Rubber Washing Machine Hoses Cause $150 Million in Property Damage Annually

Quick, what is inexpensive to replace but causes more than $150 million in property damage in North America each year? Believe it or not, the answer if faulty rubber washing machine hoses.

Insurance experts confirm these astronomical figures, which are the end result when rubber washing machine hoses break and wreak havoc in homes. Consumers can avoid serious water damage that can occur to furnishings, floor coverings and keepsakes by checking or having a plumbing technician check the hoses periodically.

In Ohio alone, the average water loss claim was $2,729.99 between 1997 and 2001, said Dennis B. Kratochvil of Debord Plumbing, Heating & Cooling in Chardon, Ohio. Simply changing washing machine hoses on a regular basis can avoid a major catastrophe.

It is important that people examine washing machine hoses on a regular basis and keep track of when those inspections were conducted by writing down the date. A licensed plumbing technician can check to see if hose connections are secure, including the drain hose, and survey the hoses for signs of weakness such as blisters or soft spots. The plumber will also make sure there is at least four inches of space between the water connection and the back of the washing machine to reduce the risk of kinking the hoses.

Hoses can vary in thickness and type. There are also hoses on the market that feature pre-formed metal elbows at the ends that attach to the washing machine and prevent the potential for kinking. Metallic, flexible reinforced hoses are much sturdier and less likely to break over long periods and are recommended by many plumbers. They cost more but also have a much longer lifespan.

Manufacturers recommend that standard rubber washing machine hoses be replaced at least every five years, but insurance officials say it should be done every two years.

Hose recommendations and other products, such as water hammer arrestors that lessen the chances of washing machine hose breakage can be obtained by scheduling a visit from Debord Plumbing, Heating & Cooling at 440-729-1374, 440-286-6002, or 440-543-1151. If there isn't a single-handled valve located near the washing machine, you might want to consider having the plumber install one to make it easier to turn off the water supply to the machine.