lost SockMost of us rarely look behind our washing machine to see what’s there. There usually are a few dust balls, that lost sock, and a toy or two. But there is also a hidden danger lurking back there that homeowners are not informed about. That is those vinyl or plastic hoses connecting the water supply to the washing machine. These are the hoses that come with the new machine and have a life cycle of less than 10 years on average. As they age, they lose their strength and leaks develop (fig. 2).  A leak in one of these hoses can easily spew out 500 gallons of water an hour which would quickly flood a first or second floor laundry room or an entire basement. This could easily become a catastrophic loss for a homeowner.

Worn hose

fig. 2 A Future Leak

Some of the statistics indicate that washing machine leaks are one of the top 10 water losses insurance companies are involved in. One in 15 of these losses occur when the home is unoccupied. The homeowner is on vacation, out for the evening or at a child’s activity. In over 75% of the cases the washing machine hoses (which came with the washer) were less than 11 years old. Many laundry rooms have floor drains which seldom get used and  plugged strainers or partial plugged drain lines. These cannot handle a potential leak of 500 gallons per hour. Some laundry rooms only have a drain pan under the washing machine. These can also have issues with restricted drainage capacity and they don’t even protect the hoses which are not over the drain pan.

fig. 3  Floodsafe

fig. 3 Floodsafe

What are some of the options for the homeowner? One of the best options is to turn off your water at the meter if you are going to be away from the house for several days. This will protect you when you are gone from leaks at the washing machine and other parts of the house.

Specifically for the washing machine the hoses should be replaced every 5 years. Today we have available stainless steel hoses with a patented “Floodsafe” option (fig.2). Be cautious of bargain brand hoses without this feature. They may be more prone to leaks than your old hoses and don’t have the “Floodsafe” option. We also have available easy to operate shutoff valves for your washing machine water supply (fig. 3). For the best protection we have the patented “Intelliflow” device (fig. 4) that shuts the water off automatically unless the washing machine is operating.

fig. 4 Valve

fig. 4 Valve

Yet another leak area at the washing machine is the drain hose. Although these don’t wear out as quickly as the water supply hoses, they do come loose from the drain piping and flood the laundry area or the drain line can become clogged and prevent the water from flowing properly. Check it regularly.

Contact us for more information on these safety options.  If your washing machine hoses are 5 years or older it may be time to consider replacing them with one of these safety options. Contact us for more information or visit our website at www.HomeServiceCorp.com.

fig. 5 Intelliflow

fig. 5 Intelliflow

Home Service Corporation Celebrating our 32nd year serving our Michigan customers Heating & Air Conditioning , Plumbing and Electrical needs.

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