Have you ever gone into the hardware store to pick up materials for a DIY project and then stood in front of the selection completely lost? Your instructions simply say “stainless steel hose clamps,” but there’s suddenly a vast variety of hose clamps. When the hardware sales assistant asks you if you need help, you can’t actually pinpoint which one you need. Here’s where we come in: a quick explanation of some of the most common types of hose clamps (yes, including stainless steel hose clamps!) to help you sort out your questions right away and get cracking on that new project!
Fun Facts About Hose Clamps
Hose clamps in their most basic form have been around since 1921, when a former Royal Navy Commander, Lumley Robinson invented them. Since then, there have been multiple kinds manufactured, with the three most common types being worm gear clamps, spring clamps, and wire clamps. And although the difference in sizes may seem minute and annoying, it’s actually so you have the best clamp to fit any size hose that you need to fasten.
What Hose Clamps Are Used For
You may see hose clamps also referred to as a hose clip, but they’re the same thing: hardware that works by attaching and then sealing a hose onto another piece of hardware, like a nipple or a barb. They’re made expressly to get the firmest seal between a hose or a barb, with no gaps or leaks and even pressure all the way around. Additionally, the hose clamps are generally limited so it can moderate pressure–you can find examples of this in automative devices or your home. Specifically, you can see hose clamps at work in car systems or clamping down lines in your plumbing.
General Information About Hose Clamps
You always want to make sure you have the right size and the best quality when you buy a hose clamp for a project. If you don’t, the seal placed could potentially leak gas, liquids, or other materials you probably don’t want leaking.
Always check to make sure that the barb doesn’t have any scratches or other kind of nicks and isn’t contaminated to ensure you have the best seal possible.
Expand a hose clamp by turning a screwdriver counterclockwise. This will open the clamp all the way.
If you have a stuck hose, don’t cut or slit it to get it free. You could scratch the barb and spring a leak.
Hose Clamp Types
Spring Hose Clamps
Your most basic form is the spring hose clamp, which is just a strip of metal that is formed into a cylindrical spring with a few projections. These are typically used in small or awkward spaces to work, where you couldn’t reach in to tighten other kinds of clamps.
Screw clamps are in the shape of a band that has a screw thread pattern either cut or pressed into it. They’re typically made of stainless steel and are good as a temporary measure to fix a bad pipe fast.
Wire Hose Clamps
Wire hose clamps are, as you might expect, crafted from heavy wire and bent into a U shape. They’re a great option for sealing and tightening a hose.
With all this extra knowledge, don’t be afraid to go into your hardware store, brandishing your “stainless steel hose clamps” list and some extra confidence.