POTABLE-WATER HOSE: CHEMICALLY INERT. Hoses that carry
drinking water have to be made of FDA-approved, nontoxic materials
so that chemicals from the hose don’t leach into the water. Older hose
will be marked “FDA approved”; on newer hose, look for the designation NSF 61, which means that it meets the National Sanitation
Foundation’s guideline for potable-water products. Use only reinforced hose in pressurized water systems, either PVC reinforced with
polyester, or steel or vinyl reinforced with nylon braid. While many
potable-water hoses are clear, opaque hose has the advantage of limiting slime growth. Covering the ends of the hose with masking tape
until the system is fully assembled helps keep contaminants from entering. Other than the normal signs of hose
deterioration, slime buildup, discoloration, and poor-tasting water can also signal the need to replace hoses. If your
hoses are 10 years old or more, the taste of your fresh water will likely improve if you replace them.
LPG & CNG HOSE: FLEXIBILITY AND LOW PERMEABILITY. Leaks in a liquefied petroleum
gas (LPG) system (also called propane) can be catastrophic, which is why propane hoses must
have permanent connections and cannot be hose-clamped to a barb like other hoses. LPG hose is
thermoplastic and sold in specific lengths with fittings already attached. Chafe is the enemy here,
and the hose should be protected wherever it passes through a bulkhead. Inspect all your LPG
hoses and replace any showing signs of wear including chafe and worn or loose end fittings. LPG
hose must be marked “UL 21.” Not too many boats carry compressed natural gas (CNG) today, but
if yours does, don’t use LPG hoses. CNG hose is designed to withstand much higher pressures and
must meet the requirement of NFPA 52 for automotive hose. The useful life of LPG hose is considered to be from five to 10 years — if yours is older than that, you should definitely replace it.
Beth A. Leonard is the technical editor for BoatU.S. and the editor of Seaworthy, the BoatU.S. Marine
Insurance publication dedicated to keeping you and your boat safe on the water.
Use the best
and last longer.
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Everyday Moorings. A quiet evolution over
the past two decades has improved two
key elements of the mooring system.
Have you given your mooring a makeover yet?
Sea Chest Of Horrors. Capt. Frank
Lanier shares some sleeping dogs that
can take a bite out of the captain’s
quarters if not caught in time.
Emergency Signaling Options. There
have never been more ways to call
for help. Which one is right for you?
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Look for NSF
61 on hose
used to carry