Here is a scary scenario. Make sure you read this, because it could certainly happen to you.
You're all ready to go on your week-long, family vacation to Hawaii. As usual, you've been careful to "button down" your house, making sure garbage cans have been put away, the mail has been put on hold and the newspaper has been stopped. You've let your neighbors know you'll be gone and given them a contact number in case of emergency. You've checked all your appliances to make sure they've been turned off, and even checked all the faucets and toilets to make sure they aren't dripping or leaking.
One week later you return after a long flight and return drive from SeaTac Airport. You and your family are tired from the trip and looking to get home, unpack and get some rest. You pull into the garage, and are alarmed to find the floor of your garage soaking wet. Opening the garage entry to the home, you're greeting by soaking wet carpet that squishes like a sponge when you walk on it.
Frantic and confused, you search for the cause. It's not a burst pipe. It's not a backed up toilet. No, it's the one thing you never thought to check: your washing machine. The hot water hose leading from the spigot to the back of the washing machine burst, leaving the spigot to run freely for who knows how long while you were away.
When you bought your house 3 years ago, the washing machine and dryer came with the house. Because they were working, you never gave them a second thought. It certainly never occurred to you to check the water hoses for wear, and even if you did, you had no idea how old they were. Now this oversight is going to cost you thousands of dollars in water damage to hire a professional to dry out the lower level of your home and replace your carpeting. And to add insult to injury, you're going to get a massive water bill for the thousands of gallons of water that flowed freely from the spigot, plus a huge electricity because your hot water heater was creating hot water for days on end.
This kind of catastrophe can easily be prevented. Here are some simple tips to prevent damage to your home from leaky water hoses:
- If you don't know the history of the hoses on your washing machine, replace them. Don't leave it to chance. It's just not worth it.
- Inspect your washing machine water hoses regularly for cracks or leaks. If they are brittle, it's time to replace them.
- Replace washing machine hoses with reinforced or steel braided hoses. They cost a bit more, but it's well worth the small investment for the piece of mind.
- When you go on vacation or are away from your home for an extended period of time, shut off both the hot and cold water for the washing machine at the spigot. No matter what condition your hoses are in, they are guaranteed not to leak or burst if they don't have any water in them. Make this part of your checklist you go through before you leave... you do have a list, don't you?
If you have any questions about washing machine hoses, or are uncomfortable changing them yourself, please us at M&M Plumbing a call. We also offer inspection of all water hoses in your home as part of our whole house plumbing inspections.