Delivering water to your field effectively is crucial…
It may be time to replace that old field hose you’ve been using. But what type of hose should you replace it with? We can help. We have years of hands-on experience with the various hoses we sell. All have been rigorously tested at our research facility at the West Madison Little League in Madison, Wisconsin. At the WMLL, our hoses are exposed to the elements all day long — every day — and they get the full abuse. They are left on the infields from April through October where they are plugged in and used several times a day to hydrate the infield skins. Our irrigation system operating pressure is 90 psi. We have taken note about how long each of these hoses typically lasts and in what way they may fail over time as they wear. Based on this real-world testing, along with customer feedback and tendencies, we have ranked the hoses with a “Good-Better-Best” rating.
GH Field Hose: Max working pressure 150 psi. 100′ one inch diameter hose weighs 32 lbs. The GH Hose uses a PVC inner lining that is encased in another layer of PVC that is reinforced with a polyester yarn. This hose is often hard to handle in colder weather. With age it will typically blister between the two layers of PVC and with time, will then burst. Average length of life for our testing facility was 1 ½ to 3 years.
ProFlex Hose — Max working pressure 150 psi. 100’ one inch diameter hose weighs 42 lbs. The ProFlex is our premium PVC hose that has a rubber feel to it. Yeah, this hose is heavy but it is extremely durable. This hose has blown away the competition in longevity at our testing facility lasting anywhere from 8 to 10 years!!! These hoses we use especially for manual irrigation all over our complex so these hoses are often dragged all over. They really resist abrasion better than any of our other hoses. The only reason these were not rated as the best hose is because 7 times out of 10, groundskeepers who call Beacon about ordering hoses will choose by weight over longevity. When these hoses finally fail on us it is usually from pin holes that develop in the hose material itself that then slowly grow with time. As you can guess, the ProFlex is also quite the wrestling match for ground crews when colder weather is in place.
Ultralite High Pressure Hose — Max working pressure 300 psi. 100’ one inch diameter hose weighs 18 lbs. The Ultralite is the lightest weight of all hoses and our most popular selling hose because of it. When this hose came on the market I was very skeptical, thinking the cloth-like exterior would be easily punctured. The Ultralite hose has an abrasion resistant woven polyester cover. The interior bladder has a helical reinforcement in order for it to retain it’s shape. The full flow couplings on the hose reduce friction loss in the flow of water through the couplings. I was pleasantly surprised at how well this hose performed and not surprised at how well it sells. All groundskeepers love a light hose, and that makes this hose an easy favorite. Additionally we found this hose to still handle fairly easily when in the cold months. It rarely, if ever, kinks. I was also surprised at how long this hose usually lasted — 3 to 4 years under the heavy use and abuse that we throw at it. This is a much tougher hose then one would think by just looking at it. Hoses usually failed on us by a collapse of the inner bladder drastically reducing water flow in the hose and making it very hard to drain. (Also see Should you buy an Ultralite High-Pressure hose?)
Your field hose delivers the most vital and important lifeblood to your ballfield — water. Through testing we perform on a daily basis at our research facility, we hope this information can make it much easier for you to choose the hose that best fits what you and your ballfield needs. For many, it comes down to the combination of longevity and operator health/comfort. That’s what we based our rankings on. A hose that increases operator fatigue yet lasts “forever” doesn’t necessarily gain points with ground crews. Ultimately, it is up to the head groundskeeper — do you want longevity at any cost, or is crew speed and fatigue more important to you?
NOTE: All of the hoses listed above are able to be repaired on the coupling ends or in the middle of the hose using repair kits available through Beacon. The one exception is the Ultralite hose which does not have a repair kit for replacing couplings or for mid-hose repair.