UV light and age can damage the outer jacket of a hose,
shortening its life span
been damaged and should not be repaired, could be retired
into another use. Bike parks need water and, as long as it is low
pressure, retired snowmaking hose can likely be repurposed.
Just make sure that hose doesn’t make it back into snowmaking
service after a summer in the UV light, dirt and mud!
Do not retire a water snowmaking hose to the air side. Industry
has taken the much lower compressed air pressure
for granted with snowmaking hose, but the danger from a
blown air hose is as much as, if not greater than, water pressure.
Most air/water systems use the same hose, so it is easy
to just “grab hose” and go. Some resorts have a different size
air hose than water and some color code the hose. The bottom
line is: don’t use old or damaged hose for air because it
is lower pressure. Compressed air has a massive amount of
There has been recent discussion about securing the fittings
of the air hose just like other industries. In construction,
a jackhammer with one-inch hose and sexless couplings
needs to have a hose arrestor or metal strap that holds the
ends of the hose if the couplings come apart. For snowmaking
hose, there isn’t yet a solution, but people have tried.
If an accident occurs, do you know what to do? No matter
if it’s the biggest resort or the smallest, everyone needs
to have a plan before disaster strikes. Consider what Occupational
Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) would
have to say about an operation before and after an accident?
Don’t wait to educate staff about OSHA and what they expect.
They have tremendous resources for all industries and
established rules to follow. According to National Ski Areas
Association, the snow operations industry has moved way up
OSHA’s watch list due to many recent accidents and deaths
in the ski industry.
Jason Sawin is the owner of CHS Snowmakers. Contact
him at jsawin@CHSsnowmakers.com for more information
on how to streamline hose pressure testing processes.
Visit www.osha.gov for more information on hose safety standards.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF JASON SAWIN
snowopsmag.com | SnowOps 25