A compressor hose is a device used to transport air from the storage tank of an air compressor to the air tool or nozzle being used. Typically manufactured from reinforced rubber, the compressor hose is usually designed to withstand great pressures without bursting. Many hoses are manufactured with either a nylon or steel reinforcing webbing, depending on the amount of pressure the hose is designed to withstand. Some compressor hoses intended to be used in a garage or workshop are covered in a special rubber compound designed to withstand and resist oil. This makes the hose last longer, easier to clean and less likely to soil other objects it may come into contact with.
An air compressor is of no help without the assistance of an air compressor hose. The hose is typically attached to the air tank of the compressor via a quick connect coupling. This spring-loaded coupling allows the operator to remove or replace the hose by simply sliding a round collar away from the hose and pushing the hose into the coupling. Once in, the collar is released and the spring slides it forward, effectively securing the compressor hose to the tank. A similar connector is used at the opposite end of the hose to connect to air tools and inflation nozzles.
There is very little in the line of maintenance that is required for the compressor hose beyond wiping the outside off with a clean shop towel. The major cause of problems with an air hose is bending, pinching or kinking the hose. This can damage the internal webbing and lead to a puncture and resulting leaks. Care should also be taken to avoid stepping on or running over the air hose with vehicles, hydraulic floor-jacks and wheeled shop stools. This type of damage can often be seen in the early stages of failure as a bulge in the hose.
Garage accessories, such as a hose spool that allows the user to wind the air hose back onto a spool when not in use, can often save the hose from potential damage. This type of spool commonly incorporates a swivel fitting at the spool that allows the air hose to remain in motion while preventing the hose from wrapping up or developing an air leak. Not all air hose fittings are the same, so when buying fittings for a compressor hose, it is critical that the fittings match those already in use.