Common mistakes when using hose clamps
Hose clamps have many uses, from DIY craft projects to fixing hardware like radiators. They’re easy to use and, if applied correctly, a humble hose clamp can sort out a problem like a leak in minutes.
However, sometimes a quick fix is not the solution. It’s like using duct tape on your dinged-up car when you should have just paid a panel-beater. The same applies to hose clamps. In fact, there are situations when you shouldn’t use a hose clamp at all, and using one will result in more trouble than when you started.
Here are the top three mistakes that people make when using hose clamps.
The Most Common Mistakes When Using Hose Clamps
Mixing materials can do more harm than good. Hoses made from a soft material like silicone or rubber can be easily damaged from hard-material clamps (like stainless steel). It’s also common for sizing issues to play a part here, too. Using a 12mm hose on a 10mm nipple will require over-tightening to make the clamp fit. Too much tightening will cut a soft-material hose and worsen a leak.
Not Considering Clamp Size
Size does matter. As mentioned, using the wrong size hose clamp can cause damage, or it won’t hold properly. When deciding on what hose-clamp size to use, you need to measure the outside diameter of whatever you will be clamping. If a clamp seems too tight or too loose, it’s probably not the right size – and be aware, there is a danger of over-tightening a loose clamp.
Using Clamping as a Long-term Solution
In some cases, clamping can be a long-term fix if hose clamps are applied properly and made from quality materials. Due to their durability, hose clamps can be used as a lasting solution for everything from boating to tamper-proof sign fixings.
While hose clamps are certainly an easy, quick fix for an urgent situation, like when you need to plug a leak under your sink, there are instances when it’s not a good idea. For example, if you have major plumbing problems, using a hose clamp is like taking an aspirin when you really need a triple bypass.
We love the hose clamp, and we hate to admit that sometimes it’s better not to use one. It’s the small, simple saviour of many a DIY fix. However, when materials don’t match, the clamp size is wrong, or you need a long-term fix, other solutions are better suited.