Monday, February 24, 2014

How Good is That Washer Hose?

How old are the hoses supplying your washing machine?  Your dishwasher?  Your fridge's icemaker?  Your toilets?

You say, "It doesn't matter - they have a metallic cloth wrap.  They are burst-proof!"

Not so fast, I say.  The hoses may be burst proof, but what about the ends or fittings?

I have seen overtightened fittings on these lovely steel-braided fittings break (I say lovely because that's all I will buy).  The water damage from a broken toilet line is impressive in a bad way.  Your washer lines and dishwasher should also use steel-braided hoses, but less than 5 years old.  If you aren't sure how old they are, check the ends for twisting of the actual hose.  Consider replacing any hoses whose ages you cannot verify,

And the fridge ice maker?  If it is a clear plastic line, then dump it immediately in favour of a copper tube line (braided steel hoses are available for fridge ice makers, but solid copper tubing is better by far).  As a matter of fact, an appliance repair technician told me that the plastic lines are famous in the industry for cracking when older than 5 years.

When you go on vacation, it never hurts to shut off the washer hose valves or the dishwasher valve.  Same goes for the toilets if you want.  When you shut off any valves, check back in a few minutes to make sure they aren't dripping.  A valve that hasn't exercised in a few years is way more likely to drip.

Also, when you go away, check with your insurance company to see what their policy is - they may want someone to check in on the house every 4 or 5 days to maintain coverage.

Our home and building inspections cover issues such as leaks on the day of inspection, but we do like to give you some maintenance tips for the future.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact us (advice and support are free).

And the bottom line is...
  • Replace any flexible water connection lines/hoses that are older than 5 years.
  • If you are not sure, assume they are older and replace them.