I have three of these on my property, two on the wall front and back and one along a fence. They are superbly convenient, providing that you observe some installation precautions and understand that occasional maintenance will be required. First, when installing...
I have three of these on my property, two on the wall front and back and one along a fence. They are superbly convenient, providing that you observe some installation precautions and understand that occasional maintenance will be required.
First, when installing your hose, don''t choose one that is extra stiff and especially not one with a spring or other reinforcement at the female connector. That goes to the inner bib on the reel, and the hose must turn in a tight circle as you begin to wind it. Next, use teflon tape on the threads of the male end of the supply hose, then screw it on as tightly as you can. Do the same on the inner reel bib where the hose connects. If that supply hose leaks where it connects to the mount, you''ll have a large job on your hands to fix it. Be prepared to accept a small amount of leakage there after some usage. A minor drip is less bother than taking it all apart to repair.
When choosing your hose, pick one that''s shorter than the stated maximum for your particular Sidetracker model. Mine is rated at 125 ft., but that much 5/8 inch hose full of water is VERY heavy--you can expect it to crack the reel eventually (and one of mine did for that reason). Instead, I now use a 75 ft. hose and the reel handles it much better.
When mounting the reel base, don''t expect the supplied hardware to be adequate for all installations. Your particular job may require something more robust, or even a custom wood framework. The photo shows one of mine, on my home''s exterior stucco wall. A similar framework was required to mount the reel along my fence line. It exerts a lot of torque when you wind it, so its mounting must be very sturdy.
If the reel binds or scrapes a little in the mount as you turn it, dismount the reel (very simple) and spray the mount''s surface with WD-40 where the reel seems to make contact. Then just reinstall the reel, and you should be good to go. That''s a quick and easy fix for a common problem, and it works.
Finally, at least once a year dismount the reel and coat the o-ring at the axle hub with faucet grease, from your hardware store. Take care not to get grease in the small water openings at the hub. Then, remount the reel, and you should have friction--free performance for another year.
Suncast is very good if you need replacement parts. Find them at suncast.com, and I do best by calling them on the phone for orders. One common replacement item is the handle on the reel; easily broken if you overdo it while winding. I bought 6 at a very low price, just to keep in stock. (They seem to avoid breaking when you have the replacement in stock!)
Important operating tip: after using your hose, turn off the faucet and open your spray nozzle to release the pressure. Then rewind the hose, allowing water to drain from the nozzle. You want the hose as empty as possible when winding, to minimize the weight on the reel. You''ll also don''t want to maintain water pressure on the couplings when the hose isn''t being used--that will only make a leak very likely, as seen in some of the other reviews. And like any hose, disconnect the feeder from the faucet and drain the hose as much as possible if you have freezing temperatures outside.
With these precautions, you can expect the Sidetracker to keep your hose exceptionally neat and handy, and to perform very well over the long term. Just expect to do a little routine maintenance on it once in a while.