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Hose clip corrosion

7 April, 2017

Stainless steel hose clips on hose tails are fit and forget, right? Sadly not.

The problem with stainless steel is that it is only stainless in the presence of oxygen. This is because an oxide layer forms on the surface of the steel and this is what protects it from corrosion. If you remove the oxygen then the oxide layer cannot form and the stainless steel is about as corrosion resistant as mild steel.

When hose clips are clamped tight onto hose tails the underside is no longer in the presence of oxygen and the stainless steel can start to corrode. The trouble is, its not always obvious like the picture above. Normally the only way you can tell is by removing the hose clip and looking at the underside. In severe cases, gently tapping the clip can cause it break open.

Regularly inspect your hose clips and slacken one off at a time to have look at the underside.

As an aside, sometimes I find hose clips neatly lined up with the screw heads next to each other as in the above picture. This is not the correct way, the heads should be opposite each other to get a better seal on the tail.