In Hot Water

When it comes to making a hoop of your own there’s more than one way to connect your polyethylene tubing. While a blow dryer is one way to do it, and the method that I used for quite some time, when the time arrived for me to construct numerous hoops at once I found that the blow dryer and the air heated pipe really dried out my hands, in a rather uncomfortable and sometimes painful way.

At Burning Man last year I took 500 feet of tubing and a box of tape along with me to make up hoops galore to give to people on the playa – and it was there, given the lack of electricity, that I started trying out the boiling water method. Filling up a camp pot with water and sticking it on the stove, not only was I able to connect pipes in what appeared to be a smoother and easier way, I could make dozens and my hands were just as comfortable when I finsihed as when I began. It’s as if the water not only heats the pipe to the temperature needed for it to expand for a connector to be inserted, but the water seems to act as something of a lubricant itself, making the insertion slick, smooth and simple.

I’ve been heating up the ends of my tubing to make hoops using a big ass pot of boiling water on the stove ever since. I find that submerging them for about twenty seconds works best. Leaving the tubing in boiling water for too long could result in the pipe ends melting, warping, making the connection ultimately less than smooth. So the next time you’re making a hoola hoop, think about doing it in the kitchen. If you’re anything like me, you’ll be glad you did!

- Philo Hagen

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6 thoughts on “In Hot Water

  1. silverstar
    August 15, 2006 at 2:25 pm

    I found a heat gun at work, and it does an awesome job! Just 10-20 seconds on the low setting and the tubing is pliable enough to get the connector in.

  2. Xta
    August 15, 2006 at 11:48 pm

    I’m a boiling water fan, too, but with a slight variation: I pour it into a stainless coffee mug, so then I don’t need to stand over steaming hot water!
    The mug keeps the water hot enough to do at least six hoops in one go, and I find 10 seconds is long enough to do the trick!

  3. May 8, 2007 at 6:52 pm

    You Rock Philo! Thanks! I’m making and distributing at cost 150 hoops this month for a non-violence festival here in Richmond, VA where the people can decorate their own hoop. With this hot water method I can set up my camp stove and whip ‘em out on the spot! Happy hooping,
    Joe

  4. Susan James
    August 26, 2007 at 9:42 am

    Hula Hooping is great. I started my own business and now sell hoops in Canada. It is amazing on how many women and men buy these hoops and have a blast hooping.

  5. June 23, 2009 at 7:26 am

    I live in RIchmond, VA. I need a hoop & instgructions. Can someone help me?

  6. Yvonne
    June 19, 2011 at 6:20 am

    I need to heat 200 psi tubing (very thick) and I am assuming that the best length of time for the tubing to be left in the hot water depends on the thickness of the tubing but, though a few different times are mentioned here, nobody mentioned what tubing they were using … I am guessing that people are using 125 – 160 psi. Does anyone know how much longer I should heat 200 psi??

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