Washing machine hoses are one of the many home features we forget about until something goes wrong. When customers ask questions about them, it's great to provide advice to reduce the risk of future problems and with a handyman business supporting more than 2,000 homeowners, we're prepared for these questions.
With washing machines and dryers living in unfinished basements or the garage, they were the forgotten workhorse for many years. Now they've moved upstairs near the kitchen or even on the second floor near the bedrooms and it's amazing how attractive these everyday appliances have become. That's why it's more important than ever, to maintain your washing machine hoses to avoid water leaks.
We'll stick to the basics here about keeping your washing machine in good work order and leave it to you to decide how many of the newfangled features, buttons, etc you really need on top.
Customers Often Ask About Washing Machine Hoses
Cathy in New Hampshire wrote … “Someone suggested that the hoses to washer/dryer should be replaced to avoid dry rotting. They suggested a metal type of hose?”
Handyman Advice on Washing Machine Hoses
“You're absolutely right to check, and probably replace your washing machine hoses as they do wear out and if they fail, lots of damage can be caused by flooding. Another thing that’s recommended is adding a shut off valve above your washing machine so when you go away for long periods of time, you can turn the water supply off just like turning off your hot water heater.”
Contractors Love Customer Feedback
“Tina, thank you so much – I appreciate your quick reply and suggestions. Luckily, I do have the shut off valves already in place, so good there.”
As Cathy isn't the only homeowner wondering about their washing machine hoses, it was fun to share this dialog along with some quick tips on maintaining your washing machine hoses:
- Inspect washing machine hoses regularly to insure they're secure,and have no cracks or signs of deterioration. Attach a paper journal to the hoses to keep track of when you last inspected and replaced them.
- Replace washing machine hoses every 3 to 5 years to keep them in good working order.
- Buy quality washing machine (and dishwasher) hoses:
- Reinforced rubber hoses today are reinforced with a braided rayon or polyester mesh to increase bursting strength. The label must say “reinforced”.
- Stainless steel braided hoses are made of a flexible plastic hose encased in a twisted, flexible mesh of stainless steel wire so they may last longer but there's no guarantee.
- According to InsuranceJournal.com, … “Washing machine hoses with external steel braided wire may be more costly (approx. $10) than rubber hoses (approx. $5) but have a lower failure rate.”
- Don't forget there's also a hose to drain the water at the end of the washing cycle.
- Install washing machine hoses carefully, insuring there are no kinks or tight bends which are more prone to cracking. Leave 3 to 4 inches between the washing machine and the wall to avoid kinks.
- Don't run the washing machine (or dishwasher) when you can't hear a hose burst, i.e. when you're not home or even while you're sleeping.
- Shut off valves (single handle easiest to operate) are now recommended so you can turn the water off when you're going to be away for several days or more.
If you're not comfortable replacing your washing machine hoses, ask you plumber to do it on their next visit to your home or add this task to your handyman punchlist as we do this work quite often in my handyman business.