Many things must be considered when you are choosing your next hose reel. It is important to know how the new reel will be used.
First you must consider the type of hose that you will be storing on the reel. High pressure hoses, and low pressure hoses come in different diameters. Standard pressure hose is 3/8" in diameter. A ¾" low pressure garden hose will also require a larger hose reel, because it is more bulky. If you are looking for a hose reel for high pressure, be sure that your desired hose reel is rated for at least 1,000 psi above your power washers output. Pressure can spike up to several hundred PSI when you release or engage your trigger. Water should flow through your reel with as little restriction as possible. This is important for your chemical injector to function at peak efficiency.
You should also make sure that any hose reel you buy has a brake system to ensure that your hose stays put when it is not in use. There are three types of brake systems. A "drag brake" will keep constant pressure on your hose and prevent the hose reel from unwinding once the user stops pulling. A "cam lever" applies drag while it is in the on position. When the user wants to rewind the hose reel the cam lever can be flipped to the off position to release the drag. An "internal brake" will automatically apply tension when the hose is being pulled and release it when it is being rewound. The brake that you choose will depend on your needs and budget.
Most professional hose reels are constructed from heavy gauge steel and finished with e-coating or oven-cured enamel. If you are planning on using the reel with a corrosive material such as Sodium Hypochlorite you will need to choose a reel made of stainless steel. Professional hose reels handle liquids at temperatures ranging from -20º to + 400º F, and operating pressures up to 10000 psi. Before you purchase a hose reel, you must consider the required operating temperatures and pressures required for your situation. You can dramatically increase the life of your hose reel if you always unroll the entire hose off of the reel before you begin any job. A coiled pressure hose will constrict when pressure is applied and crush your hose reel. When you are unwinding your pressure hose from your reel, place the end of the hose next to the reel and leave it there. Then walk away from the hose reel and pull the hose along with you to unwind the rest of the hose. This way, your hose will be doubled over when it is completely unwound, and you only need to walk half the distance back to your hose reel.