What is a Rubber Hose?

Miranda Fine

Rubber hoses have a multitude of uses at home, in vehicles, and in industry. Most simply, a rubber hose is a flexible tube used to move and dispense liquids or gases. Rubber hoses come in various sizes and material makeups. The best hose for a given job will depend on what the hose is made of, and its strength and size. Rubber hoses require couplings or other attachments that are usually made of metal or plastic to connect to machines, devices, spigots or other hoses.

The fire hose is one of the more famous types of rubber hose.
The fire hose is one of the more famous types of rubber hose.

A rubber hose will be made of natural latex (rubber) or synthetic rubber. Hoses made of other materials such as plastic, vinyl, silicone, or other specialized materials may be used for similar applications. Natural rubber has several advantages as a material for hoses and tubing. It has superior elasticity, can withstand high temperatures and pressures, can be translucent or come in a variety of bright colors and requires less energy to produce than many synthetic materials.

Rubber hoses are used to transfer fuel from pumps to cars at gas stations.
Rubber hoses are used to transfer fuel from pumps to cars at gas stations.

Rubber hoses are essential in many industries and keep our vehicles, homes, restaurants, gas stations, hospitals and many other places running smoothly. Arguably, the most famous type of rubber hose is the fire hose, which is typically lined with natural rubber. Other examples of industries that depend on rubber hoses are the chemical industry, food industry, petroleum and mining, and medicine. We have hoses throughout our homes in our kitchen and bathroom fixtures and appliances, and commonly use hoses when doing watering and cleaning chores outside. Rubber hoses are also important parts of the cooling systems of cars and other vehicles.

Most consumers buy rubber hoses when they need to replace a leaky or broken hose on an appliance, fixture or vehicle they already own, or for watering the yard and performing outside chores. Rubber hoses used for this purpose are called garden hoses. These hoses range from heavy to light duty. There are also soaker or sprinkler hoses designed specifically for garden irrigation.

All rubber hoses are prone to kinking, which occurs when the hose gets tangled or folds upon itself when liquid is running through it. Proper care of rubber hoses helps prevent kinking. Always shut liquids off at the source when you are finished with the hose, and avoid extreme temperatures when possible. For garden hoses, heavier duty hoses tend to be more kink resistant, and attaching a collar specifically designed for this purpose to the hose at the spigot may help, as will rolling up the hose after use.

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