Installing a retractable hose reel is great way to save space, protect your hoses, and save yourself some time and effort. Retractable hose reels are available in both spring-loaded and water-driven varieties. This article will be working with spring-loaded hose reels, because of they are more environmentally friendly, and generally have fewer parts that may fail.
Step 1: Use a Mounting Plate
Instead of mounting your retractable hose reel directly to studs or joists, mount a piece of 2 x 10 over two studs or rafters to better distribute the tensions of pulling on the hose. If the mounts that came with the reel are larger than a 2 x 10 is wide, cut a square or rectangle of 3/4-inch plywood that can be mounted across two weight-bearing wall or ceiling boards. Make sure that you connect the mounting plate securely to at least two interior wall boards, or it may not be able to hold the weight of the hose reel.
Step 2A: Attaching the Reel
The exact method of mounting the reel for your water hose will vary from one manufacturer to the next. The basic design is to position the mounting bracket on the mounting plate, and then hang the hose reel to those brackets and fasten it down. The mounting brackets may have adjustable arms to control the positioning of the reel, but many models are hard-mounted, and cannot be altered or adjusted.
Step 2B: Garden Hose Reels
An ordinary water hose reel is often mounted to the outside of the home or other building using long wood screws or lag bolts. The trick is to keep the reel level while securing it to the wall, and to make sure that your screws are getting a solid purchase. Even an outdoor mounted reel such as this can benefit from using a mounting plate instead of aligning the hose reel with wall studs.
Step 3: Installing a Hose
Garden hoses connect by screwing the female end onto the connector of the reel. Most air hoses use special quick connects in a similar manner. Other types of hoses may require the use of hose clamps or special brackets. As with mounting brackets, the connection procedure may change significantly from one company to the next, or even from one hose size to the next. The tools required will vary from none at all to assorted screwdrivers or wrenches.
Step 4: Hose Stops
The final step is to install the hose stops which prevent the free end of your hose from winding completely on the reel. These stops are usually installed using a Phillips screwdriver, screwing the two halves of the stop together so that it binds to the hose. Make sure that the stops are firmly in place, or they will have a tendency to slide a little as the retracting hose bumps the stops against the reel frame over and over again.