Golf Course Management

FEB 2016

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

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Page 37 of 147

34 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 02.16 Hose clamps: The good, the bad and the ugly After chasing coolant leaks for a few weeks, the time came to destroy all the no-good hose clamps in the shop and get capable clamps that would keep liquid inside the engine systems that pass through our domain. The scrap-and- replace process involved learning some things technicians should understand when deal - ing with worm gear and spring-band clamps. It's easy to get misled by the low-quality clamps that, unfortunately, have become com - mon at auto parts and big-box stores. To get good clamps, bring a magnet and fle with you to the store. You want stainless steel clamps that your magnet won't pick up and that resist cutting with a fle. The frst photo is a close-up of a good-cal - iber Ideal-Tridon clamp, which tells part of the story. The letters "UPC" inside the shield stand for "Uniform Plumbing Code," a certi - fcation from the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Offcials (IAPMO) that this worm gear clamp meets rigorous stan - dards for mechanical strength and corrosion re- sistance. The "300SS" indicates the grade of stainless steel in the band. This clamp, from a good local hardware store, uses stainless steel for the band, the worm screw and the "cage" that holds the screw. The letter "F" designates a clamp that tightens when a screw (worm) is turned. This comes from clamp standards from the Society of Automotive Engineers (standard J1508). Most important to techni - cians, this clamp won't fall apart when you really tighten it. Only a clamp that meets the criteria can carry the "F." The manufacturer's trademark registration means the company is proud of this product. The second photo shows, on the left, a clamp with a stainless band and cage but a rusty, non-stainless screw. Next is a screw and cage that have rusted, while the band is stain - less. At right are rusted clamps that need re- placement, and quickly. The strength of a clamp can be judged by looking under the cage. In photo No. 3, a pen is pointing to a large bulge — the cage is tightly bound to the band, so it handles the screw's tightening force. Contrast that with the wimpy mounting system of the low-grade clamp, which was the only kind sold by a local outpost of a national auto parts chain. That's ugly. Perhaps the best of the worm-style clamps is the one that has a smooth inner band, shown in photo No. 4. This clamp secures the cage with sturdy lugs (indicated by the pen point). They ain't cheap, but they grip tight, and the inner band protects the hose from being cut by the worm gear grooves in the outer band. Spring clamps (photo No. 5) are common on new equipment, and not just because they're easy to install on the assembly line. Spring clamps can expand and contract to main - tain grip as the cooling system heats up and cools down. A technician is wise to reuse spring clamps, although doing so may not al - ways be possible, as the clamp may not ft on a replacement hose with walls thicker or thinner than the original. The trick is to look for the size markings found on many spring clamps. The numbers on the release tab are metric dimensions. Mea - sure the unmounted hose, and fnd a spring clamp with numbers that match the metric di - ameter of the hose, and you should end up with a good, tight coolant seal that keeps you from having to attend to any more nagging drips. Scott R. Nesbitt is a freelance writer and former GCSAA staff member. He lives in Cleveland, Ga. (shop) Scott R. Nesbitt A quality hose clamp carries information that helps assure a tight, long-lasting ft. Photos by Scott R. Nesbitt Rust on the worm screw, the cage or the entire hose clamp predicts failure in these substandard clamps, which retail for less but end up costing more over time. The pen is pointing to a large housing that secures the cage. The cheap clamp at right came apart when the worm screw was barely snugged up on a hose. Solid cage mounting lugs along with a smooth inner band to avoid cutting the hose surface are signs of a premium hose clamp. Often obscured by dirt and paint, the size markings found on many spring-band hose clamps guide technicians in choosing a clamp for a replacement hose.

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