When you think of potential flooding problems in your home you may think this can just happen from broken pipes but many homeowners do not realize that your washing machine hoses are a disaster waiting to happen. Burst hoses can cause flooding in your home and major water damage. Burst washing machine hoses are one of the most common causes of catastrophic water damage in homes.
Why do hoses fail?
These hoses can fail for a number of reasons. One of the most common causes is traditional rubber hoses. These rubber hoses lose their flexibility over time and are subject to cracks, leaks, bubbling, and bursting. However, rubber hoses aren’t just the reason washing machine hoses fail. Most hoses will eventually fail from normal wear and tear. Just think about the water pressure that runs through these hoses constantly. This is the same pressure as other faucets in your home. Plus every time the washing machine shuts off the water, a shockwave is sent through the water pipes. This is commonly known as a water hammer.
Eventually, the water pressure will break the hose or the connection forcing water out at full pressure. Just imagine you suddenly hear a pop from your laundry room and walk in to find water pouring out from the drain. How much water exactly? In most cases in residential homes, water will pour out from a break like this at approximately 650 gallons per hour. If you’re doing the math that’s 6 gallons per minute. Plus here’s the real danger, those supply lines to the washing machine are always on. So water will pour from a broken hose until someone notices and turns of the main water supply in your home; if you’re not home, that can be a lot of water damage.
Inspect washing machine hoses
Now that you know the damage that can happen, how do you prevent this type of water damage? First, you should inspect your hoses every few months. Look for the signs below:
- Damaged Hoses – look for blisters, bubbles, cracks, discoloration or any signs that the hoses are unraveling. If you see any of these signs replace right away.
- Leaks – Look for moisture at the connections, and signs of leaks like rust or discoloration. If you see any of these leaks you should replace the hoses to prevent a burst hose.
- Positioning – Look for kinks and crimps. Ensure there is at least 4 inches from the machine and the connections. If you notice that your washing machine is off balance and moves a lot during operation it is a good idea to check the hoses frequently. The movement can place added stress on the hoses and connections.
Replacing Washing Machine hoses:
It is recommended that you replace your washing machine hoses every 5 years, or anytime you notice any of the signs above. Rubber washing machine hoses should be replaced with stainless steel braided hoses. They are much more resistant to bursting, and they are fairly inexpensive compared to the potential cost of a flood. A professional can install these for you.
While it sounds simple, we do recommend you have a professional plumber replace your hoses. The process involves moving the washing machine and ensuring that there is no water in the lines, so there is potential for water damage. Also, if they aren’t installed properly they may be prone to leaking, or could fail or burst.
Install a water hammer arrestor
A professional plumber can install a water hammer arrestor which is a device that controls the water pressure pulse generated from sudden water interruptions. Which is exactly what happens when your washing machine finishes a cycle. This can reduce the stress on the hoses.
If you have questions about replacing your hoses or would like to schedule an appointment to replace your hoses please contact our office.