When repairing appliances or systems that use fluid in their operation, you are likely to encounter rubber hoses. These are the rubber tubings that carry or circulate fluid or gas from one part of an equipment or system to another.
Rubber hoses are common because they are flexible and can withstand the fluctuating pressure of the fluid. They are also easy to fit and seal tight. Furthermore, rubber pipes don’t crack or break easily. They are also easy to bend out of the way when working in tight spaces. You can even pinch them off easily to restrict or prevent the flow of fluid instead of disconnecting them from the fitting.
In this article, I share about three types of pliers that can help you handle rubber hoses more effectively in your work.
Basic pliers for hoses
1. Hose pinch-off pliers
When you need to repair a part of equipment but don’t want to disconnect the rubber hose carrying fluid, you can restrict the flow of the fluid by pinching off the hose. One of the best tools for pinching off rubber hoses is the hose pinch off pliers.
These types of hose pliers have flat jaws for squeezing the hose section tight to minimize or cut off the flow of liquid or gas completely. The best hose pinch pliers have a locking mechanism that locks the jaws onto the hose to keep your hands free for other work.
Hose clamping pliers come in different sizes. There are small ones for small hoses and bigger ones for larger hoses. Some come as a set with pliers of different sizes. Your choice really depends on the task at hand and your personal preference.
If you are an auto mechanic, there are so many things you can do with hose pinch off pliers. You can use them to clamp off fuel rubber hoses when replacing a fuel filter or connecting a fuel compression tester. You can also use the pliers to cut off the flow of coolant to the radiator or heat core when repairing or replacing any of the parts. Pinching off the rubber tubing helps reduce spillage.
When troubleshooting a washer machine such as dishwasher or clothes washing machine, you may need hose pinch off pliers to clamp off the inlet rubber hoses. Clamping off the rubber inlet pipes can sometimes be more convenient than closing the faucet or disconnecting the hose.
To learn more about hose pinch-off pliers, check out this article.
2. Hose clamp pliers
Although rubber hoses fit snugly onto pipe fittings, it is good practice to secure them with a clamp. There are two types of clamps used to secure rubber hoses. A screw-type hose clamp or spring hose clamp.
Screw hose clamps use an integrated screw to close or loosen the metal band. As such, you need a screwdriver to remove or install screw-type hose clamps.
On the other hand, spring hose clamps have internal constant tension that keeps them tight on a hose. To install them, you squeeze the tabs together to enlarge the cross-section of the clamp so that it fits on a hose. You do the same when removing or adjusting the clamp.
Although you can use regular pliers to install or remove spring hose clamps, spring hose clamp pliers are the most effective. Some of the best hose clamp pliers have swivel tips on the jaw with multiple grooves for grabbing and holding tightly different sizes of spring clamps. Some hose clamp pliers have a locking feature to lock the jaws and keep the spring clamp compressed. This frees up your hands so that you can engage in other tasks. It also allows you to do the troubleshooting alone without a second hand.
Furthermore, some spring hose clamp tools such as the remote hose clamp pliers have cable-operated jaws. The flexible shaft allows the tool to access clamps in very tight spots. Such hose clamp pliers are very useful when working on fuel, coolant, and oil hoses deep inside the hood of a car.
Overall, hose clamp pliers are must-have for handling hose clamps on rubber hoses. These specialty pliers make the work easier and safer than using regular pliers. The pliers will save your fingers and hands from getting pinched or bruised. Besides using them on automotive hoses, you can also use them to handle the spring clips dishwasher or washing machine hoses.
Check out this article to learn more about spring hose clamp pliers
3. Hose Removal Pliers.
Sometimes when a coolant, fuel, or water rubber hose stays on a fitting for so long, it can get stuck, and removing it can be a real challenge. This happens mostly with water and coolant rubber hoses that are connected to metal pipes. Over time, the metal rusts, and the build-up seizes the hose. When removing such seized rubber hoses, you can easily tear them apart if you are not careful.
To avoid the frustration of removing stuck rubber hoses you can use hose removal pliers. These are specialty hose pliers for removing hoses. There are two types of hose remover pliers: hose grip pliers and hose separator pliers.
Hose grip pliers have ring jaws for clamping onto the rubber hose sleeve so you can wiggle it and pull it out without damaging it. You can use them to remove or install hoses.
Hose separator pliers have forked blade-type jaws. These pliers work in reverse of regular pliers in that when you squeeze the handles the jaws open.
To remove a hose with hose separator pliers, you insert the blades between the hose end and the fitting and squeeze the handles so that the jaws open pushing the hose off the fitting.
But whichever type of hose removal pliers you use, they all make removing stubborn rubber hoses an easy task and less frustrating.
Can you use regular pliers or water pump pliers to remove hoses?
Although you can also use water pump pliers or regular pliers to remove seized rubber hoses, their teeth are tough and can easily puncture soft rubber hoses and cause leakage. This is why hose grip pliers are the best for removing old stuck coolant or radiator hoses because they can easily burst if punctured.
Well, those are the three types of hose pliers you should always keep in your toolbox when you are working with flexible rubber hoses. They are inexpensive and can make working with rubber hoses less hectic and less messy.