Exceedingly Helpful Tool: Our Hose Puller

How many times have you had to get a hose off a hose barb and found it next to impossible?

Hoses are a tight fit to begin with, and then if they’ve been clamped in place for years, it can seem like they are welded together. Water hoses, waste hoses, vent lines, engine lines, transmission and hydraulic hoses — all have to be removed at some point.

More than once, Dave would tug and tug, then finally resort to cutting the hose . . . but then he still had to get the old stub off before he could put a new hose back on the fitting.

When I said we were going to be removing our marine toilet this summer and replacing it with a composting head, one of my readers (he requested to be anonymous) told me we had to get a hose puller. It’d make the job of removing all the old hoses from the head, pump, valves and holding tank a lot easier, he said. I put it on the list of things to get . . .

Two days later, I got an email from the reader — he’d been at Sears and spotted one in the tool department and bought it for Dave! He sent it to us (I swear I have the best readers!) . . .

It’s become one of Dave’s favorite gadgets. As he says, you don’t need it all that often, but when you do it saves a ton of time and energy.

It’s pretty evident how the hose puller works. You work the point between the hose and the barb and wiggle it around to break the bond between the two. Often, Dave had to put it in at two or three different points around the barb to break enough of the bond to be able to get the hose off. Then tug a bit . . . . sometimes more than a bit . . . and pull the hose off.

Because it’s bent in a “U” shape, this hose puller works much better than any straight tool such as a screwdriver, ice pick or awl — and it won’t slip and go all the way through the hose, either.

How to Get a Hose Off a Barbed Fitting: Getting an old hose off a barb can be next to impossible . . . unless you've got this tool.

Hose pullers are generally sold for automotive purposes, such as removing radiator hoses. You can also buy them in sets of 4 or 5, each of which is bent differently. For a boat, the “U” one works well for everything we can imagine needing.

Some hardwares and auto parts stores carry hose pullers (although they may just carry the sets and not the individual ones). I’ve never seen one in a home improvement storeand an online search doesn’t them at Home Depot, Lowe’s and similar stores. But Amazon, of course, does carry several including the exact one that Dave has and finds easy to use:

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  • Iain Fraser
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Another helpful thing I discovered was poor boiling water over the end to soften it a bit….managed to get heavy duty heads outlet hose off with ease by doing that. That tool looks awesome though….gotta get me one! 🙂

  • Cathleen Speaker Holzknecht
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Dave Holzknecht

  • Kris Steyn
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    I use the heat gun , or the hair drier…

  • Ryan Easter
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Purchased! Thank you!

  • Dave Skolnick (S/V Auspicious)
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    A heat gun is better yet.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

      You can’t always use a heat gun where you need it. In fact, I’d say that we’ve almost never wanted to use a heat gun wherever we were trying to remove a hose.

  • Debbie Williamson
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Awesome!! Ordering it today!!!

  • Cindi Forrester Blackledge
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Ordered 3. Thanks for the great tip

  • Kenneth Arnold
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    geez, it’s been around since the 70’s 🙂

  • Kelley Gudahl
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Jason Sinclair

  • Ruth Golden
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Gary Golden

  • Gary Golden
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    Hanukkah is coming! 😀

  • Chris Wilkinson
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    I got mine at Harbor Freight. Works well, but you have to be careful not to pierce the tubing.

  • Rich Morpurgo
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    I have one. Great tool!

  • Richie Mercer
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    I made mine out of worn out screw drivers,just take to a grinding wheel make the tapered point heat with a torch n bend into shape,free out of old junk

  • Sami Bolton
    Posted at 22 November 2015 Reply

    I had to laugh at this because it looks very similar to the hooks I use to pull my tall riding boots on with… I have about a thousand pair because you don’t ever want to not have them when you need them. I guess I know I’ll be taking at least a pair on board with me

  • Kevin Baerg
    Posted at 23 November 2015 Reply

    Thanks for the link – ordered one today!

  • Gord Wedman
    Posted at 26 November 2015 Reply

    Looks worth adding to the bulging tool box. For plastic hose a heat gun works well but I don’t think it will work on rubber hose used for engine cooling water.

  • Matt Claiborne
    Posted at 12 October 2016 Reply

    This thing is great. One of your best recommendations, thanks for finding and sharing!

  • Josh Wilkinson
    Posted at 12 October 2016 Reply

    they work great. No more knuckle busting.

  • Kimberly Lancashire
    Posted at 12 October 2016 Reply

    So smart! We always soften them with a heat gun (on low), but the smell of a heated sewer hose is repugnant!

  • Paul Sunshine
    Posted at 12 October 2016 Reply

    Thats why captain hook had one!

  • Chris Wiley
    Posted at 09 June 2017 Reply

    Harbor freight, cheap, highly recommended!

  • Monika Ludewig Bradley
    Posted at 09 June 2017 Reply

    Bought one a while back based on your recommendation!

  • David Koester
    Posted at 10 June 2017 Reply

    Hot air gun makes it easier too

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