How to Extend the Life of Your Sanitary Hoses
As a sanitary processor, we know you count on sanitary hoses to maintain proper standards and cleanliness at your facility. Therefore, it’s critical that they withstand heavy use, for a long time. Unfortunately, hoses often don’t always last as long as we’d like, requiring frequent restocking.
Some reasons for premature failure are:
- Operator misuse
- Pressure spikes
- Elevated temperatures
- Excessive cleaning
The good news is that you can extend the life of your sanitary hoses with an effective selection process and appropriate handling while in use.
SELECT THE RIGHT HOSE FIRST
Sanitary hoses aren’t constructed in the same way, so selecting the right hose for your purposes requires careful analysis. We recommend using a S.T.A.M.P.E.D. analysis process. You can read more about that here.
Make sure to select a hose that provides a higher working pressure than the fluid pressure that will be pumped through the hose. While that advice sounds logical, often hoses fail due to inadequate flow ratings for the pressurization and pulsation a hose will endure.
In addition to selecting the correct pressure rating, select the appropriate hose material for the application. Inner tubing, reinforcement weave, and coating materials all contribute to the longevity of your sanitary hoses. For hoses that are frequently connected and disconnected, you’ll want to select a more ruggedly constructed hose than one that may be installed only once. Sanitary hoses in dynamic applications, such as sanitizing filling machines, require special consideration.
PROPER HANDLING ENSURES LONGER LIFE
Extending the life of a sanitary hose also requires the crew to handle them correctly during application. Here are a few key suggestions that should increase hose longevity:
- Make sure the hose is not over-torqued during installation. Use a swivel connection when suitable.
- Don’t stretch or compress the hose when installing. Doing so could lead to over-pressurized situations during application.
- Keep hoses on a flat, single plane to help avoid axial twisting and premature fatigue.
- Avoid severe bends in the hose. Bending the hose beyond its rated bend radius can cause kinks and premature failure.
- Use elbows wherever possible. Larger size hoses can become incredibly heavy when filled with fluid, so if your crew is piping from a horizontal run into a bend of 90 degrees down without being supported, severe stress is put on the hose at the bend point, leading to premature failure. With a 90-degree elbow on the horizontal run, that stress is relieved and fluid should flow smoothly
- Keep hoses off of the ground when possible. Sanitary hoses can be vulnerable to equipment traffic and other hazards, such as chemical spills.
THREE STEPS TO BETTER SANITARY HOSE LONGEVITY
In addition to proper selection and handling, sanitary crews should implement a solid hose management plan. The following steps should be included in that plan in order to extend a hose’s useful life:
- Develop a hose auditing process to inspect and inventory all sanitary hoses. Check each hose for application, suitability, current condition, and durability.
- Implement a tracking system by serializing all your hoses. Doing so will allow you to identify problem sanitation areas in your facility along with underperforming hoses.
- Offer training on proper handling and appropriate ways to connect the hose. Before being put into use, make sure that sanitation workers know how to properly store, install and use your hoses.
One of our vendor partners, AdvantaPure has made hose management plans simple through barcode technology. Each hose is marked with a barcode and with a barcode scanner, processors (particularly high purity such as pharmaceutical and bio-pharm) are able to record:
- Every time a hose is used,
- Confirm proper connections have been made,
- Record the number of times a hose was autoclaved and more.
The barcode also includes the exact part number for reordering, simplifying hose management and saving you time.