Fire hoses with holes or leaks can pose a serious safety threat to those in the area in the case of a burst, not to mention diminishing its effectiveness when fighting fires. In the case of many damaged hoses, it is more cost effective to refurbish the hose for other uses than to have the damaged fibers repaired.
Hoses must first be tested to ensure that they are delivering adequate psi levels in accordance with the department's requirements and guidelines. If a problem is found, the hose should be removed from duty until replaced or repaired.
A popular method of hose repair is to recouple the brass fittings on either end. If the hole occurs close to one of the ends of the hose, it can be cut and refitted with new connections, as long as the hose still has enough length to be effective in the field. Because fire hoses are made of specially woven synthetic materials, it is often more cost effective to replace a hose, or to modify it in this way, than to send the hose to a specialist for fiber repairs.
Recoupling of fire hoses can be done in the field using a hand coupler, a manually powered machine that expands the brass rings of the hose fitting inside of the hose. The best method is to use a hydraulic hand-pumped coupler, which can be found at many fire houses. Using the latter method also assures the user of the pressure inside of the hose to know when the fitting is completely secure.