Oetiker clamps are a great way to secure beerline and airline to hose fittings in a beer system. Whether it's splicing beer line together, attaching airline to couplers, or another connection. Oetiker clamps are the preferred way to attach fittings and line together in Draft Beer Systems.
I am going to talk about oetiker clamps, where to use them, the specific sizes to use and where to source oetiker hose clamps.
After you read this blog you'll know how to use oetikers in a draft beer system. So Let’s Go…
Oetiker Clamps Tool
Before you can actually use Oetiker clamps for connections. You’re going to need to have a pair of oetiker pliers.
You can find these pliers on Amazon above. I have been using the smaller blue pair on most installs. I just like the way the feel personally.
Another option is the large Oetiker plier that is easier to crimp oetiker clamps picture below. I use both and go back and forth between the two. The nice thing about the larger pliers is it makes crimping really easy, and you don't need as much hand strength for it.
So let’s start with main sizes we use in a draft beer system install. We will start with the 13.3 oetiker clamp.
Oetiker Clamp Sizes
This is the smallest oetiker I use in a draft beer system. I use smaller oetikers for liquor systems but that is a different story. 13.3’s are used for attaching high pressure air hose 1/4" I.D. to stainless fittings.
By the way the size of the oetiker can be found on the side of the oetiker clamp if you aren’t sure what size it is.
Here's a scenario where I would use 13.3's. Let’s say we are running ¼ “ braided high pressure tubing from our C02 source or primary regulator. We also need to feed our secondary regulators, and let’s say there are multiple regulators to connect.
To do this we would need to T the hose to the regulator and continue on to the next regulator in the series. The 13.3 works great here. It also works on ¼” braided tubing and beer fittings like T’s, reducers or splicers.
Pretty much any tubing that is ¼” I.D. and ⅜” O.D. I use 13.3’s for attachments.
13.3's also work when reducing the beer trunkline down to the 3/16” I.D. chokeline. This is the type of vinyl line you use to add restriction under a beer tower, or setting up a direct draw in a cooler system connection. 13.3’s are perfect for these situations.
14.0’s are one of the more commonly used oetikers in a draft system. They're used on beer trunkline, or ⅜ I.D. barrier tubing. These trunk lines are primarily used on longer runs over 50’ in remote systems. We use these oetikers for all the splicing, reducing, and teeing off when it comes to ⅜” I.D barrier tubing and fittings.
On our cooler kit sets we use in the beer walk-in cooler all of the F.O.B.s get 14.0's on the supply side connecting to the Beer Trunk Line.
For our Glycol Chiller hookups we will use 14.0’s to attach the glycol supply and return lines to a glycol chiller.
I don’t use too many of these in draft beer system installs, but I use a few of them. The airline coming off of a primary c02 regulator is a place to use these.
We will use a ⅜” I.D. High pressure gas line coming off the primary regulator and will reduce the air line to ¼” before connecting to the secondary regulators.
Depending on the size of the air manifolds in the beer cooler that feed our beer couplers. This could be a place for 15.7’s, but it depends on the airline we get for that. Sometimes 15.7 aren’t big enough and I’ll step up to a 16.2. It’s the same for the air hose attachment, and you need to be aware of it.
15.7's and 16.2's can be interchangeable sometimes, and it really comes down to what type of air tubing that is used and the hose fittings off equipment. You'll see when you're making connections. So it's always good to have these two sizes in your tool kit.
This is another size clamp that is used a lot. In the beer cooler specifically. When I attach the beer product line from the beer pump to the beer coupler. I’ll use a ⅜” I.D. Vinyl line to make these connections. Also anytime we are using ⅜” I.D. Vinyl is when I’ll use 17.0 oetikers.
How To Remove Oetiker Clamps
There are two ways to remove oetiker clamps. One is by using the side clamp on the oetiker pliers. Hold the pliers flat with that side above the tagged end of the oetiker and slip the right part of the clamp under the tagged end.
When this happens the oetiker will loosen up and you can pull the clamp completely off.
The second way is by cutting the top part of the clamp by squeezing the oetiker on the step until it breaks. Either way work it just depends on your preference. I use both all the time.
Where To Buy Oetiker Clamps
You can buy them off of Amazon in little kits that come with a mixture of sizes. If you are only going to need a 10 or less of each size I’d recommend getting them from Micro Matic. I put links into each of the sizes above to click on.
If you are looking at a bunch of them I’d recommend Foxx Equipment. Foxx is a wholesaler that will send the sizes in 100 quantity bags. Remember the pliers are sold separately and you will want the pliers with front and side jaws, especially if you’re a draft technician.
Overall oetiker hose clamps are great to have even if you aren’t going to use them in a draft beer setting. They are some of the most reliable hose clamps available, and worth investing in. I’ll take these over the warm or hose clamps any day. However, I know the oetikers are a little challenging to find compared to the worm clamps.