When was the last time you checked your washing machine hoses? If you’re like most, this is a task that is frequently overlooked. Since they are barely visible (located behind the washing machine), it’s out of sight, out of mind. The same holds true for dishwashing hoses. According to State Farm Insurance Statistics, washing machine hose failures cause approximately $170 million in damages to homes in the United States & Canada.
Washing machine hoses hold 70 pounds of pressure. The rubber hoses weaken with age and do eventually burst if not replaced. In some cases, the hose connections can start to leak, giving an advanced warning sign. In other cases, there are no advance warnings and a sudden burst results. A bursting hose can displace 650 gallons of water per hour. If your home is unoccupied for 30 hours, this equates to 20,000 gallons – the average size of an inground swimming pool!
There are some preventative measures that you can take, some better than others.
Visibly check your hoses and their connections on a regular basis. Inspect for bulging hoses and corroding connections.
Shut off both supply valves to the hot & cold water, when not in use. . This is only as good as your memory to turn the valves off, each time you have finished using the washing machine.
Install a Universal shut off valve. One lever at the water supply shuts off water to both the hot & cold hoses. . Again, this is only as good as your memory to pull the lever off, each time you have finished using the washing machine.
Replace the rubber hoses with ‘No-Burst’ hoses. These hoses are reinforced with steel braiding and prevents bursting. However, these are not lifetime replacements. They can still wear out, especially at the connections.
Invest in a washing machine leak alarm, like this Washing Machine FloodStop. This device installs between the water supply and the washing machine hoses. It is connected to a sensor located at the bottom of the washing machine. If water is detected on your floor, the device automatically shuts off the water supply and an alarm is sounded. The average cost is $150… a great investment, I might add!
Remember, using one or more of the above measures can save you a lot of time, money and heart-ache!