Leaking washing machine hoses


It’s quite amazing that a 5¢ hose washer can cause $15,000 damage, but it can. Recently, a client of mine took possession of his brand new home. The laundry pair wasn’t included in the purchase of the home so he was off to a local supplier to buy them. His purchase included delivery and installation. In the case of the washing machine it included the water supply connections.


Within a few days of the purchase, the appliance company delivered the goods, placed them and installed them. Unfortunately the cold water supply line was connected without using a rubber washer. The result was a slow but steady leak. As happenstance would have it, the delivery was made the very same day as the owner embarked on a two week trip. The owner returned to some pretty hefty water damage.

Fortunately, instances like this are scarce. Burst supply hoses however are more common and they have the potential to cause significant damage. When the supply valve is open, the hose is under pressure. A failure in the hose at 70 pounds pressure can release as much as 650 gallons an hour. That would be enough water to fill a 10’ x 10’ room with a foot of water. That’s why we inspect them during an inspection.

The lifespan of a rubber supply hose can be influenced by chlorine content, water pressure and the bend in the hose. When the shut-off valves are left on, and the conditions are right, the constant water pressure can have the potential for hose fatigue and bursting. Most new washing machines are shipped with the familiar black rubber hoses. If you think about how your washing machine hoses are subjected to high-pressure water day after day, you can see how important regular inspection can be.

A good option is to install braided supply lines. Stainless-steel-braid washing machine hoses are encased in a woven metal sleeve that help prevents weak spots in the rubber from developing into leaks. They can be purchased at most home centers, hardware stores and plumbing supply outlets. They are more resistant to any cuts or twists in comparison to the rubber hoses.

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About the Author

When you need advice or guidance with DIY home improvement and repairs, Hugh Cairns can help you with the answers.

Home improvements can be rewarding, turn your home into a nicer more comfortable place to live, and increase its value.

Whether you are renovating your kitchen, converting a loft, giving a room a lick of paint or making improvements to your home’s energy efficiency, this column is here to guide you with useful information and key things to remember.

Do you have a renovation question or concern? Please feel free to send Hugh your questions. Contact him through www.subject2homeinspections.com

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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