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Choosing your hose

When using hose in a yacht it has to be able to withstand a lot of different stresses. Depending on where it is being used, hose needs to do a variety of things including standing up to a great deal of vacuum pressure and handle temperatures of very varying degrees. It must also be able to successfully hold poisonous gasses and odours and it must do all of this without being too heavy.

To ensure that you are buying good quality hose keep two things in mind;
1) Always buy from a reputable manufacturer
2) make sure it is clearly labelled for its intended use.

Always Remember

It is important to remember that every foot of hose adds resistance to the system, resulting in pressure loss via a build-up of friction. There are several factors that determine this including diameter of hose and viscosity of fluid. However a general rule is keep the system as short and efficient as possible.

Resistance In A System

This is especially important in terms of bilge pumps. Consider a pump that is rated at 30 gallons per minute, this is an ideal conditions specification, not real world conditions. This is due to one thing, gravity. If you were to stack 10 cubes of water on top of each other - each of which was one cubic foot - the weight at the bottom of the stack would be a whopping 624 pounds.
Not only is it important to remember that every downward run is impacted by gravity, it is also important to remember that every uphill run adds more pressure. This results in more pressure on the pump, reducing its output.
Some pumps have a "maximum lift" specification, this is the height at which they can pump a column of water and still keep running. "Head" refers to the pressure exerted by the weight of a liquid in a vertical column.

Hose Clips

Hose is always measured according to its inside diameter whist pipe is measured according to its outside diameter. This makes attaching marine hose to plumbing fittings exceptionally tricky, the idea is to get as snug a fit as possible, and this is where hose clips come in.

Hose Clips - How To Fit

Some standards call for two hose clamps for all installations below the waterline, but make sure the plumbing fitting is long enough to support both hose clamps. Don't ever install a clamp over hose that isn't supported by a fitting; doing so could damage the hose and end up being worse than installing only one. Also make sure that the hose clamps you use are made entirely from stainless steel - that means the threads as well as the band - and that they're sized for the diameter of hose that you're using. If bands are too long, they'll leave sharp tails; these tails could cut into other hoses nearby or cause nasty cuts to hands and fingers.

A good tip for achieving leak proof snugness is to heat the end of the hose; you can use hot water, a heat gun or a hairdryer if needs be to do this. Heating the end of the hose will soften it, making it easier to work.

Hose for Portable Water

To supply galleys, heads, sinks and showers with fresh water, clear PVC hose has been used for a long time. The only drawback of clear PVC hose is that sunlight penetrates it which means that algae can grow. This hose can either be reinforced or non-reinforced.
Opaque Water Hose

Opaque Water Hose

For this reason some prefer to use opaque blue or red hose for their hot and cold water This prevents groth in your pipes, and has the added advantage of having easly identifiable hose in your plumpbing system.

Sanitation Hose

One of the jobs good sanitation hose should do is containing foul odours the other is to contain effluent. Permeable materials let gas or liquids pass through; impermeable materials prevent this.

Sanitiation Hose 2

Permeable materials let gas or liquids pass through; impermeable materials prevent this. For sanitation hose, impermeability is definitely the trait we're looking for. Make sure the hose you use is labelled Sanitation Hose and that it comes from a reputable supplier.

Vented loop

After choosing material, we also have to ensure good design in the layout of the hose - avoiding dips in the hose run, for example, where sewage can collect. Ideally, that means an unhindered downhill run on the discharge side from the vented loop to the holding tank or through-hull fitting.

Hose for Bilge Pumps

While no standard exists for bilge-pump hoses per se, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. For one thing, make sure that its diameter is equal to the output of the bilge pump. If it's smaller, it will severely diminish the pump's output.

The hose run should be as short and as straight as it can be. Hose length and hose bends both add tremendous resistance to a plumbing system. Avoid corrugated hose. While corrugated hose is simple to install because it's simple to bend, the ridges can trap the debris that inevitably collects in a bilge.

Make sure that the hose material can stand up to anything that might end up in the bilge. Never forget that bilges are by definition nasty places.

Fluids that you never planned for - engine coolant or worse - might very well end up in the bilge someday, so choose a hose with a heavy-duty, reinforced construction. The bilge-pump hose needs to be able to carry whatever comes along.

Engine Hose

The engine-cooling system is independent and separate from the domestic water system.

The system takes saltwater from outside the boat and circulates it around either the engine itself or through a heat exchanger and then pumps the hot water back out of the boat.

On the cooler side of this system reinforced hose can be used, However on the hotter side the hose needs to be impermeable and heat resistant.
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