Hose covers are products which are designed to cover hoses, providing additional functionality, protection, and other features. Covers for hoses used in all sorts of environments can be obtained, from simple insulators for irrigation hoses to abrasion-resistant covers for industrial hoses. Many hardware stores carry or can order hose covers and related products, and it is also possible to purchase them directly from the manufacturer.
One of the most common reasons to use a hose cover is to protect a hose in some way. Hose covers can provide insulation, preventing a hose from being damaged by temperature extremes, and they also protect hoses from ultraviolet radiation, chemicals, and other environmental sources of damage. In situations like firefighting, hose covers can extend the life of a hose by protecting it from heat, abrasion, pinching, and other sources of damage. Many of the hoses in environments such as engines and factories are covered for protection, to insulate hoses from potential sources of damage.
Hose covers may also provide a specific function, such as adding traction to make a hose easier to handle, or reinforcing a hose so that it can withstand high pressure. Covers can also be used for the purpose of color coding hoses to make them easier to handle or identify. Color coded hoses may also be used for safety, so that people can confirm that they are using the right hose for the correct application. Many gas stations, for example, use different hose covers for gasoline, diesel, and alternative fuels so that drivers will notice if they accidentally grab the wrong hose for refueling.
People can also use hose covers for decorative reasons, to make a hose less obtrusive or more visually interesting. Gardeners, for example, might opt to cover their hoses with dark brown or green materials so that they blend in better with the garden, with the hose cover adding protection to preserve the hose from the elements. Decorative hose covers are also useful tools for the construction of fountains and other projects in which hoses integral to the product may be visible to viewers.
When purchasing hose covers, people should take care to purchase a cover of the right diameter. Covers which are too tight will not fit, while loose covers can make a hose hard to handle by creating a saggy, slippery layer of material around the hose. People may also want to think about the situations in which the hose is being used. A garden hose cover, for example, should indicate that it provides ultraviolet protection, as sunlight is one of the leading causes of damage to garden hoses.