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HOW TO REUSE FIRE HOSE COUPLINGS

 

The first step to extracting the hose, expansion ring, and tail gasket from a used coupling is to firmly clamp it in a vise as shown to the right.  As you can see there is a block of wood between the coupling and the vise.  This will protect the end of the coupling when the extraction tool is driven into it with a hammer.  Additionally, some pieces of old hose can be wrapped around the bowl to protect it from the serrations in the vise jaws.

Once the coupling is firmly gripped the next step is to trim the hose flush to the edge of the coupling bowl.

 

1-1/2" Coupling Chucked in a Vise
   
View Inside Coupling Bowl with Hose and Expansion Ring in Place The next picture shows the hose cut flush and gives a peek inside the bowl.  If you click on the picture it will enlarge so you can see the detail.  The ridges in the brass expansion ring were caused by the tooling of the hose expander.  Note that they are deep and distinct which shows that the ring is deeply set into the bowl.  If you look at the forward edge of the expansion ring you will see bulges of the tail gasket where it has squeezed through the gap between the ring and the coupling.  Bulges this big are readily acceptable and provide a way to feel the finished job and assure yourself that the gasket is in the coupling and seated.  That said, the bigger the bulges the more they can affect flow.  It is preferable to keep these bulges as small as possible.
   
This picture shows an expansion ring remover being used however, my favorite tool is a long, heavy duty flat screwdriver that has had the end rounded and blunted.  First the tool is set at an angle as pictured.  This will allow the tool to get behind the ring.  Give it a few blows and make sure the tool is behind the ring.  Next, stand the tool straight up and drive it until it is fully seated.

If you cannot get your tool of choice between the ring and the hose or coupling, use a center punch and a hammer to open up an area for the tool. 

Expansion Ring Removal Tool Before Being Driven
   
Expansion Ring Removal Tool Fully Inserted Here the tool is fully inserted into the bowl of the coupling.

Be careful not to drive the tool too deep, especially on smaller couplings.  The prongs on the extraction tool are sharp enough to actually puncture the bottom of smaller couplings.  The prong has to be driven a minimum of 2/3's of the way down or it will simply slip out of the coupling.

   
Now the tool is tilted to push the very bottom of the ring to the center of the coupling.  When using the blunted screwdriver you can just keep levering until the expansion ring pops out and the next step can be ignored. Expansion Ring Removal Tool Being Levered
   
Expansion Ring Removal Tool After Rotation When using the expansion ring remover it is given a 180 degree turn which collapses the expansion ring and makes it easy to pull out.
Regardless of which tool is used you will get a clump out of the coupling that looks like this.  Cut the hose away from the old expansion ring and discard it.  Save the old expansion ring in your brass pile because it doesn't take long to collect enough brass to help out the soda kitty. Removed Expansion Ring and Hose
Tail Gasket Being Removed from Fire Hose Coupling Now get a flat blade screwdriver and remove the old tail gasket and the coupling will be ready for reuse.
Don't worry too much about the tooling marks in the coupling bowl.  If they are no deeper that those shown here it will not be a problem.  The gasket will expand into any small defects like those shown. Bowl of Fire Hose Coupling After Expansion Ring and Tail Gasket Removal

 


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Copyright 2006 David's Fire Equipment
Last modified: 03/27/12