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Unread 07-05-2021, 08:49 AM   #1
Lou_MA
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Problem tightening no-hub couplings

Ok. I feel like an idiot asking this because it seems so basic.

I’m using a fernco coupling to connect some 2” pvc. The coupling is the all-rubber type, with a stainless steel clamping ring on either end.

The clamps are supposed to be tightened to 60 lbs / foot. So I get myself that little blue-handled wrench that’s supposed to tighten to that exact spec.

I go to tighten the clamps and one seems to tighten to just the right amount. I hear a very satisfying click, and I’m not able to tighten it any further. In fact if I try, I just keep hearing that very satisfying click, the wrench turns but the nut doesn’t.

The other doesn’t tighten as far as the first before I hear a different sounding click, and I can see the clamp isn’t tightening because the nut is just slipping slightly on the band with every click. Every time I turn the wrench, same thing...it tightens slightly, clicks, and slips.

I’m thinking coupling is defective and have exchanged it for another. Twice. Same thing every time. One clamp, if not both, slip and won’t tighten completely.

Is there some trick to tightening these things down? The bands are aligned in the rubber groove. The wrench would seem to make it idiot proof. I don’t get what I’m doing wrong.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 09:10 AM   #2
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Lou, I think this is a common problem with these fittings, they will only tighten so much. A plumber I know and use a lot on my jobs was telling me that if I ever use one of these fittings, to buy two of them. He said to take the clamps off the second fitting and use two on each side. I've done that every time I've used them without a problem. I may have also used a little silicone between the PVC and rubber.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 09:20 AM   #3
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Lou, I would simply get another clamp out of the trailer and try that. If you don't have your handy-dandy tool trailer on site, Homer sells the hose clamps separately.

Some are better than others.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 11:12 AM   #4
smifwal
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Have you tried to tighten it a little bit more with just a rachet and a socket to see if it is the clamp. I am talking like a 1/4-1/2 turn.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 02:56 PM   #5
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60 foot pounds, Lou, really? Seems a lot for those worm clamps.

As an aside, I installed one of those all rubber couplers on a 2" vent when doing my master bath, but the code inspector wasn't having it, needed to be the shielded type.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 03:01 PM   #6
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Davy - I tried doubling up on clamps but same issue with extra clamps. They don’t tighten.

CX - I tried buying new clamps and same problem as before. The screw is deforming the ratcheted slots in the metal band and that looks to be what’s causing the slipping. I don’t know how to avoid that because it feels like it happens far before 60 lbs / ft. Any suggestions welcome.

Shawn - tried that and the problem is that with 1/2 turn or so, the band still isn’t anywhere near tight enough. Any more than 1/2 turn and it just slips.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 03:06 PM   #7
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Dan - it’s what the instructions say. This is for a shielded coupling I’m using but is having the same issue

https://www.fernco.com/file/4436/dow...token=xDWgUinr
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Unread 07-05-2021, 03:19 PM   #8
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60 ft/lb sounds like a hellofa lotta torque for a hose clamp to me, but I don't make Fernco fitting. And I've never put a torque wrench on a hose clamp nut in all my days, so I can't really testify, but I've also never had a hose clamp strip out on such a fitting, either.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 03:22 PM   #9
Lou_MA
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My mistake. Dan got me looking. The wrench is pre-set to 60 inch / lbs but is still deforming the metal band before it hits that point.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 04:13 PM   #10
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I've never put a torque wrench on one of those clamps either, Lou. right or no, I just tighten them my feel.

For something like those I use a 1/4" ratchet with the head of it in the palm of my hand. Snug it down and check it again the next day. Seems to work.
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Unread 07-05-2021, 09:11 PM   #11
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I would do what Cx said and get some hose clamps that are sold separately.

The reason I mentioned using two clamps on each side is so maybe you wouldn't need to tighten them so much. Snug them up and see if it leaks.
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Unread 07-06-2021, 06:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
I've never put a torque wrench on one of those clamps (either)
I have one of those wrenches and I was surprised how tight it had to be before it clicked. I had done like everyone else, tighten em down snug and just a hair more.
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Unread 07-06-2021, 07:26 AM   #13
John Bridge
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I've used quite a few Fernco connectors in my long years of plumbing and tile setting, but that was back in the days before almost everything we use was made in China. I won't be surprised if you tell me the products you're trying to use have been made over there. 'Nough said.

P.S. I've never used a torque wrench on a hose clamp.
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Unread 07-06-2021, 01:20 PM   #14
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John - I wouldn’t be surprised. The quality of the clamps surprised me, they deform *very* easily.
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Unread 07-22-2021, 01:57 PM   #15
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First i use a chucked up nut driver to pick up the slack & tighten the SS band.
Then finish using the pre-set 60psi (or 80psi, or 100psi) Torque wrench - to set the SS band until the wrench snaps and releases.
Using SS shields instead of bands will often work better and give more peace of mind.

Back in the day i worked as a production plumber in the California tracts, and we found that
made connections will most always "soften up" or slightly loosen up after a day or two.
So after a few days we would always turn back on the no-hubs, esp if they were in a trench, and nip them back up to 60psi etc.
Most of the plumbers robbed the shields from wherever, and rarely used the bands.

Maybe everybody knows the above but fwiw just saying.
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