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Welcome to the Public Service Page
(Weightier topics are addressed on the Opinion Page)
This month's topic:
BURST WASHING MACHINE HOSES-- THEY WILL FLOOD YOUR HOME!
As I mentioned in the e-mail that probably brought you here, a SECOND friend's home in as many years was completely flooded by a washing machine hose that burst while the owners were away for a few hours. Both homes were completely ruined; one was covered by insurance and the other was, effectively, not.*
So I've compiled some information on the subject, from various sources, to inform you and to try to motivate you to inspect and replace your hoses regularly:
Burst washing machine hoses cause an estimated $150 million in damage per year, in the US and Canada. The most effective way to prevent this is to turn off your water valve(s) when you're not using the washer. At minimum, turn off the valve(s) if you're going to be away for a few days.
Short of that, you should inspect your hoses regularly for wear, leaks, obstructions and kinks--including the hoses inside the machine, if you can.
Washing machine hoses cost about $10 or $20 per set. Ask if your insurance company has a program to allow you to purchase new hoses at a reduced price.
To replace the hoses, turn off the water valve, install the hoses with no kinks or sharp bends, make sure the threads line up properly and are tight, then check for leaks when you turn the water back on. Be sure to leave at least four inches of space between the water connection and the back of the washing machine, to reduce chances of kinking.
Your plumber can install a "water hammer arrestor" which can absorb the shock of your washing machine valve shutting off, and a single-handed valve that makes it more convenient to turn off the water to the washing machine.
There are at least two devices, the "Flo Logic" and the "AMI Floodsaver", designed to help reduce the risk of flood damage. I'm trying to get more info on these and should have that info if you request the card below.
The Bottom Line: REPLACE THOSE HOSES every year or two, or more often if inspection shows any wear, weakening, bulging or leaks.
If you would like to receive a postcard with a graphic reminder to get this done, or would like it sent to a loved one who has a washing machine, click here, and leave name(s) and address(es). Put "Washing Machine" in subject line.
If you would like to see what the rest of this website is about (and it's not about washing machine hoses), click here: home page.
* On behalf of my friends whose insurer has refused to cover "environmental illness" damage done by the water and the resulting mold and chemicals used to counteract it, I'd appreciate any information on legal actions and attorneys that have been successful in this area (contact us).
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-Gershon Siegel, publisher, Eldorado Sun (Santa Fe)