Washing Machine Hoses That Don’t Leak
One of our first homes was a small but lovely three bedroom, one bath post World War II single-family dwelling in our hometown. There were three bedrooms, a bath, a kitchen with a dining area and an attached one-car garage. It was pretty simple, but more than adequate.
Once the furniture was in and we had gotten settled our thoughts immediately turned to remodeling. The bathroom was our first target. How could we personalize the bathroom and not spend a lot of money? We knew exactly what to do. A new vanity and top accompanied by a new faucet and a fancier mirror – one with a frame around it. Oh boy!
It was no sooner said than done. Within a week everything was in and fully operational. How nice it was to enjoy the fruits of our labor. All shiny and new. Not long after we began to enjoy our newly remodeled bathroom we would be in for a really big surprise.
We were suddenly awakened in the middle of the night by the most unusual weather condition. The climate in our community has always been dry. One might even say it was very arid. But on this night it had become humid. One might say “extremely” humid. Once our sound sleep had been interrupted it was time to bounce out of bed and reconnoiter. A few steps down the hall and it was pretty apparent that the weather condition we were experiencing didn’t have anything to do with mother nature – and everything to do with a faulty plumbing job.
If you haven’t guessed it by now a plumbing connection exploded and our home was under two-inches of hot water. As we progressed down the hall and our feet began to slosh in the warm water it was obvious that the weather condition was man made. What a mess. Thank God for homeowner’s insurance.
What we learned thirty years ago was that a poor water connection inside a home could be devastating. It is no wonder that folks have become acutely aware of the measures that can be taken to prevent in-home floods.
All you have to do is investigate the places where water is used. Sinks, tubs, showers and toilets are the most obvious ones. With these fixtures the presence of water is pretty obvious. Unfortunately, there is one appliance that uses more water than a sink or a toilet that often gets forgotten – you got it – the clothes washer. This definitely is one appliance that you don’t want to overlook.
Our sink connection burst at the flexible water line located between the wall shutoff valve and the faucet. With a washing machine a similar kind of connection exists between the wall and the washing machine – usually, in the form of a couple of black rubber hoses. Flexible hoses are great for making tough connections easier to assemble, but their flexibility comes with an inherent problem. As the rubber gets older it becomes brittle and will not hold as much pressure. Eventually, even a slight bit of movement can cause an old rubber hose to crack or crumble. So, now that you know what the problem can be, the next step is to consider a solution.
With flexible hoses the big danger is that the hose can burst. To reduce the potential for “hose explosion” all you need to do is change the type of hose at your washing machine, and at sinks throughout your home. We suggest a new type of hose wrapped in braded stainless steel. Here you still have the flexibility that you need to make a tough connection plus the strength of stainless steel – the best of both worlds. These hoses are not expensive, they are not a gimmick and installing them at the various plumbing fixtures throughout your home could prevent an experience like the one we had.
Also, it probably wouldn’t hurt to install a quick shutoff valve as well. With only one lever to operate water can be shut of with “the flick of a wrist”.
By the way, when changing out your old washing machine hoses for new ones you will want to make sure to replace the filter screens that reside at the hose inlet ports on the back of the machine. Here you literally kill two birds with one stone.
Finally, keep in mind that it doesn’t make any difference what type hoses are used to make the connections in your home. When you go on vacation turn the water off at the wall. Once a hose bursts it will run until shut off. If you will be gone for a week then that could mean a serious flood when you return. An ounce of prevention is worth a flood to be cured. And, good luck!