How To Choose A Fuel Hose Reel
There are multiple reasons to use hose reels on site, ranging from health & safety on site (using a retractable hose reel can help prevent trip hazards), to all round ease of use, or prolonging the life of the hose.
The onsite environment greatly affects the choice of material the reel should be made from. Stainless steel reels are ideal for use near water, on a jetty or pontoon for example, whereas powder coated reels are good for workshop usage.
Hose & Hose Length?
This is often one of the most overlooked points when deciding on a hose reel. More often than not, a good quality reel is let down by the hose in use. A branded, statically bonded hose with machine swaged ends is generally a must!
With hose length, the choice is down to a few factors. The longer the hose, the more restriction there will be on the flow (the speed of the dispensing pump will be slowed). If the hose is too long, some may be left on the reel when in use (also acting as a restriction). 8, 10 or 14 metre hose lengths seem to be the standard, however on fuel installations you can go to 20 metres as standard. Longer hose options than this (as well as larger reels) are available.
A prime example would be using a ¾” (19mm) delivery hose with a ¾” reel. You would think this would suffice. However, all hose reels are restrictive as they have a 90 degree inlet elbow, so if it’s a ¾” (19mm) reel, the flow path inside would be substantially less. The same applies to a 1” reel. By fitting a ¾” reel to a ¾” dispensing pump, you may notice a 20% restriction in the pumping speed (the same applies to a 1” reel on a 1” dispensing pump).
For example, a 90 litre per minute pump, with a 1” hose reel fitted, drops the flow rate to roughly 74L/min. If the hose is left on the reel it drops the flow rate by an extra 2 litres. So a 90L/min pump quickly becomes a 72L/min pump.
Hose reels are either self-retracting, motor driven, or hand crank driven. Often with a hand crank, the hose is usually left out when finished with & becomes a trip hazard. Self-retracting reels that use a spring are the most popular as the hose is easy to remove, & recoils itself. Motor driven reels are expensive to buy, require power to operate, & also take longer to install on site.
Hose Reel Installations
As with most installations, always use a competent person. Your local pump, pipework or tank installation company are ideal. They also supply good quality equipment & can also offer service & maintenance plans too.
Diesel has been reclassified as a flammable liquid under the CLP regulations so it’s worth ensuring that you are up to date on all regulations regarding installations & the above companies should be able to advise on this.
Never connect rigid pipe to the inlet of a hose reel. This part moves. Most hose reels are supplied with a flexible inlet hose for this very reason.