Hydro-Industries ReelSmart Automatic Hose Reel

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August in Southern Indiana can be both hot and humid. Temperatures around 100 degrees are not unusual for us. As a result, it’s normal to see people watering their outdoor plants in the evenings, to keep them from frying to a crisp. I’ve been known to shirk my watering duties due to the fact that I hate wrestling with the garden hose. Unwinding it usually isn’t a big deal, but winding back onto the reel can sometimes be an exercise in frustration. Since I’m all for trying a product that has been designed to ease my frustration level, I was happy to review the ReelSmart Automatic Hose Reel from Hydro-Industries.

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The ReelSmart is a 20.76″x14.29″x20.23″ / 53x36x50.4cm sized rectangular box made of strong plastic with a wood texture. I know you’re all thinking “Julie, we don’t care about a plastic box that holds your garden hose.”… Just bear with me for a bit ok? :o)

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Lifting the lid reveals a plastic bag of items needed to set things up.

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Package Contents

Hose reel
Spigot hose
Drain hose
Hose stopper
2 Wall / ground brackets
User guide

Before you can begin using the ReelSmart, you have to hook up the various hoses. This is really easy and takes less than 15 minutes. The only tool required is a Philips screwdriver for the last step.

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First you turn the box so that the 2 outside connection points are facing you. The connection point on the bottom left is for the short length of hose that connects to your outside hydrant / spigot, and the connection point on the right is for the longer drainage hose. You’ll also notice a lever above the hose points. I’ll get to it in a minute.

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Both connection points can swivel out to make it easier to screw on the hoses. The left side is threaded, so screwing it on isn’t a problem. The drainage hose has to be forced on to the connection point. It requires a bit of twisting and turning, but eventually, the hose settles into place.

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In the next step, you attach the actual garden hose to the reel.

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The ReelSmart reel is large enough to accommodate up to 125ft of 5/8″ hose or 60m of 1/2″ hose. I used a 100ft hose that I already had on another hose cart.

At this point, it is best to relocate the ReelSmart to the place where it is going to be used.

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Here we see the ‘before’ picture of my garden hose area. As you can see, I tend to just leave the hose all willy nilly on the ground. You can also see a plastic hose cart in the picture. I own 3 of these carts and find them all to be pretty much useless. They don’t last very long before they fall apart because they are so cheaply made. I used to have a metal cart, but it ended up getting rusty…

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Attaching the garden hose to the reel is just a matter of feeding the hose through the yellow guide slot on the front bottom of the box and around the reel. You then screw the end of the hose onto the attachment point on the reel. Like the other hose attachment points, this one also swivels to allow for easier access.

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Here we have the garden hose attached and the drainage hose extended down the hill.

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The last step is to put on the plastic hose stopper. You’ll need a Philips screwdriver for this task. The stopper prevents the hose from being completely rolled up onto the reel inside the box. Since I have a hand sprayer screwed on to the end of the hose, I really would not need to use the stopper…

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Fully installed, we see the ReelSmart with the hose rolled up. This looks much nicer than the ‘before’ picture doesn’t it?

Now for the cool part of this product. The ReelSmart uses water to automatically rewind the hose into the reel. It doesn’t require any electricity or batteries, just water.

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This is where the lever on the side of the box comes into play. When the lever is to the Right, it’s in the Rest position. Typically the lever will be in this position 99% of the time. In this position, you can pull out the hose and use it as you normally would.

When you’re done water, and ready to to have the hose rewind, you just slide the lever to the Left and the hose will automatically start rolling back onto the reel. Cool! The hose does not recoil at blurring speeds, but since I’m not cranking, I’m happy!

It works via a piston operated water engine that converts the water’s energy into mechanical power. The Yellow guide slot has an auto-sort feature that untangles and wraps the hose perfectly on the reel.

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You might remember the drainage hose that we attached to the ReelSmart, during the set up tasks… Well, this is where the primary con for this product can be noticed. In order for the rewind feature to work, you have to have the hydrant turned on. When you flip the lever to Rewind, water will flow through the special piston operated engine and start the reel rotating. The water will then flow out of the drainage hose and on to the ground. The first time I used the rewind feature, I let the water just run out on the ground. Then I started wondering just how much water was being wasted during this operation, so I placed a 5 gallon bucket under the hose and tried rewinding 100 feet of hose a 2nd time. Guess what? The bucket almost completely filled. Ack! That’s a LOT of water to waste to automatically rewind a hose. I sincerely hope/ask that anyone that already owns this product or is thinking about buying one, will collect the drainage water in a bucket for another use, and not just waste it.

You also want to make sure that you flip the lever back to the Rest position once the hose is fully rewound, and remember to turn off the hydrant. That’s my other issue with this product. You have to wait for the hose to rewind before you can turn off the spigot. Some might say that if you’re just standing there waiting for the hose to rewind, you might as well be rewinding it yourself. That is a valid argument. But I can see that this product could come in very handy for elderly people or people with physical challenges.

See it in action…

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Click on image to play the QuickTime video (34sec, 1.1mb). The video is encoded in the H.264 codec. You will need the latest version of Quicktime to view it. VLC is another free viewer..

The Hydro-Industries ReelSmart is an easy to setup, easy to use self-winding garden hose reel that is great for that person that either can’t or doesn’t want to manually wrap the hose on a cart. It doesn’t require any special tools or skills to setup, and doesn’t require electricity / batteries to run.

Update 05/25/16

I still have the ReelSmart, but haven’t used it for the past few summers because it’s more of a hassle to use and store than the Pocket Hoses that we’ve been using for the past 2 years. I don’t have anything bad to say about it, it’s easier to use a light weight hose. Less expensive too!

Available at home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot for $75-$140.


Product Information

  • Self-winding
  • Doesn't require batteries or electricity
  • Uses approximately 5 gallons of water to rewind 100ft of hose
  • You have to wait for hose to rewind so that you can turn off the spigot

75 thoughts on “Hydro-Industries ReelSmart Automatic Hose Reel”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
    1. Mine worked OK but the Valve need replaced and I can’t find one anywhere, One place listed it as part# 6 but did not offer It for sale.

      1. You are referring to the Suncast “No Crank” original version of this which is no longer made. Part number 6 is K000030011 and still available, call 800-846-2345 customer service. I just ordered around 8-1-21 and rebuilt successfully. Rich

  2. Attach the drain hose to a soaker hose. Put the soaker hose around something that can always use a bit more water.

    Also, clean that AC condenser, it’s filthy and costing your more money in electricity than a whole yard full of 5 gallon buckets.

  3. I’ve had two and they are great. One caution though is that they don’t do well in the freezing cold. Somewhere inside the hydraulics of the thing, if it freezes, bad things happen and then in the Spring it no longer works (thus my statement that I’ve had two.)
    I just take the extra water and dump it into my pool. It’s a win-win.
    Happy watering to all!

  4. kksluf:

    Thanks for the winter tip. The user guide actually shows that you should put the box indoors for the winter. I was going to ignore that fact. Now I won’t 🙂

  5. flamaest:

    That was my fat cat Max 🙂 He’s in one of the review images too. He likes to think he’s a star. He sometimes makes cameos in other review videos.

  6. I just set up mine and I am happy with it. Thanks for the extra water tip, I will dump mine in the pool as well. I might add that at first I purchased the “NO CRANK” 100ft model. I not sure of the exact model, but in my testing it doesn’t work with a 100ft hose. It rolled up short by about 10ft after rewinding it three times. I even cut the rubber no kink piece off around the neck of my hose to get a tighter roll, but that didn’t work either. I then purshased the ReelSmart 125ft. and it works perfect! In my opinion if you have a 100ft. hose you need the 125ft. model to prevent jamming.

  7. I bought a ReelSmart setup with a 25 meter hose,and its never worked properly.
    I have been unable to register this because every time i try and contact the web site
    that is in the user manual,i ge the message this site does not exist.
    Here is my problem.Every time i connect the hose to the imput tap and turn the tap on the imput hose just blows back off.Everything iss connected correctly after about
    5 or 6 trys its start to work?

    Can anyone help me with problem??


    1. @Bill Hmmmm, I have no idea what’s is going on there… I’m still using the ReelSmart and have not had any issues with it it that are similar to what you’ve described. Here’s the site you should contact: http://www.hydro-industries.com/ I just checked it and it’s still working fine.

  8. I had the same issue as the previous commenter with the reel not working in the spring. Worked great in the summer and fall. I didn’t see any warning in the instructions. I left it out over the winter, and even though it only froze a couple of times, that was enough. It was transformed into a $85 boat anchor in the spring that would not rewind at all.


  9. My reel is leaking. How do I access the connections. It does not seam to be with phillips, allen key, or torques screws. I Think one of the pvc parts are cracked. It is leaking so bad I cannot use it, which makes me think two years of use this was not a good investment. Please advise.
    Tks, regards Paul.

  10. Love my reelsmart–2 years old–this year it needs help reeling back? Please send help. Its been in the high 90,s in Kansas City last week & more of the same this week. I hope you can help!!
    Cara Hataway Jr.

  11. I have Reel Smart #1004. While attempting to replace a broken O ring I damaged the whole part. Can I purchase the part from you?It is the section that switches from rewind to non wind.


  12. I have a reel smart hydro industries hose reel and a part broke.I would like to fix it but i cant find a parts list anywhere. Thank you.

  13. werner kleemann

    I need a part for reelsmart 100. The spigot that recieves the water source is broken. Where and how can I get parts?

  14. can you provide the 800 number to call the company hydro-industries reel smart, /I have a broken part I need to replace too. I have looked and can’t seem to find their number anywhere.


  15. Hi All, I sure am happy with this product, it’s great I live in New England (Mass for that matter) and it stays outside during the winter, common sense tells you to remove both the supply hoses so that if there is an early freeze there is somewhere for the water to expand. I have had this thing for 5 years (or so I think) and never had a problem with it until this year, which by the way doesn’t affect its operation, I used to leave it at rest with the water on and no problem, this year the drain hose lets water out in doing this, but after going to their website and seeinf there was a download for the owners manual it states after winding the hose, TURN the Water OFF, OH well silly me! OH and the comment made by the earlyest post here about Waiting for the hose to rewind…What if you had to do it MANUALLY? How much more time would you be there? especially since the hose was a mess. Sorry not being mean here just an observation. I don’t want to seem hostile just a fact that probably went unnoticed. Go to the HYDRO INDUSTRIES Home page I was surprised that they have everything there. I hope anyone here reading finds my direction helpful. Have a great summer/fall all of you.

  16. I have a broken connecter on the teak hose rewinder, bought from Frontgate catalog. Frontgate says they no longer carry product. Contacted hydo industries through their website. Stated I would pay for repair part. Never got reply after 3 days of waiting. Would not recommend because of poor customer service.

  17. Robert Chadds Ford, PA

    It worked fine for for the first summer. The second summer I had trouble getting the hose out. It seemed to catch consistently so that it was a thump-thump pull out for a 100 ft. no kink 5/8″ hose. I had stored it inside for the winter. Now it will not rewind without me hunching over it with the flap opened using my hand to wind the reel. You cannot access the web site. The concept was great but the quality was poor and they have no customer service to rectify it. So it was a bad investment and gave much aggravation because I believed it would do what it claimed to do. DO NOT BUY ONE. Those people who say they love it have not had it long enough or used it long enough to see it fail.

  18. Obdulio Valladares

    I have a reelsmart hose and im inquiring today on a part name V11-handle, part #103482556. I have recently went to several stores looking for the piece and have not been successful, is there a phone # or another website for parts alone. If so, can you help with the info.

  19. I too ordered a V11 handle and payed my $5.00 handling fee to some mysterious joint in New Jersey. That was on 11/12/10. I just recieved the letter back noted: return to sender. At least I got the check back. You get a real feeling of frustration. For something as simple as a broken handle I guess your supposed to throw it in a landfill and buy a whole new unit! Thats America today, accept mediocraty and get ripped off!

  20. I too ordered the V11 handle and paid my $5.00 handling fee. Have not received a handle or my money. This was done in Oct. of 2009. Yes, it is Mar. 2011! Still nothing. I have sent multiple emails to the “Hydro-Industries” and called their 800 number. Yes, I have a number. 1-800-493-7638 Oh yes! I have called the number several times. But any time of day you will get a recording stating, “Thank you for call ing Hydro-Industries. All of our customer representatives are busy assisting other customers at this time. Please leave your name and a telephone number and a representative will return your call as soon as possible.” Beep. They must be really busy being I haven’t heard from them since 2009. Though it’s $5.00. It’s become the principle now.

  21. Suncast Corporation purchased the Hydro hose reel lines in 2008, however their website remains up and is unmanned. If you have any questions try the Suncast website or contact them at 1-800-444-3310.



  23. great products UNTILL you need PARTS . no way to contact company I guess they want you to replace unit for a 50 cent part
    Ain’t going to happen here WOULD NOT RECOMMENT

  24. I agree with Robert. I have a broken gear on my hose reel and I want to repair it. The Hydro-Industries website has a section to order parts, but no picture or manual with a parts break-out is available. No number for service is listed. Can’t even talk that polite but clueless guy from India who calls himself Peggy. Non-existent customer service. Given how expensive these are I recommend you think twice before purchasing one.

  25. I have had a Hydro Industries RoboWinder for five years. It is solidly constructed and has given me good service. A week ago a stopper valve popped out, but I was able to reinstall it, and once again it is operating smoothly. Prior to fixing my RoboWinder, I went to Lowes to check out the new Suncast products. I was disappointed in the quality of products that I saw–defintely inferior to the RoboWinder. It’s too bad that Hydro Industries no longer produces the water powered hose reels.

  26. Suncast has bought up Hydro Industries. If you drill down to water-powered reel parts, you can choose Suncast or Hydro Industries. I’ve just ordered two Hydro valve handles, parts totaled about two bucks. Shipping & handling brings that up about $13. Our reel has lasted almost 10 years so I can’t complain. We DO drain the hoses and put it into the shed every winter, which may have helped.

  27. The valve handles arrived today, 3 days after I ordered them from the website (suncast.com). Same i03482556 stamped inside, tho Suncast calls it a “crate-125-010196310”.
    My receipt also shows they can be contacted via [email protected], or at 1-800-444-3310.
    I hope this helps your search for parts!

    1. 9 years later but guess what suncast still makes and supports their self winders. they now have various models but they all have the same autowinder guts. I contacted suncast via email at [email protected] looking for the same valve handle with the stamped part number of 103482556 and they sent me 2 free replacements their part number is 010196310 and their description valve handle, black

  28. Bernard Regier

    I’m with Gremlin from 6 years ago. Seems to me, Julie, having your Reelsmart drain onto a plant is just one less you have to water–no “cons” that I can see. I’ve been coveting my neighbors HydroIndustries Reelsmart for years, can I still purchase one?

  29. Jeri, gardener

    Hi Julie, I was just looking up automatic hose re-winder reviews and found yours. Your glowing review is pretty reassuring. I wonder if four years later you still feel the same way? I saw other reviews that said parts broke in a month or two so I thought I should ask. Thanks.

    1. @Jeri we’ve hooked it up each summer since the review and use it to water plants. It’s still going strong. I must have gotten a good one.

  30. Someone in my household forgot to turn off the spigot in fall and I did not take it in A leak developed and I ended up with a $300 water rather thab $45 and a $372 sewer billo rather than $175. However the windeer still works but has a leak in it so is not usable. DO NOT LEAVE THEM OUT!

  31. Hi to All! Am here because I was going to just purchase another ReelSmart (I originally purchased 1, LOVED it and bought another). After 7 (YES, 7) years, My gears to rewind are ‘stripped’ (We have company employees who occasionally ‘help out’). I am VERY western MD. Always empty hoses and bring inside for the winter. So sorry to hear that others have had these problems as it has been SUCH A GOOD PRODUCT for me. Own 3 acres with a large veggie garden: hook hose to sprinkler, herb garden on patio, olympic size pool, and several flower beds at front of home and on patio. You can easily see why I was hating winding hoses! Has anyone had luck ordering parts from HydroIndustries? Or should I just contact Suncast? THANX! in advance Sheila

  32. I have an older reelsmart water powered hoses reel, by hydro industries I can not find parts on any of the websites that claim to have parts, not even hydro industries site. This is shameful and they should do something about it. If anyone knows where I may find parts for this item, please contact me at [email protected].
    it appears they have made there money on these things and have moved on, leaving us hanging.

  33. Vincent Ramirez


    I wrote you about a month ago requesting a drain hose for my crate self winding Hose Reel. The one that came with my Hose Reel disintegrated. You wrote back telling me you would send me this item. That was weeks ago and I have not received anything.

    1. @Vincent We do not sell this product. We are a news and review site, not a retail site. I’m not sure who you emailed, but it wasn’t me 🙂 Please contact Hydro-Industries.

  34. I have two of the HYDRO INDUSTRIES NO-CRANK S-150 and both have defective valve assemblies. You can order the valve assembly for about $5.00 (while supplies last) by calling Suncast (800 444-3310). The website had both valve and engine listed as one part for $21.00 so if you just need that one part you’ll have to call them. When I ordered it she did say that HYDRO INDUSTRIES is no longer in business and the parts may not be available much longer.

  35. Nifty gadget but the lever to retract the hose is EXTREMELY flimsy. Tried to replace the part and was sent a confirmation number and instructions to send a $5- check (they don’t take CC) to an address in NJ. Letter returned, undeliverable. Now there’s no place I can find to replace he small part. Wouldn’t DREAM of buying a WHOLE new box

  36. need to order a mew lever for rewind /rest setting. Lever broke off during a operation. Please tell me how to order and the price of replacement part. Thank you.

  37. Don’t know if you got my e-mail or not. Need to get a replacement rewind/reset lever for my unit. Th lever broke as I tried to turn it on. Please let me know hoe to order a new part. Thank you for your help.

  38. @ bob mapplebeck The Gadgeteer is a review site. Julie review this product several years ago. The Gadgeteer doesn’t sell or offer customer support for any products. You’ll need to contact the manufacturer for replacement parts.

  39. I have never reviewed a product before, but in looking for a part for my reel and I came across this review. I have and older model of this reel for over seven years now and it has been fantastic. We have a large lot and pull out quite a bit of hose deep in the back yard often. It is a picnic to simply pull up the lever and watch water driven engine reel in the hose! Housekeeper, kids and wife love it. As for the extra water used, it is great for irrigation wherever your drain hose reaches or back into the pool. My reel recently stopped turning and also now needs the small guide gear that goes not the yellow hose guide, but I can’t find the web site as of yet. If you are handy or like to see how things work, I took mine completely apart and reassembled in an hour before tossing in trash. It is easily repairable and interesting to see how it works. A piston had popped out of place and I easily put it back in place. The worm gear guide is plastic in my model and looks like it’s aluminum now or metal in your photo. Need that gear and I’m good to go. Any ideas HD doesn’t carry it anymore. Web site and tel number marked on my unit doesn’t work either. Also want to buy a couple more … Who carries them

  40. I need to replace a washer where the drain hose would normally hooks up to. It is leaking not sure how to get the housing off or the black plastic piece off to replace with a new washer? Any suggestions would be great

  41. I own 2 of these “water re-winders”. As some have noted, use the drain hose to “water” plants while rewinding- both of mine are located where we have bushes & ornamental trees, so I just direct the water at them. Something both mine do that isn’t talked about here- we have typical 100 ft. medium gauge, green garden hoses, ours rewind okay, but get jammed when pulling them out (they seem to imbed into themselves during wind-up). My wife says it’s too hard to pull out & wants me to get something else. Is there a particular type of hose that works better & is more flexible?

  42. Am I the only one that gets dirty working in the yard? For me, the solution to both “Cons” was obvious: I use the drain hose to rinse off me and my tools (at same time watering small area of grass) while the hose is winding itself. My drain water and I multi-task, making efficient use of both water and time. Since I only have to turn off water once the hose is wound, I can be back in the house couple minutes faster than if I put hose away manually or using conventional hose reel.

  43. Jacqueline Hodges

    I have a Hydro-Industries Reel Smart automatic hose reel purchased in 2008 and still working albeit rewinding is slowing down.
    I bought my unit at my local Ace Hardware and they continue to sell them there.
    The fold-out documentation that came with the product has the following info: Hydro-Industries Tynat Ltd.
    2 Executive Drive, Suite 430, Fort Lee NJ 007024
    866.493.7638 http://www.hydro-industries.com
    The fold-out instruction manual has this version RS-12581/2
    on the front right bottom corner
    Enclosed with the hose reel are the following items:
    *5/8″spigot hose
    *5/8″drain hose
    *5/8″hose stopper – 2 pieces with 2 screws
    *2 wall brackets
    Required (but not included) 2 screws for securing to wall or floor
    2 anchors for the 2 screws, and
    2 12mm washers x2 for each screws

  44. Great invention. But when that little PLASTIC lever snaps you throw the whole great invention away. ALL websites that read “parts” sell only new hose reels. So it’s good for about a year and it’s trash.

  45. @ Mr. Tom,

    Same problem here, but call Suncast at 1-800-444-3310.

    I ordered the handle (for me it was model V11) for $5.95 shipped. Very courteous and helpful.

    So I hope it’s not too late and you haven’t tossed the entire unit.

    1. Thank you for the phone number. I had a split spigot hose and wasted a bunch of time at Home Depot trying to get a new hose. They were a waste of my time so on a lark I called the manufacturer (Suncast; Hydro Industries Reel Smart), the phone number you had, they were GREAT to deal with and within a matter of minutes they resolved my issue and will be sending me the replacement hose. WOW, that was great and also thank you again for the info you left (a year ago, love the internet). Doug W.

  46. I live in Alaska and have had mine for five years with no issues and even leave it outside over the winter, and works great, it just needs to be drained properly

  47. I had a problem with my no-crank hose reel and I ordered the part on Monday and they came on Tuesday. is that service or what…

  48. I’ve had the ReelSmart now for 5 years and love it. It is an older model with the hose being exposed. I do a few things to keep it operational. I always shut the water off prior to pressing the rewind lever. After rewinding I again shut the water off prior to returning the lever. I have never taken the unit from the flowerbed but prior to a freeze I extend the hose all the way out and then rewind it. Last item is that I use 1/2 inch hose. It puts a lot less stress on the unit. Happy watering.

  49. Need to get a replacement for the rewind/reset lever for my unit RS-12581/2. The lever broke as I turned it on.How can we go about getting that part? Will be waiting to hear back from you’s. Thanks for you help!

  50. My spicot (green) hose split. It is under warranty. HD did not have a replacement hose and they suggested I contact you for a replacement.
    Please send to:
    Doug Whitlow
    212 Shady Elm
    Georgetown, TX 78633
    If you would like the split hose back I will send it in the box you send my replacement.
    Thank you,

  51. Ronald G. Dansie

    Can i get parts fore my Automatic Hose Reel? I need the fitting that the hose connect to on the reel. and how much will it be?

  52. Okay, here’s my deal…I purchased not 1, not 2 but 3, Reelsmarts for family and 2 of them have failed; I do not know the fate of the third. Fortunately for me, my son was able to disassemble one of the 2 I have and exchange the parts from the other. I need to obtain the black spigot to exhaust the water and the “O” ring in the assembly appears to have been broken from the plastic ring encircling it. I’m so disappointed and frustrated as the escaping water from the exhaust tubing was wasted and cost me over $100 in water bill charges, as I did not know it was leaking. A great product IF it worked correctly…can you help?? Thank you for your time.

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