Suction hose is a special type of plastic hose, usually made of PVC that is designed to allow a vacuum force inside the hose to pass without the hose collapsing. This is achieved usually through the use of a continuous ridged metal or plastic spiral embedded in a flexible plastic extrusion.
Other types of suction hose found commonly in cheap vacuum cleaners use moulded rings along the length of the hose to provide strength whilst the caps between allow flexibility. These cheaper hoses tend to break due to the stresses on the more ridged plastic, and the tear in the plastic tends to run all the way around the ring until it falls off and is essentially unrepairable.
PVC spiral suction hoses are still susceptible to breaking because the flexible plastic structure linking the spirals can tear or be punctured causing a tear along the spiral down the length of the hose. This is almost as unrepairable however due to the distance between the spirals it is sometimes possible to repair these.
One of the key issues in favour of the cheaper plastic hose other than cost is that if the damage occurs near the end of the hose, as is common due to the stresses at these points, it is normally possible to unclip the hose connectors, cut the end of and re-clip it leaving a slightly shorter but working hose. The more expensive spiral hoses however are quite hard to cut due to the ridged embedded spiral and the difficulty in cutting a straight edge through a spiral. Either way the most common factor preventing repair is the one use nature of many of the compression fittings used to at either end of the hose, clearly an area for improvement if at all possible.
Another aspect to consider with these hoses is their length, most hoses are about 1.5 to 2.5 meters in length, the length makes a big difference the usability as it allows you to walk more freely with the vacuum cleaner dragging behind. Length also affects the power of the machine and can cause it to be greatly diminished if it is too long, due to the suction acting on the host trying to crush it rather than pulling in material from the end. Also while many hoses are smooth internally there will still be bumps and the contour of the bends that restrict the airflow.
One final aspect is the internal diameter of the hose, too small and the airflow will be restricted, too large and the airflow will dissipate. An average hose has a 25–45mm internal diameter.
The inside surface of any hose should be smooth as this will prevent clogging and build up of dust and other materials, investigating a transparent hose would be an idea as it allows for a clear view of any blockages, especially from brightly coloured cat toys…
So what is the solution then? I have found numerous companies selling hose for suction of dust and air, I haven’t managed to find one that sells small lengths however I am hoping they will help me out.