The subject of hose management is one that has come up a few times in recent months so I thought I would put together my thoughts on it and some ways of working which have helped me over the years.

Using the hose reel from the van

I always like to start with the house furthest away. I try to work out where to park in the street to get maximum efficiency and avoid having to move the van two or three times.

The hose I use is a 6mm microbore hose as I find it easier to move about rather than the 8mm hose, but that comes down to personal preference.  I never attempt to pull the hose without being able to see the van because I know it will always end up getting caught on a bin wheel or the corner of someone’s house!

This is the same when reeling the hose back in. I bring most of the hose back to the van then reel it in from there. It's a good arm workout if you don’t have an electric reel!

I know some people have had success with hose guides which you can buy to help guide the hose around car wheels etc. I personally haven’t tried them, but I would love to hear your thoughts on this, if you have?

It is also possible to get flat roller guides to allow the hose through the bottom of the van rather than having to leave the doors open while the van is left unattended.

When working with the hose reel in a public place it is also prudent to put up warning signs or cones for any potential trip hazards.


As you may know, I am a huge fan of backpacks for domestic work, especially for terraced properties. I personally find it is easier to use the backpack rather than the reel from the van as I can get access to the rear of the properties without having to unreel up to 100m of hose.

To fill the backpacks, I use a 12-volt submersible pump and fill the backpacks from the tank in the van.

On semi-detached properties, I position the backpack in one place on the property and extend the pole hose, so I have extra hose which allows me to walk around both properties without moving the backpack or trolley.

An alternative option for two-man teams, is for one person to have the hose reel to take care of the front of the houses and for the other person to have the backpack to do the back of the houses. We find this to be more efficient.

Finally, a note on maintenance. When I put the pole back in the van, I run a damp cloth along the pole hose to remove all the dirt and debris picked up from the floor. (And if you are extremely unlucky, dog mess!)

Now it’s your turn. I would love to hear your top tips and may even share them and give you a shout out on my social channels!