Flooded Home Caused by Washing Machine Hoses
Many property owners evaluate potential disasters well in advance of an occurrence and take protective measures like purchasing property insurance. Unfortunately, most aren’t aware of the potential problem of faulty washing machine hoses. In the case of residential property, even a single failed machine hose can result in a flooded room or entire house! It will follow the path of least resistance through walls, down frames, and even into electrical wiring.
For commercial properties that have several washing machines on the premises, this can present an even greater concern, as a single hose can lead to major flooding overnight, resulting in a costly disaster. Sadly, the “warning signs” of an impending flood aren’t always obvious.
Whether or not you’ve personally run into this problem before, understand that faulty washing machine hoses are among the top five sources of home insurance claims involving flooding. That’s a serious issue, and one worth considering if you want to protect your property.
- Supply lines are always “on,” and the amount of water they can produce is significant. Some have rated it as high as 650 gallons per hour, which is an incredible amount of water if the problem is neglected for that duration. A good sized swimming pool holding 10,000 gallons of water would be filled in about 15 hours!
- Water pressure in the hose is the same as in a faucet, but those faucets only have to deal with a set length of material to transport water. Low quality construction or simple time, usage, and age. Can cause a hose to deteriorate over time.
- Rubber hoses deteriorate over time, including the rubber that’s used to make the hoses themselves and the connects and fitting attached to those hoses. Failure rates for washing machine hoses goes up significantly if the hoses are older than five years, with 80% of breaks occurring before a hose reaches the ten-year mark!
What You Can Do:
- Replace older hoses, and faulty hoses, ASAP. Do not wait to replace hoses that show obvious signs of degradation. A flood could happen while you’re asleep, resulting in, at the very least, 4-6 hours of unchecked, unregulated water entering a major area of your home. We recommend you replace your washer hoses today, and then periodically every few years. There’s no reason to gamble with flooding when it can be prevented. Inspect those hoses every month. Both the hot and cold lines should be examined for visible damage, including bulges, cracks, any discoloration, bending in the line, and more. Leaks are a more obvious sign and warrant immediate replacement.
- Install an emergency shutoff kit, which will prevent a catastrophic leak. They come with a water sensor, so if a leak is detected, an alarm goes off and the water supply valves automatically close. They are battery powered, and can be installed in about 10 minutes.
- Install stainless steel braided hoses. Braided supply lines start with an extruded core of PVC tubing. The core is then over-braided with polyester yarn and another layer of PVC material. The final layer consists of stainless steel braid to form a strong, yet flexible supply line. These are more expensive than rubber hoses but an extra $15 could save you ten thousand dollars in a flood disaster.