Nothing lasts forever. Sadly, many of the reasons a hose fails has less to do with product life cycle and more to do with avoidable mistakes.
Proper hose maintenance can lengthen the life of the hose and keep your equipment up and running. Let’s take a look at the most common reasons hoses fail – and more importantly, how to prevent your hoses from failing.
Temperature plays a big role in the life of your hose, but many people forget there is more than one temperature to consider when conducting hose maintenance.
- Operating Temperature
The temperature of the fluid moving through the hose is a big factor when it comes to the potential erosion of the hose material. Typically, when we talk about operating temperatures we are referring to heat, but it’s important to keep in mind that some fluids can have adverse effects in colder temperatures. Using a hose continuously at high temperatures and at maximum pressure will increase the failure rate of the hose and should be avoided.
- Ambient Temperature
All too often we forget that the surrounding temperatures can affect the functionality of the hoses and the fluids. When the ambient temperature is too high or too low it can degrade the outer materials of the hose causing early failure. The best course of prevention is to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and recommendations.
The pressure a hose is subjected to can have prolonged or even immediate failures. As mentioned in the section regarding temperature, running fluid continuously through a hose at maximum pressures will lead to tube erosion. Tip: when selecting a hose that will be exposed to continuous high pressures make sure you choose a hose whose maximum pressure rating is higher than the maximum operating pressure.
Pressure surges can be just as fatal to your hose. When pressure surges exceed the maximum pressure rating for the hose which will shorten its life cycle. If your system has high-pressure peaks you have a few options. You can select a hose that has a higher maximum pressure rating or you can choose a spiral reinforced hose that is designed for pressure surges or pulses.
3. Fluid Compatibility
Not all fluids are compatible with the materials used to manufacture hoses. When the hose and the fluids are incompatible, the inner tube of the hose will begin to deteriorate, swell, and in some cases, wash out. Tip: before selecting your hose, make sure the materials used to manufacture it are compatible with the fluid being pumped through your machinery. Most hoses come in a variety of materials to help avoid incompatibility issues.
4. Bend Radius
Yes, hoses are relatively flexible, that does not mean they are designed to be bent in extreme ways. When you exceed the bend radius you can experience a flattening in the bend or even kinking of the hose, all of which will restrict flow.
You will also eventually see ripping of the outer material on the outside curve of the bend. Tip: to avoid this, change the length of the hose, reroute the hose to avoid excessive bending. You may even need to replace the assembly with fittings and hoses that meet the bend radius you need.
5. Dry Air
When the internal air of the system is too dry it can cause cracks on the inside of the tube. This is hard to spot because the hose will remain flexible and there will be no cracking under the fittings.
You will, however, see signs of external leakage. Tip: the best solution for this problem is to replace your hose with tubing that is rated for dry air. These kinds of hoses typically have PKR or EPDM rubber inner tubes which are preferable for systems with an aggressive drying system. You can also try to raise the dewpoint of the air if that is applicable to your system.
6. Improper Assembly
Putting together your hose and fitting assembly can require cutting a hose. This can lead to debris in the tubing and also cause fractures on the inner tube which will result in leakage. Tip: to avoid leaking and potential contamination, make sure all components of the assembly are completely clean. Once everything is put together, cap the ends until the assembly is installed to avoid potential recontamination.
There you have it. Six of the most common reasons hoses fail. Now you’ll be better equipped when choosing hoses; and if you have any questions, don’t forget our experts are always a call away.