As the weather turns cooler and inside projects become more attractive, why not replace those old appliance hoses. It’s easy to take them for granted until, when you least expect it, one burst. If not caught quickly, an appliance hose failure can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
Consider your humble washing machine: According to the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS), washing-machine failures cost an average of more than $5,000, and faulty hoses are responsible for more than half of those failures. You can take steps to defuse these ticking time bombs — or at least make them less likely to go off. In addition to washing machines, many household appliances including ice makers, dishwashers, and water treatment systems have hoses and tubes that should be checked. The IBHS recommends taking the following precautions:
- Replace rubber hoses with reinforced steel-braided hoses
- Check hoses frequently for blisters, worn tubing, stress cracks, and loose connections
- Replace hoses every five years, even if there is no obvious wear
- Periodically clean dishwasher filters to keep food particles out of the drainage hose
In addition to checking appliance hoses regularly and replacing them when needed, there are monitoring systems available that can automatically shut off your water supply in the event of a failure. Some detect leaks with moisture indicators while others monitor water usage for unusual activity. When away from your home for an extended period, consider turning off the main water supply to prevent potential water damage.
To further protect you, your homeowners insurance may cover certain damage that results from appliance hose failures. But, it all depends on the circumstances of your situation and on your specific policy. Help protect your home and avoid the hassle and expense of a flooded house by taking precautions now. If your plumbing comfort level is not high, contact a local plumber to have the hoses replaced.