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More On Washing Machine Hoses ...

Posted by Jay J on December 24th, 1998 10:16 AM
In reply to Clothes washer is home alone by ChrisR on December 24th, 1998 07:57 AM [Go to top of thread]

Yes, I did see the segment on DATELINE.

I happen to personally know 2 families whose homes had flooded because their hot/cold water leads to the washer machine had burst. One had 7" of water in their basement before it was discovered and the other had 3". The latter home had a slow-working drain but at least it was working. Just for trivia, the hoses wear out over time due to being under constant pressure and from corrosion due to minerals (of sorts) and temperature. So, it's hightly recommended that the homeowner put shut-off valves on the hot/cold lines. And I suggest using ball valves placed in a spot that's EASILY accessible so your new 'habit' is not a chore (that is to turn the water on and off). If you need to move the hot and/or cold water lines, do so for your own good. (Some lines pop out of the floor or run 'down' to just above the floor.)

From another angle, God's honest truth, just last year I received notice from State Farm Ins. Co. that they are no longer going to provide insurance coverage for damage to personal items in my basement if it gets flooded (originating from either fresh water or my sewer lines. I have a RIDER on my policy.). They will provide coverage for my 2nd refrigerator and freezer, my washer and dryer, my hot water heater, my central air/heating unit, and the like, if they're damaged from water but NOT all the boxes of 'stuff' down there. Ironically, State Farm was the 'featured' insurance company on the DATELINE segment. They stated, in short, that the coverage is too costly to continue as it was.

Those 'braided' hoses that you can buy to put on your washing machine are NO guarantee that the water line won't break. So don't be misled. They're really designed for preventing kinking which will prevent a break. These types of lines can STILL burst under pressure even though there's no kinking! And for those homeowners with washer machines on the first floor, (or 2nd floor, etc.), I hope you have shut-offs for your washers. The poor folks featured on DATELINE had, as the previous poster stated, over $170,000 in damage. Their washer was in the most convenient place in the home; the 2nd floor!

If you can, use ball valve shut-offs (as opposed to gate valves), and do your best to have them placed at about waist-to-chest high level for convenience. Ball valves are a bit more expensive but you're only buying 2 of them. And there's no maintenance on them. This was one of the first things I did when we moved into our home 5 years ago. (I wish I'd put ball valves on! Yes, I didn't know any better.) Happy plumbing!

Jay J

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