How Do Automatic Retractable Hose Reels Work


Hose reels are widely applied products used in various industries. They are particularly common in firefighting, the oil industry, and the gardening sector. These devices are used to hold and store water hoses. The market features a swarm of hose reel brands. Hose reels with the automatic retractable system are known as the best type in the market. This post will be covering how automatic retractable hose reels work.

How do automatic retractable hoses reels work?

The first thing you should understand before getting into the specifics of how automatic retractable hose reels work is the type of retracting mechanism they use. Most automatic retractable hose reels either use the spring or motor retraction technique.

1. The spring retracting technique

The best hose reels on the market use this technique. These hose reels are constructed with a network of high-quality springs. They work in such a way that when you pull on the hose reel before an application, the tension builds up on the springs. Note that this tension may make unwinding the hose from the reel a tad challenging. For this reason, once you have achieved the desired hose, you must activate the locking mechanism. This mechanism will ensure that the hose does wind back on the reel before you get to use it. Therefore, the lock makes using the hose effortless and convenient. It is worth mentioning that the lock mechanism is known as the stopper.

Additionally, when you activate the lock mechanism, you also lock or store the tension within the springs. Once you are done using the hose, you have to release the lock and let go of the hose. This is where the automatic retraction comes in. The pressure built up and stored on the springs is released, and the hose automatically retracts to the reel.

The advantages

  • This type of retraction does not require any manual labor as it is automatic
  • The mechanism is quite simple yet highly effective
  • It is low maintenance because of the simple design
  • It does not require a power source
  • It makes using the hose reel easy
  • It can be used at any location

2. The motor-driven spring retraction method

This is the second most common form of automatic hose reel retraction technique. As the name suggests, this type requires a motor, which is usually attached to the hose reel. This mechanism is quite common in pressure washer hose reels and industrial hose reels. Various types of motors can be applied in these types of hose reels. Hose reels in this category use mechanical energy generated from the motors to retract the hose. All you have to do is activate the motor once you are done using the product. However, depending on the type of motor, you may require a power source for the task.

The advantages

  • The automatic nature of these hose reels does not require any physical effort
  • It can be applied for any length of hose
  • It is safe for the environment


While automatic retractable hose reels are highly beneficial, they also have some downsides. For instance, they are usually more costly than other types of hose reels on the market. Also, it would be wise to consider the individual downsides of each automatic retraction system before choosing the best one.


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