Do-It-Yourself Commercial Hose

By Jim Ruen, Contributing Editor

You can make commercial grade hose cut to the length you need with OEM-style crimped fittings. Dramm offers its commercial grade, abrasion and weather resistant, ColorStorm hose in up to a 330-ft., bulk reel. Cut the hose to length, then use the Dramm Hose Crimper Press to crimp Dramm fittings in place. No external clamps, screws or wires are needed.

            I recently tried out the Dramm system and itís far superior to other DIY devices like Clamptite or the Clamper that use wire to clamp fittings into place. Itís also better than other commercial hose clamps Iíve tried.

            I've replaced fittings on dozens of hose ends over my 40-plus years of gardening," says Ruen. "Most aftermarket fittings seldom fit as tight as claimed and never last as long as the OEM crimped fittings. The Dramm combination eliminates the frustration and comes as close to OEM quality as you can get. 

            Dramm's Professional ColorStorm hose is the heart of the system. Designed with greenhouse and professional growers in mind, the company reports sales of more than 20 million ft. It is made with ethylene propylene diene monomer (EPDM) rubber. EPDM is known for enhanced resistance to heat, light and ozone and can be formulated for high and low temperatures.

            ColorStorm has a maximum operating pressure of 130 psi and 500 psi burst strength. It can handle water up to 160F and stays flexible to -24F. The hexagonal shape reduces kinking, and the soft surface makes for a comfortable grip.

            The commercial grade hose is available in 50, 75 and 100-ft. lengths in addition to a 330-ft. bulk reel. 

            Once hose is cut to length, ferrules slide over ends, and male and female fittings are pushed into place. The ends are then inserted into the Hose Crimper Press.

            The beauty of the design is in its simplicity, backed up by common sense engineering. The frame is designed to be bolted to a flat surface. I clamped mine in a small, bench-top vise.

            The crimper comes with an L-wrench for manual tightening. A bit for use with a power driver is included, but requires a driver with torque. Once the jaws meet, the ferrule has crimped the hose to the fitting. There is no question about over tightening or under tightening.

            Switching from 5/8 to 3/4-in. hose and fittings is easy as well. Simply remove 2 set screws at the top of the frame, remove the frame top and slide out the jaws.

            Dramm's nickel-plated brass male and female hose fittings, as well as splice fittings with matching ferrules, are sold in sets of 12.       

            Gemplers is a Dramm dealer. They offer the 330-ft. length of 5/8-in. ColorStorm hose for $347.99. The crimper is priced at $106.99 and a set of jaws for $83.99. A 12 pack of 5/8-in. male fixtures is $63.99 and a set of females is $65.99. Matching ferrules are included.

            The first time cost would run about $2 a foot for commercial quality hose with OEM style crimped fittings. Depending on the need for more fittings, hose costs quickly drop nearly in half.

            Dramm recommends using the crimper and fittings only on ColorStorm hose. But I tried using them on an older 5/8-in. hose purchased from a big box store. When put under 60 lbs. pressure, both male and female ends blew out.

            Contact:  FARM SHOW Followup,Dramm Corp., 2000 N 18th St., Manitowoc, Wis. 54221 (ph 800 258-0848; www.dramm.com).