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Common Hose Problems and How to Avoid Them

Common Hose Problems and How to Avoid Them

When you’ve invested in a new hose, you want to ensure that it stays in good condition and has a long service life. After all, a hose plays an essential part in the transfer of liquids, foodstuffs and other substances. So, keep reading and The Hosemaster team will tell you what the most common hose problems are and how to avoid them…

1. Abrasion

One of the most common, and serious, causes of hose problems is abrasion.

Abrasion is caused when a hose rubs against objects, particularly rough or sharp objects and metal edges. Repeated rubbing over time will create abrasions on the hose which can develop into cuts.

Should the abrasion be serious enough, it can lead to the outer cover of the hose being worn away, exposing the inner reinforcement of the hose. This is bad enough, but should the reinforcement be damaged, it will often result in leaks and the complete failure of the hose.

Solution - to avoid abrasion damage on hoses, you should invest in hose protectors where possible. These generally take the form of heavy rubber strips or protective sleeves which surround the hose. They are ideal for use in high-footfall areas where a hose may be stepped on or driven over.

2. Fitting failures

Another common cause of damage to hoses is poor fitting.

Poor fitting usually involves things like bending the hose as it meets a hose coupling, or the weight of a hose causing it to kink where it is connected to an appliance.

Solution - use what’s commonly called a ‘bend resistor’ which is a plastic or rubber sleeve which fits over the end of a hose where it meets an appliance or coupling. The sleeve is designed to resist bending, thereby preventing the hose from bending or kinking.

3. Poor routing

Hoses can often become damaged as a result of poor routing. Unless you carefully plan the route of a hose before it is used, it’s easy to find that a hose has become damaged as it has crossed an abrasive or high-temperature surface.

Poor routing can also involve scenarios where a hose has to undergo a lot of movement e.g. it’s being used in an active process and being manipulated by hand. This can result in the hose bashing and rubbing against surfaces, thus causing damage.

Solution - plan the routing of your hose where possible to avoid abrasive and/or high temperature surfaces. If your hose is going to undergo a lot of movement, then consider using a swivel, which can help minimise the amount of manipulation of the hose required. It is also helpful to use longer hoses and other fittings which support movement.

4. High temperatures

In industrial and manufacturing settings a common cause of hose damage is exposure to high temperatures.

Whether it’s close proximity to running machinery or a hose being laid across hot surfaces, high temperatures can be hard to avoid.

However it’s important that you do your best to avoid exposing your hoses to high temperatures as frequent exposure can cause the plasticisers and inner tubes of hoses to break down.

Over time, repeated exposure to high temperatures will cause the outer surfaces of many hoses to crack and become compromised. Once a hose has lost its suppleness it is also more prone to bending and kinking.

Solution - the rather obvious solution is to make sure that your hoses are never exposed to high temperatures. However, if that’s not possible use heat guards to protect your hoses when in use. You should also check the operating temperature range of your hoses before use. Here at The Hosemaster, we provide this information in our product descriptions.

5. Low temperatures

Just as high temperatures can lead to hose damage, so too can low temperatures.

Continued exposure to very low temperatures can degrade the plasticisers within a hose, resulting in fine radial cracks on both the inside and outside of the hose. Over a long enough timeline, low temperatures can cause a hose to fail completely.

Solution - unless you can completely avoid exposing your hoses to very low temperatures, you can prevent damage to your hoses by insulating them. You should also check the operating temperature range of your hoses before using them - you’ll find this information in the product descriptions of our hoses here at The Hosemaster.

6. Internal erosion

Where hoses are used for the conveyance of rough or abrasive materials such as grains, seeds or other types of meal, internal erosion can occur in the hose over time.

Solution - the best way to prevent internal erosion is to avoid cheaply manufactured hoses, and use the highest quality hoses instead.

7. Fluid incompatibility

Not all fluid transfer hoses are compatible with all types of fluids. This is a common cause of damage to fluid hoses, for example using a water hose to transfer chemicals or solvents.

Fluid damage can result in a hose swelling, delaminating, cracking and eventually completely failing.

As you can imagine, the failure of a hose in such a context could lead to contamination or your wider operations, machinery and plant.

Solution - use a hose which is suitable for the liquid you want to transfer. Here at The Hosemaster we stock a wide range of acid and chemical hoses, air and water hoses, sanitation hoses, and many others for multiple applications.

8. Inappropriate fluid temperature

A hose can also be damaged if a fluid or other medium which is too hot is passed through it.

In such a scenario cracks will appear on the outside wall of the hose, especially in places where the hose bends. If the hose is rubberised or contains plasticisers, it will also become hard and breakable.

Solution - use an appropriate grade hose which is designed to handle the temperatures of the fluid or medium you wish to convey with it.

9. Improper preparation

When hoses are first cut to size and prepared, damage can occur.

This happens as detritus from the cut can find its way into the inside of the hose, leading to abrasion damage once the hose is put into action.

Solution - ensuring that the hose is properly cleaned following cutting will prevent damage from occurring. It also helps to ensure that the inside of the hose is from detritus before it is used for the first time.

10. Improper pressure

Another common cause of damage to hoses - be they hydraulic hoses or other types of hose - is prolonged operation using pressures which are too high for the hose.

Using hoses at pressures which they aren’t designed for is not only dangerous, but can result in the complete failure of the hose. These failures usually manifest as a burst in the hose wall. Bursts will typically follow the braiding direction of the hose’s reinforcement inlay.

Solution - to prevent this type of hose damage, ensure that you only subject hoses to pressure for which they are expressly designed. Here at The Hosemaster you can generally find the operating pressure of a hose in its product description e.g. Multipurpose 20 Bar Compressed Air, Water & Oil Hose.

11. Twisting during assembly or disassembly

This may come as a surprise, but the twisting of a hose can cause particular damage.

It’s a difficult thing to avoid as it feels natural to twist a hose whilst trying to insert it into a coupling or connector.

But, avoid doing so, as according to some estimates causing a hose to twist by as little as 7% can reduce its lifespan by 90%!

Solution - when assembling or disassembling a hose from its connectors/appliances, use gentle bending and linear forward and backward motions rather than twists to free it/insert it.

12. Excessive bending

Whilst it’s generally okay to slightly bend a hose, a common cause of damage is excessive bending.

Most hoses - especially on high pressure hoses and vacuum hoses - will have a minimum bend radius (which is measured from the inside of the hose). Bend a hose beyond this radius and you can cause crushing and/or kinking damage to a hose.

Solution - avoid bending hoses excessively either whilst they’re in operation or being stored.

13. Incorrect hose length

If you’re not using a hose of the correct length for your application, you can find that the hose is unable to sufficiently expand or contract to cope with fluctuations in temperature or pressure.

This will result in the hose being put under excessive stress, shortening its life span. Using a hose that’s too short can also result in damage to connectors and other fittings.

Solution - avoid this type of hose damage by using hoses of the correct lengths. Here at The Hosemaster, many of our hoses are available in custom lengths so you can get the exact amount of hose you require.

14. Old age

It’s easy to forget that hoses are active flexible components of an overall system. As such, they will wear and age just like any other component.

Depending on the quality of your hose its lifespan will vary, but ultimately every hose needs replacing at some point.

Solution - ensure that you buy the very best hoses. Quality counts! As the old saying goes, “you get what you pay for”.

Time for a new hose?

If your current hoses are displaying signs of damage and wear, then it’s probably time for some new ones.

Luckily, you’re in the right place! Here at The Hosemaster we have one of the biggest selection of hoses on the web, with quick delivery, and custom length options available.

Shop our Hose & Ducting range now

For more buying guides, information and advice, read The Hosemaster blog


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