Hose whip checks and safety restraint products greatly reduce the risk of damage and serious injury should a hose become disconnected under pressure. There are many types of hose safety restraint systems designed for various applications. they will keep the hose in check until pressure can be relieved and can also contain hazardous spills. An unchecked pressurized hose can be deadly, even at moderate pressure. Here we will discuss the various types and their benefits, and how best to install them into your hose system.
Hose safety whip check cables are designed for low pressure (200 PSI) air service on pneumatic powered tool lines. These cables should be installed with no slack, and come in hose to hose, or hose to tool variety. A hose whip check cable is designed to fit a range of hose sizes. A 3/4 inch hose connected to a 1 inch hose can utilize the same cable size, and the spring loops allow adjustment while maintaining a snug fit. Hose to tool versions must have a location on the tool to fit around without slipping if the hose were to fail. A poorly fitted whip check cable that can slip off of the tool or hose assembly will not have any benefit in a hose failure event. Hose safety whip check cables are also offered in stainless steel. Inspect your whip check cables regularly, especially in outdoor or corrosive environments and replace when needed. A worn or corroded safety device may crack under the force of a failed hose.
Hose choker cables are a higher pressure rated and heavier duty upgrade from the hose safety whip check product. These perform and install similarly but can also be customized to specifically meet your hose application and size. The loop ends, while still adjustable to meet varying outside diameters, have a smaller range and must be ordered per hose size. The loops also utilize a custom nylon spool that will cinch the cable tighter during a failure, which offers a strong grip while also reducing the flow of spilling fluid or gas. While choker cables offer a higher pressure range, they too must be inspected regularly and replaced when signs of wear or aging exist. Choker cables can also be fabricated in stainless steel for corrosive environments.
Nylon safety restraints offer a versatile non-metal safety device for a variety of hose applications. They include widely adjustable loop ends and come in a range of lengths. Nylon safety restraints can even be double wrapped (figure 8 style) to make an even stronger connection. Installation does not require the disconnection of a hose line, making this a beneficial option where semi-permanent connections would be time consuming to disassemble. Nylon hose restraints come in single and double ply, up to 4-ply custom designed, which covers a broad range of applications. Ensure that the nylon safety restraint is designed specifically as a hose restraint and not for sling or harness applications. Also ensure that the nylon loop will not slide off of a slick covered hose. Inspect and replace nylon restraints in outdoor service every 2 years or at first sign of deterioration.
The use of rubberized or self sealing tape to build a lip in the cover of urethane or very small diameters of hose is recommended.
The Hose Whip Stop System is designed for very high pressure applications and those where a hose failure event could be catastrophic. Also known as hose whip socks, these products allow the hose to be shackled either to another whip stop or to a hobble clamp (shown in red). The hobble clamp can be secured to a suitable pipe or rail and can be custom designed. The loop-legs can also be made longer for a greater reach, however ensure that there is not any slack in these, which will allow hose blow-back to some extent.
4-leg versions are available, so that a single whip stop can secure both sides of a shorter hose assembly.
Clamp to Clamp type restraints bolt directly around the outside of a heavy walled hose or pipe. These devices are by custom order only and ensure safety and compliance on API and oilfield applications. They also offer versatility where either a Hose Whip Stop cannot be applied or the hose cannot be easily disconnected.
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Remember that installing a whip restraint product does not ensure that it will prevent damage or injury during a hose failure. It must be properly matched, and properly installed. Should a hose failure occur, replace your hose whip restraint. A used safety restraint could have concealed damage or deterioration. It has hopefully already proven its worth and a new one should be installed. Check your safety products regularly and educate the staff who will be using them. It could mean the difference between a quickly recoverable failure and a far more serious incident.