Common hose failures and how to prevent them

If you use hoses for manufacturing or engineering purposes, it’s important to be aware of the common failures that can occur in hoses, and how to prevent them.

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Incorrect fittings

One of the most common reasons for a hose to fail is that it hasn’t been assembled with the correct fittings or clamp, which can cause the hose to leak or separate. Not using the hose for what it was intended for can also lead to failure.

Exposure to extreme temperatures

According to Plant Engineering, very high or very low ambient temperatures affect cover and reinforcement materials, reducing the life of the hose. Excessive hot or cold temperatures can cause discolouration, cracking and hardness in the hose. Additionally, never operate a hose at its pressure limits.

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If a hose has a kink at or near a fitting, this can cause bubbling or blistering at the hose’s cover. Crushing or forcing a hose to bend beyond its natural allowance can also result in the demise of a hose. This is a common problem found on high pressure or vacuum hoses. Avoid twisting a hose, too, rather than naturally bending it, as just a 7% twist can result in a 90% loss of hose life.

Poor quality hoses

Hoses aren’t created equally, and poor quality materials, or manufacturing or design errors, can lead to inferior hoses that have a reduced shelf life. When you need a new silicone hose, reduce your risk of getting a sub-standard product by choosing a reputable silicone hose manufacturer.

Wrong hose length

If the hose you use isn’t long enough, it won’t be able to naturally expand or contract during pressure or temperature changes. This will eventually lead to excessive stress on the hose fittings or reinforcement.


Contaminants in the air or fluid can flow through a hose and cause it to degrade. Avoid cross-contamination by always cleaning a hose prior to installation. Make sure the hose’s tube or cover is compatible with any fluids used.

Worn hose

Hoses are not designed to last forever, and, over time, they will degrade, resulting in discolouration, stiffness or even bursting at low pressure. A hose can last up to 20 years, depending on its quality, application use and environment. If you want to reduce the risk of hose failure, upgrade any ageing hoses you may have.