Do Camlock Fittings Leak?

Posted by Action Sealtite on

The whole point of camlock fittings is to ensure a secure connection between hoses and pipes, but how secure is secure? Do they leak? In this article, we take a closer look at how camlocks are designed, and a number of different factors that could cause them to leak. 

So, do camlock fittings leak? Camlock fittings are designed to be leakproof, therefore should not leak. However, there are a number of factors that can impact this and result in leaks, such as the material of the camlock, liquid temperature, pressure, and whether or not it was installed correctly.

Read on to learn more about the different factors that can cause camlocks to leak, and how to avoid it.

Are Camlocks Leakproof?

Camlocks are designed to be leakproof, but there is no guarantee that they will actually be leakproof in all scenarios; there are a number of factors that must be considered when attaching the camlock fittings for them to work effectively, e.g. pressure, temperature, materials and torque. 

That being said, when everything is attached correctly and manufacturer recommendations are followed, camlocks should be leakproof due to their design; their male adapter and female coupler mating provide a quick leak-free seal without the need for any additional tools or materials.

How Do Camlock Fittings Work?

Camlock fittings work, providing a leakproof seal, by connecting a male adaptor to a female coupler. Once in place, closing the external cam arms, or handles, pulls the grooved adaptor firmly against the sealing gasket in the female end, locking the fitting in place and creating a leakproof seal.

What Might Cause a Camlock to Leak?

As previously mentioned, whilst camlocks are designed to be leakproof, there are a few things that could cause them to leak, such as:

Exceeding Maximum Pressure

Different camlock products come with individual recommendations as to which materials can be passed through the product at a recommended pressure. It’s important to review these recommendations as exceeding the maximum pressure could cause damage to the product and cause leaks.

Exceeding Maximum Temperature

Likewise, exceeding the maximum temperature that the manufacturer recommends could also cause leaks due to damage to the sealing mechanism. Be sure to choose the correct material camlock for the temperature of your liquids.

Using the Wrong Materials

Camlocks are available for purchase in a number of materials (e.g. stainless steel, aluminium, polypropylene), but not all of these materials are suitable for use with all liquids that may be transferred (e.g. chemicals, or liquids at extreme temperatures). This could cause damage to the camlock system and result in leaks, therefore it’s important to choose the correct camlock for your needs.

Download our sister company’s ultimate guide to camlocks to learn more about this.

Exceeding Maximum Torque

When connecting the camlocks, it’s important to not exceed the maximum torque as you tighten. Camlocks are designed in such a way that tools are not required to install camlocks; using tools to install camlocks could use too much torque and result in damage to the system which may cause leaks.

How to Take Care of Your Camlocks and Avoid Leaks

As improperly installed and used camlocks can result in leaks, it’s imperative that you care for your camlocks. We recommend that, in order to prolong the life of your products, you have a robust maintenance schedule that allows you to check your camlocks regularly; camlocks have moving parts that are subject to wear and tear. As such, they should be regularly checked and worn parts should be replaced where needed. 

But, before you even get to maintenance and repairs, you need to select the right tool for the job.

Selecting the Right Camlock Fitting

If you want a secure seal on your camlock fittings, you first and foremost need to ensure you select the right fitting(s). 

There are a few main factors to take into account when choosing camlock fittings; size, temperature (of the liquid), pressure and material. 



First, determine the size of the camlock you need; they are typically available from ½” through to 4”. But, bear in mind that male and female couplings are slightly different sizes to allow them to couple. Male adaptors are measured on the outside, whereas female couplers  are measured on the inside. 


Camlocks are available in different materials, which can handle different temperatures. For example


Likewise, the different materials can also handle different pressures:


As well as considerations for temperature and pressure, different materials also have different characteristics which could impact leakage:

  • Stainless steel - corrosion resistant and suitable for a wide variety of materials to be passed through, as well as being strong, durable, and thermodynamic resistant.
  • Polypropylene - Chemically stable and suitable for acids, alkalis and organic solutions. Lightweight, low cost and easy to use.
  • Aluminium - Cost effective, good plasticity, and good electrical and thermal conductivity. Best suited to freshwater mixtures.


Learn more about the different types of camlock fittings and their uses in our recent blog, What are the Different Types of Camlock Fittings? where we go into much more detail about what the different types are, what they’re used for, and various factors to consider when choosing.

Quality Camlocks with CamlockFittings

CamlockFittings is your go-to provider of quality camlock fittings. We stock a wide range of adaptors, couplers and dust plugs/caps in sizes ranging from ½” through to 4” in stainless steel, polypropylene and aluminium. Take a look today or get in touch with us for more information, help or advice on selecting the right products for your needs. 

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