While no hose is completely immune from suffering a failure, there are key steps you can take to minimize your risk of a flooded home.
- Regularly inspect your hoses. Check for rusty connectors (indicates the possibility for a blowout) or for bulges in the reinforced rubber or stainless steel wrapped hoses (an indication of water escaping the inner protective layer and moving to the outer layers). Often the weakest point on the hose is at the connector where the different materials are crimped together. The normal pulsing of the water turning on and off during the wash cycle causes the hose to "jerk" leading to possible wear and tear within this hose connector itself.
- Many guidelines recommend replacing reinforced rubber and steel braided hoses every 5 years. Some service technicians I have spoken with recommend replacing them every 3 – 5 years. An Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) study showed that failure rates increased dramatically in hoses that were more than five years old; the average age of failed hoses was 8.7 years.
- All hoses, whether reinforced rubber or stainless steel braided, are susceptible to leaking and should be monitored.
- Hoses manufactured by FLOOCHEK are constructed in a manner similar to that of hydraulic hoses and have been used with great success. They carry a 20 year warranty and may be well worth the additional expense.
If you have decided to replace your hoses, the process is simple. If you can change a garden hose, you can do the job. Here are couple installation tips.
- Hand tighten the connections first, then use a wrench to make about a quarter turn more while being cautious not to over tighten.
- Avoid sharp bends or kinks when installing the hoses. Be especially careful near the connectors. Allow 3 – 4 inches of clearance between the wall and your washing machine to prevent pinching or crimping.
For those that are very preventive minded, there are systems like FLOODSTOP which actually incorporate a water sensor that will detect any water leak. If a leak is detected, it will sound an alarm and automatically shut off the water valve. The reviews on this product are mixed, but many people are very pleased with its performance.
SO DON'T NEGLECT THOSE HOSES. DILIGENT INSPECTIONS MAY SOME DAY SAVE YOU THOUSANDS IN REPAIR COSTS.