3 Questions You Probably Have About Hose Clamps, Answered

Automotive hose clamps

If you’re just starting to get into doing your own work on a house or car, there are probably a lot of unfamiliar pieces of equipment you’ll be getting acquainted with. One that you probably have never heard of before — but are almost sure to come across — is a hose clamp.

What Are Hose Clamps?

Hose clamps are simply devices used to attach a hose onto a fitting and ensure a proper seal. Your typical garden hose has a metal head threaded such that it can be screwed onto a spigot. But in most situations, hoses are attached with clamps (also called jubilee clips).

Common applications for hose clamps fall into both plumbing and automotive fields, and can be used to secure hoses that direct the flow of either water or air. For example, a hose clamp might be used on a radiator, or on a hose used to temporarily replace a broken pipe.

What Types of Hose Clamps Are Available?

There’s a hose clamp for basically any job. They come in many sizes, all the way from extra large to mini hose clamps, and can be made of plastic, stainless steel or silicone. Normally, you’ll find the rough size based on the hose or pipe diameter (measured in millimeters) and then tighten it in place.

Certain kinds provide a heavier-duty seal than others, but hose clamps should generally be used for projects with moderate pressure. If you have any doubts, you should always ask a professional for help, since you don’t want water pressure to overcome the clamp and then make a mess in your home or under the hood of your car.

How Can Hose Clamps Be Removed?

If you’re trying to repair something on which a hose is stuck, you should always use a hose clamp removal tool, since cutting a slit in the hose (thinking that you’ll need to replace it anyway) can scratch the barb on which it’s fitted and cause a leak — even once you’ve replaced the hose and secured it with a new clamp.

Do you have any specific suggestions on when to use large vs. mini hose clamps, standard vs. high pressure hose clamps, and so forth? Share your expertise in the comments!

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