The front of your washing machine is within your immediate visibility on a regular basis, but how often do you look at or check the hoses that supply hot and cold water to your machine? If you are like most people, your hoses are not something you think about until they fail. But that is the last thing you want. A failed hose can leave a huge mess, cause water damage and lead to pricey repairs. Washing machine hose issues are a leading cause of home insurance claims. Luckily, a quick check can prevent a big mess and routine maintenance can save you tons of time and money.
Figuring out if your hoses are in good shape is fairly straightforward. You want to inspect your hoses and see if there are any leaks, bulges or cracks. While you are looking at your hoses, make sure that your washing machine has at least four inches clearance from the wall to prevent kinking and damage to the washer hose.
Another important tip is to know how and where to turn off your washer valves. If a washer hose does burst, you can minimize the damage and mess by turning the water off as soon as you can. You also never want to leave the house while your washer is running.
If you do find that your hoses have leaks, bulges or cracks you will want to replace them right away. Do not wait! If your hoses are more than three years old, they should also be replaced. Arch Plumbing recommends stainless steel washer hoses to avoid any leaks or deterioration that rubber hoses can have. Rubber loses its flexibility after a while and being subjected to water hammer over and over will cause the hose to eventually fail. Water hammer is the effect of the washing machine turning off the water and sending a shock wave through the water pipes. You can install a water hammer arrestor at the valve that will protect the pipes downstream from the valve. But it does nothing to protect the rubber hose between the valve and the washing machine from water hammer.
Here are some other useful tips for your washer and hoses:
1) Turn off the water supply when not in use
The manufacturers of washing machines actually recommend you do this in their instructions. Here is an actual excerpt from a Maytag washing machine user manual:
2) Install an emergency shutoff kit
As mentioned above, turning off the water when a hose fails will save you a big headache. Installing an emergency shutoff kit can prevent a catastrophic leak. These kits come with a water sensor that triggers an alarm if a leak is detected. It will then close the water supply valves automatically. The kits run on batteries and can be installed in roughly 10 minutes.
If you have questions or need help with your washing machine hoses, please contact Arch Plumbing. We are here to help!
Arch Plumbing has been in the service business since 2008 providing quality plumbing services.