This will come across as a silly question but I cannot open up the hose clamp for my dishwasher's drain tube. I need to unhook/open the tube, clean its head, then reattach. The metal clamp simply won't open, when I use screwdriver, the screw simply won't come out, it just becomes loose in its place but there is no way to take it out. I'm not sure how pliers would help either because I tried pulling the screw out and it didn't work either. enter image description here NOTE: I need to use the same hose , so I cannot break this hose. It's FAR beyond my expertise to change the whole tube, I'm just trying to clean the head to open it up. So I need to be able to reattach it.

Thank you very much for your help.

UPDATE: Sorry for my bad wording: I don't need to reuse/keep the clamp, I just need to keep/maintain the tube/hose because changing it requires taking out the whole dishwasher. My dilemma is cutting the clamp without damaging the hose now.

The END SOLUTION: Lots of great answers, comments and suggestions. I ended up actually forcing (force pulling) the tube/hose, and took it out. Once it was out, it was easy to just slip the shot clamp!

  • added picture to the question Nov 8, 2016 at 14:02
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    The screw doesn't actually come out, your text implies you think that the screw does come out. Turning the screw causes the clamp to open, the more you turn the more it opens.
    – Tyson
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:15
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    Aside: I'd very highly recommend using a nut driver (usually 1/4") rather than a flathead screw driver. I've seen people injure themselves several times when the screw driver slips out and cuts their hand), and either way it takes at least twice as long to do vs using a nut driver.
    – gregmac
    Nov 8, 2016 at 14:36
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    @BeginnerDBA When you say it goes from "tight to loose" I think what you mean to say is the resistance to your turning it alternates from some to almost nothing. This suggests that the worm is not able to move the band. That is the screw is slipping over the slots instead of pushing them. You might want to get one of these at the store (cheap) and take a look at how they work. If the threads aren't engaging, you might be able to simply pry it loose. Another option is to squeeze the housing closer to the pipe and then try turning. That might engage the threads.
    – JimmyJames
    Nov 8, 2016 at 19:26
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    @BeginnerDBA Another thing is that the rubber piece that is connecting the hose to the waste should be easy to replace. It's not part of the hose coming from the dishwasher. If you damage it, just take it in to the hardware store with you. These are inexpensive.
    – JimmyJames
    Nov 8, 2016 at 19:28

6 Answers 6


Based on other answers and comments, I'm hoping I can provide some help by bringing together some of the relevant information into one answer.

  • How it works

As @user1289451 pointed out, the "screw" is technically a worm gear. However, instead of the threads on the worm turning a gear, it is advancing the band by engaging the slots and moving the band forward and backwards. Because one side of the band is secured, then this forward and backwards motion results in widening or narrowing the band around the hose.

  • Loosen the connections

It sounds like the screw is turning, but if something seems seized anywhere, pick up some PB Blaster from your local hardware store. It will help free frozen joints. If you are screwing the worm drive and nothing is happening, then the threads or the band are so rusted out that the threads are not making contact with the band. As such, the only thing holding the clamp together would likely be rust/corrosion. Spray PB Blaster into the housing and let it sit for a while (check can for durations). When you come back, attempt to use pliers/flat head screwdriving to get leverage on the band itself using the slots and simply pull it apart.

  • Use a nut driver (To loosen it)

I would also second what @gregmac said in his comment. When loosening this, it is highly recommended to use a nut driver (or an appropriately sized socket if it's not 1/4") to loosen this. Between slippage and stripping the screwdriver slot, a nut driver will save you lots of headache. However, when you reattach the existing or a new hose clamp, be careful when using your nut driver because it is very easy to overtighten the clamp, possibly damaging the metal/plastic/copper hose/pipe to which you are clamping.

  • Replace the clamp

I'm not entirely clear on why you need to resuse the clamp as you can replace just that part with a part from a local hardware store. In fact, if you are unclear about its operation, I would recommend a trip to your local hardware store and looking at hose clamps in the store and playing around with them so you understand what how it operates under normal conditions. I would recommend replacing this if at all possible to avoid issues if service of the same connection is required in the future. If you need to cut the clamp, there are several ways to do it. If you want to avoid damaging the hose at all possible costs, then a hacksaw through the top of the wormgear housing might be your best bet. Once you've broken through to the worm itself, use a pair of pliers to bend/twist/open up the housing so that the band moves freely (since it will have not resistance against the worm anymore). You could attempt to cut the band, but this has a much higher chance of damaging the hose.

  • Pipe replacement

If you get to the point where you need to replace the metal pipe itself, or even any portion of the dishwasher hose, look into using Pex piping. I know it seems scary, but Pex makes plumbing much simpler and with a little research you should be able to replace part or all of the pipe if necessary. The damaged section can be cut back and a piece of PEX can be cut and inserted in the line and secured with a crimp clamp. With a little care, almost any size pipe or hose can be replaced with PEX.

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    Hi Stephen, thank you for the great answer (I wish I could vote it up but I don't have enough rep LOL), I don't want to use the same clamp, I meant I need to use the same tube!! (because changing the tube would require me to take out the dishwasher). And honestly, I'm not sure how to cut the clamp without damaging the tube. Nov 8, 2016 at 15:54
  • I'll explore the hacksaw option, but I really cannot risk/afford to cut the hose. Thanks so much again for the great summary and lots of helpful hints in it Nov 8, 2016 at 15:56
  • @BeginnerDBA, if you use the hacksaw to cut into the top of the worm gear housing and open it up, you reduce the risk of damaging the hose, because as soon as you get through the first layer of the worm gear housing, the housing can be disassembled. The worm itself will be between your saw and the hose at all times while cutting, so as long as you don't slip way off the housing (just cut slowly and carefully) you should have a greatly reduced risk of cutting the hose.
    – StephenH
    Nov 8, 2016 at 17:02
  • The recommendation to use PEX pipe in this answer is potentially confusing. This is a dishwasher discharge hose. If it requires replacement it should be replaced with the replacement part from the dishwasher manufacturer, or with a universal discharge hose available at a hardware store. PEX piping is used for supply lines, and would not be an appropriate or code approved choice here.
    – mfarver
    Nov 9, 2016 at 0:01
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    Lots of great comments and suggestions. I ended up actually forcing (force pulling) the tube/hose, and took it out. Once it was out, it was easy to just slip the shot clamp! Nov 26, 2016 at 0:35

Hose clamps like this are made to clamp, but they are not made to un-clamp so easily - instead, as you have observed, the worm-drive screw tends to un-screw out of its housing when turned anti-clockwise.

The way I loosen the clamp in this situation is to first snug the clamp using the screw - we are not wanting to make the clamp tighter, but simply to get a baseline of the worm-drive screw in its housing. Next, loosen the screw one or two turns, so it is loose, but not falling out of its housing. Finally, and this is why my response is the correct answer, you need to use slip-joint pliers ("water pump pliers", "Channelock pliers") to squeeze the head of the worm-drive screw into its housing, which will have the effect of pushing the clamping band open (instead of pulling it tighter). You will need to repeat this sequence (loosen clamp screw couple of turns, squeeze with pliers) until the clamp is as loose as you like. Note that I have used this method for years on dishwasher hoses such as yours and various hoses under the hoods of my cars and on motorcycles. No chemicals, no hacksaws, just tools & technique. And sincere appreciation to the handyman who showed me this trick when I was a wee lad. :)

  • thanks so much for the reply, I will try this now as it is much more convenient than hacksaw Nov 9, 2016 at 2:02
  • Yes, try to push the clamp out while turning the screw counter-clockwise. Or maybe just wigging it while turning it would loosing the clamp.
    – BrianK
    Nov 9, 2016 at 8:08

One of several things is probably happening:

  1. The clamp has corroded or gunked in place, so you'll have to continue turning the screw until opening force is applied to the grooves cut into the clamp band, popping the band's bond to itself and the pipe.

  2. The screw threads are stripped and not engaging the grooves in the band. In this case, a rotary tool and cutoff wheel are your friend.

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    All that ^^, but you might try gripping the 'tail' of the clamp and pushing it (or tapping it) back toward the screw mechanism. You'll need to replace the clamp. Nov 8, 2016 at 14:32
  • @AloysiusDefenestrate thanks for the comment. So I'll have to "tighten" the screw and try to push it? Sorry I'm not sure what to do. You could also add your response as an "answer" here too. THanks Nov 8, 2016 at 14:48
  • No -- leave the screw loose and tap the tail, because the screw appears to be stripped. If I get more time, I'll go into detail about how the screw is a worm drive on the band. Nov 8, 2016 at 14:50
  • You can also cut it with a file. A junior hacksaw would work too but would be more likely to damage the hose end.
    – Chris H
    Nov 8, 2016 at 16:23

This type of clamp utilizes a worm gear. You see the slots in the band? The threads of the screw turn into those slots and move the band in or out tightening or loosening it. The screw is stationary. It cannot be removed. It just spins in place pushing or pulling the band.

You need to "loosen" the screw by turning it left. Using a nut driver or a socket wrench is better than a screwdriver. Eventually, the band will expand enough that it can move freely on the hose.

If that doesn't happen, the worm gear system is probably shot. Whether that's the screw or the actually slots in the band. In that case, your only option is to cut the band and replace the clamp. They are very inexpensive.

Edit: If you decide to cut it, you could get by with a hacksaw but it will be a pain. I have added some markings to your picture. I would cut along the red line. Once cut, you can just bend the screw assembly over out of the way and the clamp will release.

enter image description here

  • thank you for the answer. So I am using a flat-head screwdriver to turn it to the left, and it just doesn't really do anything. I tried "tapping it" on the tail to make it work, but it still just stays there and the band doesn't move. Could this be due to using a flat-head screwdriver? or is the clamp shot and I need to just cut it? Thank you again Nov 8, 2016 at 15:15
  • @BeginnerDBA: If in doubt, cut the clamp off, its probably a ten cent item at any nearby hardware store (take the cut-off remnants there) Nov 8, 2016 at 15:28
  • @RedGrittyBrick sorry for the bad wording in my question. I don't need the clamp, I have to reuse/maintain/keep the hose/tube. there is no way I could take out a whole dishwasher and replace the tube. Clamp, I just don't know how to cut it without damaing the hose. Nov 8, 2016 at 15:57
  • If the screw is spinning, but the clamping is not opening, the clamp is broken. If you're lucky the clamp isn't too tight and you may be able to pull the hose off with the clamp still on depending on the connection on the pipe. I would try grabbing the hose where the clamp is, twisting it back and forth and pulling it off. If you're lucky, you can work it off the pipe, remove the clamp and replace it with a new one. Nov 8, 2016 at 16:39

You say that the screw goes "from tight to loose", rather than just spinning without seeming to become tighter or looser, which makes me think that it is engaging the slots in the strap, but the strap is frozen to itself or the hose. If this is true, try loosening the screw as far as it will go, holding the screw housing (not the screw!) still with a pair of pliers, and then tapping the head of the screw with a hammer. That might unstick it.


Use an 5/16" socket wrench. gets best leverage and covers the entire nut for torque.

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