How To Avoid Run Away Hoses

Even if we have not had such an accident ourselves, it is a fair bet that we have seen something similar in a movie or TV comedy show. This being where someone is out in their yard washing their car or watering their lawns or flower beds when the hose pipe connecting their spray nozzle to the water supply breaks free from its connection. The water pressure in the pipe causes the hose to snake and dance all over the place while continuing to gush forth water (in comedy, soaking some unsuspecting individual). It should be easy to avoid such incidents and, actually, it is not difficult – so long as you have the right connections.

Hose Connections

Anything that connects hose pipe to anything else is known as a hose fitting. Fittings have to be attached firmly to the hose itself and, usually, to a component part such as the supply faucet, a sprinkler system or a hand held nozzle. Connections from one piece of hose pipe to another can also be achieved by using the correct type of hose fitting.

A basic way to attach hose to fittings is to have a protruding piece of solid (metal or plastic) pipe protruding from the “thing” to be fitted to the hose. This protrusion will be slightly larger than the open bore at the end of the hose (it may also be slightly tapered). The connection is made by forcing the protrusion into the bore of the hose over its full length (you may need to apply some soap or light grease to successfully push home the connection). Unfortunately, connections made in this manner are the root cause of the comic capers caused by escaping hoses – even at the supply faucet, if the connection is not extremely tight, quite a jet of water will soon escape once you open the faucet (and usually walk away to see to the other end of the hose, which, under these circumstances will not be delivering very much water).

These push in connections can be improved by using a worm-drive hose clamp to compress the hose around the inner pipe for tightness but even this is not always a complete success. While there are connection fittings that go both around and inside the hose, a simpler solution is a minor modification to the portion of the connector that enters the hose.

This modification is known as Hose Barb Fittings whereby the protruding portion has a series of raised edges or barbs along its length (each ridge goes all around the circumference). Barbed fittings for hoses will usually be tapered to make insertion easier. They are fairly efficient but many people still prefer to add an external pipe clip to the Hose Barb Fittings for extra security.