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Heated hose cabinet

Hi all, looking to hear from people who have a heated cabinet or something to prevent a garden hose from freezing in extended periods of -20C.I’m dealing with 300 feet of hose. Keeping it in the house isn’t an option, and I don’t want to buy something I have to replace every couple of years (like collapsible hoses). Also looking for something that is a proven low-risk fire hazard. Years ago I boarded at a place with an insulated cabinet with a regular lightbulb, but that hose would freeze if it wasn’t drained. I’m not sure if a heat lamp would throw too much heat?

I’ve tried the air compressor route to blow out the hose but you need a very large compressor to blow out 100ft lengths of hose. I’m also looking for a quick solution, so walking 300 feet of snow-covered hose above my head to drain it out when it’s-20C is not the solution here. I’d love to hear from people who have a system that has worked well for them for several years. Thanks!

I can not image the struggle required to handle 300 feet of hose in minus 20C temps.


At one barn I saw a trash can with insulation banded or taped around it and a lightbulb mounted inside the lid so that it shone down on the coiled hose inside the trash can (I recall it being plastic, but I’d think metal would be better). That was enough to keep a lot of hose from freezing --the hose was coiled inside… . .

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Interesting. Online I found a heated barrel blanket that would do the job - similar idea. But the blanket cost several hundred dollars. Your suggestion seems much less expensive.

:rofl: :rofl: I have been spending the last 12 years hauling 200 feet of hose out of my basement every week. It does suck when there is over a foot of snow and it’s super cold. I’m not concerned about adding the extra 100 feet, but it is a workout for sure!

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We use a plug in, oil filled radiator type heater and place it about a foot from the hose. Our hose is black rubber and only 50 feet, so I don’t know if that would be helpful to you.

I believe I would attach a wench to an electrical cable spool to wind that hose onto, 300 feet is a lot of hose.

We used hoses here for a while then gave up (and nothing was more than 100 feet), I contracted with a lawn sprinkler company to bury about 1,000 feet of waterline which they did in their off season with three crews in one day.

Helped that we are now in an area where the frost point is measured in few inches rather than six feet

In the past I have not found a hose reel that can handle so much hose but your response inspired me to do a search and I did find a heavy duty hose reel that can accommodate 300 ft hose! So now I’m thinking hose on the reel with a barrel heater wrapped directly around the rolled up hose. This will be my solution for about 5 months. The rest of the time I’ll use a garden hose that is buried. During the winter I’ll have enough troughs out that I’ll only need to wrangle the hose a couple times a month - watering only 3 horses.


Does it make more sense to trench and install frost free spigots to where you need water, or at least get the source a lot closer? I realize it’s an expense, but so is 300 feet of hose, figuring out how to warm or drain it, and–probably most important–the wear and tear on you doing it all. That just sounds like so much, especially when it’s so cold.


The estimate to run water to the barn was over $5000. Drilling and setting up a well estimate was over 10K. I don’t mind hauling the hose because I’ve been doing it for over 10 years. It’s just storing the hose that is the new challenge. But earlier today I came across these plans, which look pretty good. I may try to set up a cupboard like that as a first attempt Honey warming cabinet (theapiarist.org)

Worst-case scenario I can pay $300 a month to have water trucked in and just have enough troughs and trough heaters for a months-worth of water. I don’t love that option because there are lots of opportunities for something to go wrong in that system.

I don’t own this property so I don’t want to put a ton of money into it. My horses are also all over 25 years old so there’s the morbid reality of probably needing this only for a few years - not worth a 10k investment.

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Have you tried an air compressor with a blow out adapter to drain the hose after use? You may need to smaller sections than the whole 300 feet.

I tried the air compressor approach but it’s too much trouble to take apart the hoses and sort out the compressor when it’s freezing cold out. I have been told that air compressors should also not be stored in the cold, so it just multiplies the problem for me.


might want to attach a gutter heat tape to the hose? the tapes are (at least were) sold by the foot

I used heat tapes on a government job to keep metal gate rollers from freezing to the guide tracks. I told the engineers that their design had issues but they said we know what we are doing, gate rollers froze to the track as the track was below grade allowing water to pool. solution was simple by adding a heat tape inside the guide rail. There are comtrollers that turn the tapes on/off depending upon ambient temperature

was that to trench 72 inches? If you are having to deal with minus 20C the frost depth is fairly deep.

We are in a much less freeze area, the frost depth is measured in a few inches. I got a lawn sprinkler company to install over 1000 feet of water lines to the barns/paddocks/pastures with four frost proof hydrants (I supplied the hydrants, they supplied everything else) We were in no rush so waited until their off season when they came in with three trenchers and crews installing everything Completely including burying the trench in less than a day.

I don’t have 300’ feet of hose but I do have a well insulated cupboard that our pump, tank and some hoses are in. Also some shelving with medication etc.
This cupboard is kept above freezing with just an old fashioned incandescent 60w light bulb. If temps drop to minus 30 I just turn on another 60w trouble light.
If you can find a reel big enough for your hose then you could build a cupboard to wheel it in and out of. Then fingers xxx’d you can find the incandescent bulbs!


This is interesting, thanks! I wondered if the lightbulb in a non-ventilated area might create too much heat to be safe. Is the lightbulb at the top of the bottom of the cupboard?

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We have to go at least 4 feet deep to get under the frost line. And there is a fair bit of rock at this site too.

‘Trouble Light’ hooked in from ceiling.

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An insulated box and a lightbulb works pretty good.


if you had any type of enclosure at all you could buy a cheap diesel heater, https://www.vevor.com/diesel-heater-c_10321/vevor-diesel-air-heater-all-in-one-12v-8kw-bluetooth-app-lcd-for-car-rv-indoors-p_010876414069?adp=gmc&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_id=20842945135&ad_group=&ad_id=&utm_term=&gad_source=1&gclid=CjwKCAjwkJm0BhBxEiwAwT1AXMoCeIn-FITdgYA4Nto3AcjnmV0Ke4ENnFVwCV3o_YboNm2BoOLm5hoCK4UQAvD_BwE and fire it up a couple minutes before you need to start watering and it would have it at 100 degrees in a pretty reasonable amount of time.