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Date: 8 September 2018. Routine Maintenance of Hose Clamps.

janice142

Aboard Seaweed I have a routine schedule of maintenance. One item focuses on hose clamps. Every three months I check all hose clamps on the boat. This time there were a couple of issues, since resolved. Here is what I found out, along with the remedies taken.
 

The worst of the matter was a cracked hose clamp:


Because I regularly check every clamp on the boat this one was discovered before it broke. It is far easier to replace an item before an Ut-Oh moment than to wait for a disaster. Definition of disaster: finding out your water tank is empty because a hose clamp broke.


Organizing my hose clamp stash has evolved over the years. I now keep three bundles of clamps available. They are sorted by size. Small clamps are for water hoses -- up to about 1" in diameter. Mediums are up to approximately 3" while Large are above 4".
 

The hose clamps are stowed aft, starboard side on a bulkhead in the bilge.


 

Hose clamps do require attention. I always buy or acquire all stainless clamps. I have found many hose clamps thrown away when folks replace plumbing. If the clamp is good/passes the stainless test I bring it home. There is no need to spend perfectly good money when so many are around for free.
 

That said, all hose clamps must be periodically checked. Sometimes a previously okay clamp starts to go bad. Even stainless hose clamps can begin to rust. Rust indicates a breakdown in the metal. The strength is gone at that point. I get rid of it immediately.
 

Replacements are always available in my Stash of Stuff.
 

When my MAGNET sticks to the clamp it is immediately replaced. No ifs, ands or buts about that!

 

Usually it is the screw that first becomes magnetic. Because all of the hose clamps on my stuffing box were installed at the same time I replaced the four when one attracted my small magnet.
 

A magnet should not stick to good quality stainless steel.
 

 

Stuffing Box Primer

 

A stuffing box is not a box at all. It is cylindrical. There are two types of stuffing boxes.

The standard stuffing box is simply a reinforced rubber tube. The dripless version has bellows and uses a high-tech carbon ring to keep the seawater out. Standard stuffing boxes use packing (waxy stuff) that you wrap around the shaft. It keeps the water out and the shaft cool.

 
Standard Stuffing Box:
PSS Dripless STUFFING BOX:

ZINCS are directly forward of the stuffing box.
 

Please note the zincs just forward of the stuffing box. They are there so that when I need more I have them ready. The primary reason I keep them on my shaft is to prevent a disaster!
 

Should the coupling at the transmission break the shaft would naturally slide aft. That could allow a lot of seawater into my Seaweed. Those two zincs will stop the shaft from going backwards.

 


Whenever one of a pair of items is nearing the end of its useful life, I replace both. It is my firm belief that items wear out at about the same rate of speed. Thus if one hose clamp on my stuffing box is starting to fail, the others will do so shortly.
 

All are removed and replaced.

I removed and replaced each clamp one at a time. I did not take off all four and then put them back on.
 

You have probably noted that my hose clamps are installed back to front. In other words, each pair is installed facing the opposite direction. There are two schools of thought on this. The newest is that installation makes no difference whatsoever.
 

I am old school. I was taught to always place hose clamps in opposing directions. That is the way I do it to this day.
 

When a connection is to a thru-hull,
you must use two hose clamps.


There are three types of hose clamps. There is BAD, BETTER and best.

 

 

 

T-Bolt hose clamps are the best.
affiliate link→

 

The T-bolt hose clamps are not all alike. Some are better/sturdier. When I am in a store examining them I look at the metal. The best stainless has an oily shine. It will be heavier than lower quality stainless.

Priced high, T-bolt hose clamps are on my Amazon Wish List.


HPS SSTC-44-51 Stainless Steel T-Bolt Hose Clamp SAE 28, Effective Size 1.73"-2" (44mm-51mm), 1 Piece
 


Gauging Stainless for Quality:
The next time you go to a boat show, look at Garhauer sailboat hardware. Examine the look and feel of their gear. That's what you want. That look. It is difficult to describe however once you've seen The Best, you will recognize it again and again.
 

No, I do not own any Garhauer gear nor stock in the company.


When I walk down a dock I can generally spot a boat with Garhauer hardware aboard her. There is a look that is instantaneously recognizable once you've examined their craftsmanship up close and personal.
 

Picture of BAD and BETTER hose clamps:

Click the picture for a full-sized version.

RED #1 hose clamp: If you look carefully you can see there are no holes in the hose clamp. Failure is more likely with this type of clamp.

BLUE #2 hose clamp: There are notches/holes in the strap part. Those allow a good hold when tightening down the clamp.
 

I would always prefer to use
a hose clamp with the notches.
It is better/more sturdy.


Every three months I examine each hose clamp aboard Seaweed. That way I can pick up problems before they turn into catastrophes.
 

When the engine is running there is vibration. That can loosen ever so slightly my hose clamps. By going around Seaweed and tightening the clamps I prevent potential problems.
 

I am able to spot when something is going wrong early too. This hose clamp was replaced:


When I find a problem, I solve it. If it is something that was installed as a pair such as with my stuffing box all hose clamps are replaced. When one is going bad it is inevitable that age-mates are also in the process of failing.


The same is true when it comes to the twin engine boats I have worked on. If one engine has a problem the second will usually develop the same issue very shortly. It is best to do preventative repairs before a breakdown. Always fix both sides.

Should the second part be okay, you will have a spare for your Parts Inventory.
 

Side Note on Spare Parts: Unless you're off to remote locales every place with mail service can get your necessary part to you in two or three days. Don't worry about having everything Today or right from the get-go. Eventually you will have all that "old timers" deem needed prior to departure. I still have not reached that level.
 

My waterline could be higher but I've got stuff. There are a lot of hose clamps aboard Seaweed:

 

I am having fun without all the spare parts and gear the Experts say is necessary. Don't worry about it if you're like me. It is a good life out here.
 

The post office has made a positive impact on our lives afloat. Mail order is no longer an interminable six-week wait until the parcel arrives. We are truly blessed.
 

Life is not just about tightening and replacing hose clamps. It's about beautiful horizons.

My friend Cheryl took a mini-vacation down to Key West last week. This is what she saw.
 

I confess that I do get a sense of satisfaction when a job is completed. Nonetheless, I'd much rather relax in the cockpit watching the wildlife. I can also be found at the dinette writing. Mostly this past week I've been in my bunk reading.
 

Amazon keeps putting Betty Neels books on sale. Fellows probably won't care for that author. For me they are candy. That means the eBooks are sweet romances (no sex, drugs or swearing) with nice people who find happiness. I like them.


This is my original Kindle circa 2014. I don't know how I ever survived without one.

Currently I am nursing my Paperwhite along. She is getting finicky about charging.

Amazon has this crazy idea that folks only read for 30 minutes per day. That's the estimate they use when determining battery longevity and such. I can't complain though. I use my Kindle far more than average. The Kindle is an amazing invention.
 

But I digress...
I have gathered quite a good collection of items as spares. This was not an overnight acquisition of everything needed accompanied by a purchasing splurge. For those that can afford to do so all at once, that's wonderful. For the rest of us though, a bit at a time is a-okay.
 

You don't have to have everything and know it all first. Being capable of learning is all that is required for success. After all, I'm doing it so you can too!


Thanks for reading.
.

How often do you check your hose clamps?
And, do you still have items yet to acquire for your spare parts inventory? What are you wanting?
 

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2018

Categories:  Boat Talk, Books, Characters, Gear, In the Bilges, Locations, Organizing, Recommendations,

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