If you use pressure equipment such as air compressors at home or work, you need to inspect your equipment on a regular basis to ensure it's working correctly, and you also have to inspect your hoses. If you have industrial hoses connected to pressurised equipment, here are five things you should check to ensure your hoses and safe and functional:
1. Are the connections safe and tight?
When inspecting your hoses, check out the connections first. Make sure that you have used the correct fittings with the hoses they are designed for. If so, detach the hose and make sure that the seals are in good condition. Look for signs of wear such as missing or thin rubber, and replace fittings as needed.
2. Are brackets and hooks in place?
In many cases, pressure equipment that uses industrial hoses may come equipped with brackets or hooks to hold the hoses. This is very similar to the hook on your vacuum cleaner that holds your vacuum hose.
Without these hooks or brackets, your hoses may trail on the ground or get caught up in moving parts. When inspecting your equipment, make sure that all of the brackets or hooks are working -- if they are broken, make plans to repair them. Also, make sure that you are utilising these hooks or brackets as recommended by the manufacturer of the equipment.
3. Are hoses dragging on the floor?
While hooks and brackets are essential, they cannot handle the entire task of protecting your pressurised hoses. For that reason, you also have to inspect where your hoses are resting. Ideally, the should not be dragging against the floor or hitting rough objects that could damage them.
If you have hoses that are forced to be in spots where they may experience chafing, make sure that you have chafing guards installed. Alternatively, run your hoses through a bit of PVC pipe to protect them -- just make sure that the side of the hose doesn't rub against the end of the PVC pipe.
4. Is the hose leaking?
In addition to ensuring that hoses are connected to your pressure equipment correctly and that they are not being chafed, you should also look for existing signs of damage. In particular, check your hose for leaks.
Run your hand over it and feel for air or liquid being released from the hose. If you sense a leak, turn off your pressure equipment and replace the hose.
5. Is the outer fabric frayed?
Even if the hoses aren't leaking, you should check the outer casing for damage. If the casing is worn, it can allow moisture or chemicals to get inside the hose. This can rust or damage the flexible layer of metal at the center of the hose, and ultimately that can allow pressurised gases or other substances to be released into your work space.
For more tips on inspecting your hoses or the rest of your pressure equipment, contact a professional inspector. They can help you assess the safety of your equipment and create a checklist so that you always know what to keep an eye on.