine even if left outside, because sometimes it gets forgotten in the barn.)

I do agree that if you are using four 50’ hoses this will be easier if you disconnect the sections. The problem with quick disconnects in the winter is, it only takes a tiny bit of ice to make them not work right.

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For 200 feet of hose, I’d blow it out with the compressor. You don’t need a big, expensive unit to do that, the hundred bucks spent on a decent pancake unit will do it, and that’s just SO worth it. A little compressor is just so nice to have around the farm.

My daily use hose is a 50’ expandy deal. It’s just stellar, basically drains itself, fits in a small bucket to bring in the house when it’s really cold. The fittings will freeze even when the hose is empty. Not going to work to string together a bunch of those for your long run, though, you won’t have enough water pressure along the run to make every hose expand.

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Much depends on how cold your location gets. We also have about 200 ft of hose to use watering daily.

Winding it on the reel with end open, does not seem to allow enough time for hose to completely drain. This was even with having to wind hose uphill to the barn. We still had to put wheeled cart w/hose into heated tack room to prevent freezing.

Last year we did the air compressor thing, left hose lay outside. This worked 99% of the time. Husband made a fixture with a brass hose end on one side, the air hose snap in piece on the other end. We screwed water hose onto air hose, let the air run at least 10 minutes after last visible water coming out. Less “blow-out” time seemed to result in frozen hose. Leave hose ends open while laying on the ground. It still froze a couple times. Once we were able to run hose from house window with hot water, fixed the frozen issue. The other times I just got out the spare hose on the cart, unrolled it to water, then rolled it up again to store in heated tackroom. We put frozen hose in the basement to thaw, then got it out and went back to blowing it out again. No specific reason hose froze those days, it just did.

DO WEIGHT DOWN LOOSE HOSE END!! It will probably flail about wildly as the air starts pushing thru. Flying metal end could hit or break things if not weighted down while blowing hose out. Piece of solid firewood seems to do well for us. We have a big shop air compresssor, so that is a lot of force going thru. BE SAFE!

Blowing hose out instead of winding it up is a huge time saver on cold nights! Wrestling cart into barn and tackroom is not as easy as it sounds either. We really appreciated saving time and work with no rolled hose!!

We considered most of last winter as “not that bad” in how cold it was, moderate snow to deal with. The old horse only needed a real heavy blanket less than 5 days. We will be using the compressor again this winter, see how it goes. I ALWAYS have the backup hose ready to use in the warm tackroom.

We tried the cloth hoses because of their light weight. They only lasted a few days. Being dragged around quickly rubbed holes in them causing leaks. Way too expensive for barn use!!


Pull it up over the fence posts in a “U”/wave pattern and leave it there. Or, just pull it over a single post and coil it like normal.

If it wasn’t 200’ I’d say buy a pocket hose.


How cold do you get?

The tub closest to the house is about 50’ from the spigot, but it’s a 75’ hose. I disconnect from the spigot, and hand over hand (over my head) slowly walk it towards the tub, so the water drains into the tub, and then I just lay it out in a fairly straight line so water doesn’t settle into a curve.

Before there was water at the barn, I had the same as you - around 250’ of hose from the house. I did the same thing. With that, I had to get about half the hose on the house side of the fence and out of the barn pasture area, so starting from the house side, I pulled the hose (to encourage any additional draining) into big-loop serpentines to get it all across.

I leave the hose where it will get the most sun, so even on our coldest days (20s to maybe low 30s, which thankfully isn’t many) by the afternoon the hose is supple enough to be able to use if I need to.

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If you’re already on a slope, just go to the high end and coil from there, being sure to always grab the hose at a point you know it’s drained.


I do not have anwhere heated to put it, but I do like to store it in our building/garage outback which is better than nothing I guess lol.

Same!!! Over my head the whole way, in the sun on niceish days if I can. I am in Northeast TN, it goes down to mid 20s to mid 30s right now. In Jan or Feb we can hit single digits for days though.

T posts and horseguard fence, not an option but that is a good idea!

I do it the way @Texarkana does, by running the hose over a single fence post and pulling it along.

Another thing I have found is the type of material the hose is made of makes a big difference. 25 years ago a friend recommended using a Craftsman black rubber hose, and that is what I have used since. I probably have some hoses that are close to 25 years old. Lowe’s now carries Craftsman products and I ordered my last 2 hoses online and had them delivered at home.

Because they are black even a small amount of sunlight helps to warm them in the winter, and the rubber stays flexible.

The other alternative I used was bringing the hose in the house and sticking it in the bathtub. That way it didn’t freeze and you could drain the water out of it.


Oh, my biggest recommendation is moving South! That has helped greatly in the hose freezing world!


I should have said I am in mid-Michigan. Most winters temps are zero and teens, last year was an exception with only a few zero days and nights.

Hanging hose on the fence “is not an option” here. Ha ha The hose chills fast when water quits running, so you almost cannot get it totally drained before it starts freezing, as I said about rolling that 200ft length onto a hose cart.

Those who spent the money on the heated hoses were quite happy with them.