There are several different types of hose clamps that find applications across a broad spectrum of projects including automotive repair, plumbing and others. While available in a variety of sizes from mini hose clamps to large hose clamps, here are some tips for working with the larger end of the spectrum.
Tip #1. Ensure A Tight Seal
A hose clamp is only able to do its job when it creates a tight seal between the clamp and the barb or hose. For this to be possible, you must make sure that the barb or hose is free of all damage or dirt as any nicks, contamination or scratches may cause gaps in the seal. If a seal is not tight, you may risk leaking the hose’s gas or liquid contents. A good rule of thumb: if you can hear air or see liquid escaping, you need to tighten the hose clamp; however, if it appears as though the clamp is digging or cutting into the hose, it should be loosened.
Tip #2. Use Caution When Removing Stuck Large Hose Clamps
Removing hose clamps which have become stuck can be dangerous or cause damage to materials if done improperly. You should never attempt to cut or slit a stuck hose clamp as this can cause a scratch which may create a leak in the hose. Instead, if a hose clamp is stuck, a safer option is to file it away using a dremmel tool or a file. This should cut through the hose clamp while still leaving the barb in tact.
Tip #3. Know When To Replace Hose Clamps
One of the nice things about hose clamps is their relative inexpensiveness. Even large hose clamps can usually be purchased for a few dollars. Because this is the case, you should make sure to replace old hose clamps every so often so they do not break, wear out, rust or become stuck. Whenever you replace the hose, make it a point to replace the hose clamp so you can be confident that the tight seal will not give out. If you used a wire or screw-type hose clamp, replacing it with a gear-type hose clamp will allow for easier removal and/or replacement in the future.
Tip #4. Choose The Right Size Hose Clamp
Hose clamps are expandable to a degree, so you do not have to be excessively nit-picky with finding the right size. However, you want your hose clamp to be the optimal size for sealing your hose, so make sure to measure the diameter of your hose and locate a hose clamp with a range that encompasses the diameter of your hose. The diameter you are measuring should be the outside diameter of the hose, as the hose clamp will need to be placed upon the outside of the hose.
Tip #5. Use High-Quality Tools When Working With Large Hose Clamps
Working with large hose clamps may require you to obtain some additional tools, such as pliers that are large enough to tighten large hose clamps. The problem with traditional pliers is they often do not open wide enough to fit around larger-sized hose clamps. Cheap pliers may break before you are even able to tighten one hose clamp, so researching to find a quality pair of pliers is important.