Need a tubing holder thingwhatsit
June 4, 2014 11:33 PM   Subscribe

I need something to hold 2.79mm ID Viton tubing halfway up a rack. OD is about 5mm. I'm pumping water from a large plastic container down into a filter. The pump is on the bench, and the plastic container will be about 30cm above it (pic). I need some way to make sure that the tubing doesn't slither out of the container. I feel that there should be some sort of cable holder that will grip the tubing well enough to keep the tubing up, but still allow me to quickly remove all the tubing for cleaning or rearranging. So far the best thing I've come up with are twisty ties or electrical tape.

The tubing is very flexible, and not particularly slippery, but it has worked it's way out of the containers before (resulting in irreplaceable sample siphoning itself onto the bench, sigh). The pump I use has a channel I can smoosh the tubing into, and in a perfect world, there would be something similar I could mount on the rack.

Added bonus complication, the containers are round, as are racks rods, so things designed to stick on flat surfaces will need an adapter. I could glue something onto the tubing (the pump tubing has little plastic stops glued on that work well), but the glue I use will need to be acid resistant.

Any ideas? Oh, and easily available in Australia too.
posted by kjs4 to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
wire routing clips? From an image search for cable routing clips.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:32 AM on June 5, 2014

Approach 1 is to secure the line. Use some miniature tube clamps to create anchor points on the tubing, then use the anchor points to attach the line to the rack or containers using zip ties, string, wire, etc.

I'd browse your local hardware store to see if they have hose clamps that are small enough, but at 5mm you may have to find the product shelf dedicated to miniature fasteners, or wrap some padding around the tubes to bulk them up a bit. Any micro clamp or clip will do. If the clamp itself doesn't offer a handle to tie things to, you just clamp the support wire/string right in with the tubing.

Approach 2 is to concentrate on securing the end. Find some little rubber cable grommets [see picture top right], or a tube stopper [image search] with hole that you can squeeze onto the ends of the tubing to wind up with something like the picture here; ie. a big rubber, cork, or plastic stopper or disk that won't easily slide along the tube. Then just cut a hole in the lid of your plastic containers that's too small for the stopper.
posted by ceribus peribus at 3:04 AM on June 5, 2014

A small binder clip on the rack and one on the lip of the carboy would be the cheapest, lowest-investment solution. The tubing could either get threaded through the wide end of the clip or through the round end of the moveable bit depending on the exact diameters. If you have access to a machine shop you could even drill the perfectly-sized hole. (I'd probably drill it so it overlaps with an edge to be like the notch you describe on the pump.)

There are cable and tubing clamps but I don't know about availability in Aus. The kind of store that sells your carboys and tubing might know. (In the US I'd say to go to McMaster-Carr, but the shipping is probably terrible for a one dollar part.)
posted by tchemgrrl at 3:24 AM on June 5, 2014

Is there a reason a simple hose clamp won't work?

Maybe use that and some kind of sleeve to keep the hose clamp from damaging the tubing if we are worried about that.
posted by vapidave at 3:43 AM on June 5, 2014

What if you put a binder clip on the rack, then put a bread bag clip on the tubing and pinch the bread bag clip into the binder clip when you want to fasten it?
posted by CathyG at 5:43 AM on June 5, 2014

If you need to take things on and off, I like Velcro cable ties.
posted by advicepig at 7:11 AM on June 5, 2014

Would a hosecock clamp work? Either screwed directly to the top of the container (if the diameters of the container and tubing are close), or with an extension rod to connect to the support frame. Alternately, a small three-prong adjustable clamp connected to the support frame. Either option would require a separate connector part to attach to the frame. Not the cheapest option, but if you're going to be doing this sort of thing a lot maybe worth investing in.
posted by twoporedomain at 9:05 AM on June 5, 2014

This looks like a lab setup. Do you have Parafilm on hand? It's common in most labs and cannot only be used for securing bottle caps but also for jury rigging stuff.
If you don't know it, it's kind of hard to describe. You can cut it with scissors, it clings well to itself and it is stretchy but only has a minimal tendency to contract again. When you wrap it around something round, stetching it continuously, using several turns, you get a pretty tight fit that is easily removed again. (It's not only for the lab, I heard that florists also use it to secure flower arrangements. And here are pictures of somebody using it to seal perfume bottles.)
posted by mmkhd at 9:11 AM on June 5, 2014

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