Time to Inspect Your Washing Machine Water Supply Hoses!

MHS Insurance

Does your washing machine hose look like this?   I hope not!  This is actually from a friend’s house who noticed the distressed hose before anything unfortunate happened.  Only 19% of homeowners periodically check their appliance hoses, which is a concern considering plumbing supply systems, which under constant water pressure, are the number one cause of non-weather related losses associated to the home.  The average cost to repair a home from water leaks is more than $50,000, and a new set of washing machine hoses is only $15 – $30!

Preventative Care Tips:

  • Replace water supply hoses—Replace hoses every 3-5 years, especially if damage is visible, or with installation of new appliances.
  • Inspect hoses frequently – Review for damage, corrosion, or twisted or bent lines.
  • Install a Water Hammer – A water hammer will help absorb the shock of water that increases pressure within the hose after the washing machine cycle ends.
  • Turn off the water supply – When away from the home for an extended period of time, turn off the water supply to the washing machine.
  • Plumber or Handyperson – Obtain assistance from a qualified technician should you need help or not feel comfortable with replacing supply lines or a water hammer arrestor.

Why Washing Machine Hoses Leak:

  • Wear and tear—No matter what type of washing machine hose you select for your home, all will undergo normal wear and tear as they age and eventually need replacement.  This wear and tear on the hoses is caused by high water pressure and a hydraulic shock known as a water hammer, which increases the water pressure to the hoses after a cycle completes.
  • Poor water quality—Poor water quality, particularly hard water, can corrode the inside of the washing machine hoses and cause sediment build-up.
  • Installation errors—During installation, if a hose connector isn’t correctly fitted and tightened to the water valve or washing machine, a leak could form.  A hose can also leak or burst if it’s twisted or bent during installation.  This can be prevented by leaving at least four inches between the wall and washing machine.
  • Worn rubber washer—A rubber washer sits at the end of the hose, sealing the supply valve and preventing water from leaking out of the hose. Over time, this rubber washer starts to wear down and loosen, allowing water to seep through.

How to Select Your Washing Machine Hoses:

When selecting washing machine hoses, safety and durability should be considered. Typically, washing machine hoses fall under three categories:

  • Rubber—Rubber hoses are the least durable and lose much of their flexibility and strength over time, resulting in corrosion and cracks that lead to leaks or busted hoses.  Rubber supply lines aren’t industry standard and are generally not recommended.
  • Reinforced rubber—Reinforced rubber hoses were created to help strengthen the hose.  These supply lines are reinforced with either polyester mesh or braided rayon that helps protect the rubber from withering.
  • Braided stainless steel—This type of washing machine hose is the industry standard, utilizing a rubber hose encased in a strong, flexible stainless steel braid that protects the hose from damages incurred from twists and bends.  Some stainless steel washing machine hoses come with an auto shutoff feature that can detect the increase in pressure caused by a hose burst.  Once detected, the connector at the end of the hose prevents water from pouring out of the valve, minimizing the damage incurred by a broken hose.

Next Steps:

We understand the risks associated with washing machine hoses and believe that an “Ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Cure” – Benjamin Franklin, 1976 in reference to fire safety, ironically.

  • Inspect Hoses– Inspect your personal washing machine hoses for durability, or determine the age of your current hoses based on estimated purchase date.
  • Replace Hoses – Should you determine your hoses should be replaced, purchase them from a hardware or home improvement store, or your preferred technician who can help install the hoses.  Typically, hoses cost between $15 – $30 for a 2-Pack .
Skip to content