Hoses are often the first part to fail on a washing machine, and damage from a burst hose can cost thousands!
Appliances can be expensive, so it’s important to protect this investment with regular maintenance. But sometimes people forget that this maintenance doesn’t just apply to the parts inside the appliance. Exterior components like cords, hoses, drainage lines, and vent pipes may seem like afterthoughts, but they are actually crucial to the proper functioning of your appliance and they need maintenance too! Old washing machine hoses are a particular concern, because a burst hose can result in extremely costly water damage to your property.
What Causes a Washing Machine Hose to Fail
Washing machine hoses are vulnerable because most of them are made from rubber, which naturally loses its flexibility as it ages, becoming brittle and prone to breaking. A phenomenon called “water hammer” exacerbates this problem. Basically, every time the water to the washing machine gets shut off, a shockwave bounces off the shut-off point and travels back through the hose, and potentially into the water pipe as well. This can happen several times per load of laundry, because the machine turns the water on and off multiple times in order to complete the different wash and rinse cycles. Over time, these shock waves can weaken the rubber in the hoses as well as the connectors attaching the hoses to the faucet and the machine.
Buy the Right Hoses and Replace them Often
You can reduce the risk of a washing machine hose failing and dumping water all over your home by always buying top-quality hoses. You may even wish to upgrade to a stainless steel braided hose instead of a rubber hose, as this type of hose is much less likely to fail. Regardless of what type of hose you buy, you should inspect it regularly for signs of wear. The hose should be replaced whenever it looks like it’s weakening, or every four to five years, whichever comes first.
Other Tips for Preventing Burst Hose Disasters
Most washing machine manuals tell you to turn off the water faucets whenever you’re not using the washer, and this is an excellent way to prevent burst hose disasters from occurring while the machine is not in use. However, it’s not very convenient and most people forget to do it. At a bare minimum, you should always make a point of turning off the faucets before going on a trip to avoid coming home to a nasty surprise. Installing an emergency shut off kit can also prevent flooding due to burst hoses.