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What is a Hose Clamp?

By Phil Shepley
Updated May 16, 2024
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A hose clamp is a piece of hardware designed to attach hoses and tubes to various objects and fixtures, from bathroom sinks to auto engines and more. The fitting that the hose is attached to is referred to as a barb, or nib. Generally, the hose clamp is first put on the end of the hose that is to be fastened to the nib. The hose is then attached around the nib, and the clamp is then tightened so the hose will not come loose. There are several different varieties of hose clamps that are available.

One of the simplest types of hose clamp is the spring clamp, which is a strip of metal in the shape of a cylindrical spring with several protrusions. This type of clamp can be tightened around the hose with a simple pair of pliers by pushing the protrusions towards one another. Spring clamps are popular for hoses that are difficult to reach because of the ease of which they can be fastened, but are limited in how tightly they can be attached.

A screw clamp is a popular type of hose clamp that consists of a metal slotted band and a screw that tightens along the slots when turned. These are usually used on hoses over a half an inch in diameter or larger. They are also widely used for temporarily fixing damaged pipes quickly in emergency situations like the breaking of a water pipe, and can attach the hose to the nib very firmly.

Wire clamps also utilize screws for tightening the hose over the nib. They consist of a U-shaped length of wire and a screw placed through two captive nuts on each end of the clamp. This type of hose clamp is used when it is essential that an equal amount of pressure must be applied around the circumference of the hose for minimal leakage.

Hose clamps are not generally used when there is a high amount of pressure of liquid passing through the hose. They are most popular for automotive uses as well as some uses around the house that use an average amount of pressure. A hose clamp can also be a handy item for quick fixes not related to hoses and nibs, and can be a useful emergency repair tool in a pinch.

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Discussion Comments
By jlighthall — On Oct 20, 2010

Enjoyed your article on hose clamps. Very informative on the general names of the parts like the barb.

Most hose clamps you see are made of metal and they rust quickly. A better alternative is the Flexi-Clamp. This hose clamp is made 66 nylon so it is tough and rust free.

Other features include re-usable, non-conductive, tightens to 75 psi (which is tighter than most metal clamps ) and it can be installed without removing the pipe from the barb.

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