Unravelling Hose Reels

Quick question folks… When using your high pressure hose, do you fully unravel it from your reel every time or do you just unravel the length of hose you need and leave the rest on the reel?

Unravel what I need.

50 foot sections. Take what you need.

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I probably shouldn’t, but I have mine plumbed to the reel. If I don’t unreel the whole thing it birds nests and nobody enjoys that.

i have 300ft not plumbed to reel. Ill take off 1st 100ft and if I need more Ill take the other 200ft section off. and use it. Im different tho. I may just start carrying 150 and 150 sections. mine will birdsnest if I dont take it all off and is plumbed to reel. I think i may have too small of a bypass hose tho.Ill have to fix that.

I always hear people swearing by not plumbing up their hose reel. What’s the point of not plumbing it up. Doesn’t make sense to me. Reels are designed to have the hoses plumbed up.


I think I know what you mean. I only pulled out 50ft or so, came back to the reel and the drum just spun while the hose was loosely doing nothing! It was a mess.

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After you pull out what you need either set the tension brake or the locking pin and you won’t get the birdsnest


Yes, I was going to try this. I noticed the brake was off when I had a 200ft nightmare!

Doesn’t work, tried that. I literally tried everything I could think of, even clamping the hose to the reel.

Titan doesn’t make a very sturdy lock, not terribly thrilled with it.

It’s frowned upon because the internals will rust out. I certainly get some nice brown and grey water for a second after not using the machine for a couple days.

So you replace them after a few years. To me it’s like buying a car then pushing it around. It shouldn’t be frowned upon to use something as it was designed.


Pull what i need and leave rest on and it’s plumbed to the reel.

That’s why they sell stainless steel internals, I’ve had my Titans SS for many, many years no issues as of yet……maybe I’m just fortunate?

Same here. Only reel that isn’t plumbed is the water hose reel. Other than that, I’ve never used a reel without plumbing it. All different brands, sizes, and materials, too. Had a GP reel with carbon manifold and that thing would spit rusty water for five seconds every time I started the machine. Never once had a pinhole leak or any issues with it though. Hell, I sold it it to a guy and he’s still using it on his asphalt sealing trailer.

I also always pull out all of the hose on the reel. Leave 4-5 wraps around the drum to protect the crimp on the hose. Set brake. Voila! No issues.


I do the same, leave couple wraps and start up….no problems…


I too have mine plumbed through the reel, I pull what I need, set the brake (pin), then apply a clamp to the hose so it doesn’t bird nest. Don’t know why, tried everything, always bird nest if left on the reel. If it is all offf the reel, a bunch of hose will dance underneath the trailer, then I have to pull that crap out and clean it and reroll it.

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I run 5 50 footers without using the reel plumbing. Hose #4 & #5 I bought in 2021 & they are still usable because they see very little use even though they are sun bleached & dry rotted. Each section is a different color & I have a swivel every 50 feet. Your equipment performs better with a shorter hose. The soap clears out of the lines faster, surface cleaner runs better, better flow / PSI & one less component to crap out in the middle of a job. Not to mention, unrolling the whole reel every time would be far less efficient.

I use gear ties all over the place. The hose gets tied to my trailer so it doesn’t jump around & I also use them to tie the hose to tall decks so it doesn’t keep falling. @dcbrock get you some of these & a ZK1 when you are ready to upgrade your quality of life.


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This thread has me confused- most of you have a lot more experience than me, but after 3 years I have never had the hose birds nest on the reels. I only peel off what I need and the hose is plumbed though the reels. I’m running Hannay power reels and 150’ of hose. 3500/8 machine.

Why is it some guys have this issue and some like me (I’m assuming) don’t!?

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No idea. The backlash from the pressure spike expands the hose out and I get one heck of a mess. I dearly wish I could just roll out what I need.

Now I roll my pressure hose up very neatly instead of randomly like yours, maybe that has something to do with it?