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Types of Couplers
Couplers are the fittings used to attach hoses, pumps, nozzles, etc. to each other. Think of the task of attaching
a garden hose to the faucet. The point where the faucet and the hose make contact is what we are interested in. A
coupling device is usually part of the component when you receive it. However, it may require an adapter in order to
attach to a component of a different size or style of coupling. Proper coupling will allow the components to mate
and provide a strong leak-free union. The connection process may require tools in order to get things tight.
Common Coupling Methods
The most common method of hose or pipe connection. One half of the connection is a male thread while the other
is female. Most garden hoses use this method. The connection is completed by bringing the two components
together and the rotating one against the other for several revolutions. There is a risk of cross threading and
damage to the connection surface if alignment is not true. It may take a minute or two to complete the
task. There are, however, many different types of threads used for this purpose. For more information, see the
section on Thread Standards.
- Quarter Turn Quick Connect
These fittings use tapered collars and lugs and a quarter turn to lock to make a secure connection. The coupling
parts are genderless (the same) -- no male/female matching. Tools are not required and connection time is under 3
seconds. Often referred to as Forestry Quick Connect or with the tradename Merlug.
This is a heavy duty coupling method that is very strong and relatively quick to use. It is often
found in industrial settings with larger diameter hoses. Operation involves the sliding of one component inside
the other. Two lever operated cams are then rotated -- firmly locking the two pieces together. This is a bulky fitting
with moving parts and it connects without the use of tools. It takes 15-30 seconds to engage and requires some
physical effort. In fire fighting, this method can be used for suction hoses but never for discharge hoses.
- Other Coupling Methods
There are other type of couplers that may also be encountered. The Storz
coupler is one used in fire fighting but is quite expensive and mainly for larger diameter hoses. It is not normally
used in a home fire fighting setting. When considering a home fire fighting system, your chosen components
should have fast easy-to-connect fittings that are compatible with fire fighting services that may come to your
aid in the event of an emergency.