You may not have put much thought into your garden hose. In fact, most people don’t. But hoses are actually an incredible invention, used in everything from irrigation to your car’s engine, and they wouldn’t be able to work without hose barb fittings. Here’s what you need to know about these under-appreciated workhorses of the valves and fittings world:
What Are Hose Barb Fittings?
Hose barb fittings, essentially, are pieces that attach hoses together or allow hoses to be attached to other objects such as pipes, valves or spigots. These cylindrical pieces fit inside of hoses, their barb-like rings making it easy to push flexible tubing onto them for a good seal. They’re then typically externally secured either with a hose clamp or a ferrule (a ring). Hose barbs may be purely cylindrical, such as a hose mender, which allows for a leaking hose to be rehabilitated. But barb fittings may also be elbow or T-shaped, to allow for the splitting or turning of a hose system.
How Can I Choose a Barb Fitting?
Choosing hose barb fittings comes down to three basic factors: the type, the diameter and the material. The type, of course, will depend on why you’re using the piece in the first place (joining two shorter pieces of hosing together, repairing a leak, redirecting flow, etc.). The diameter will be based on the diameter of the hosing at hand. Finally, the material will depend largely on the pressure of the system and how long you want the fitting to last. While plastic fittings may occasionally be used, brass is a popular choice because it balances performance (even in mission-critical applications) and price. You should be able to find brass garden hose fittings, as well as fittings for other, more specialized, systems, in standard diameters such as 1/2, 5/8 or 3/4 of an inch. You can also look into a brass fittings manufacturer that makes custom parts if you’re working with an unusual size or type of hosing.
What kind of hoses are you working with? Share the details of your current project in the comments.