Time to Replace Your Washing Machine Hoses?

Short of fire, nothing causes more damage to the inside of a property than leaking water. It is estimated that 65% of property damage to stratas (homeowners associations) is caused by water leaking from failing pipes, hoses, plumbing fixtures and appliances. Washing machine hoses are a leading cause of residential water damage. Research shows that there are simple and inexpensive steps home owners and strata councils can take to prevent most of this damage.

This hose is about to burst.

This hose is about to burst.

When was the last time you checked your washing machine hoses? If you’re like most, this is a task that is frequently overlooked. Since they are barely visible (located behind the washing machine), they are out of sight and out of mind. The same holds true for dishwasher hoses. According to State Farm Insurance Statistics, washing machine hose failures cause approximately $170 million in damages to homes in the United States & Canada annually.

Washing machine hoses hold about 70 pounds of pressure. The rubber hoses weaken with age and do eventually burst if not replaced. In some cases, the hose connections can start to leak, giving an advanced warning sign. In other cases, there are no advance warnings and a sudden burst results. A bursting hose can displace 650 gallons of water per hour. If your home is unoccupied for 30 hours, this equates to 20,000 gallons – the average size of an in ground swimming pool!


Here are some preventative measures that you can take:

  • Visibly check your hoses and their connections on a regular basis. Inspect for bulging hoses and corroding connections.
  • Shut off both supply valves to the hot & cold water when not in use. This is only if you remember to turn the valves off each time you have finished using the washing machine.
  • Install a Universal shut off valve. One lever at the water supply shuts off water to both the hot & cold hoses. Again, this is only as good as your memory to pull the lever off, each time you have finished using the washing machine.
  • Replace the rubber hoses with braided hoses. These hoses are reinforced with steel braiding and this prevents bursting. However, these are not lifetime replacements. They can still wear out, especially at the connections.

When I find rubber hose connections to the washing machine, I recommend that the client replace them.

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About the Author DavidFairbairn

Author David Fairbairn is a certified, licensed home inspector serving Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. He has been featured in the media and has contributed to "24" Newspaper, and Global TV. He has spent years working with residential and commercial building projects, and holds a Power Engineering License in BC. Why not give him a call for your next Home Inspection? Call 604 395-2795 or email david@fairbairninspections.com today!

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