If you’re a homeowner, it’s likely that your washing machine is one of your most used household appliances. You rely on it to keep your clothes clean and looking fresh, but do you know what kind of hose is connecting your washing machine to the water supply? Unfortunately, many homeowners overlook the importance of washing machine hoses and the potential damage that can occur from hose failure. In this guide, we’ll review the options available for washing machine hoses and how to choose the right one for your needs.
Why Hose Selection Matters
A washing machine hose failure can cause significant damage to your home, especially if the laundry room is located on the main level. Water damage can lead to expensive repairs, mold growth, and even structural damage. Regardless of which hose you choose, it’s essential to replace them every three to five years and to check them for damage or leaks annually as part of your regular plumbing maintenance.
Types of Washing Machine Hoses
There are three types of washing machine hoses available: reinforced rubber, steel braided, and auto-shutoff.
Reinforced rubber hoses are the most common and typically the least expensive option. The reinforcement comes in the form of a braided rayon or polyester mesh that makes the rubber stronger and less likely to burst. However, they are not recommended for washing machines located inside the house because they are more likely to burst than other hose types. If you do choose reinforced rubber hoses, ensure that they are labeled as reinforced.
A stainless steel braided hose is the minimum recommended for indoor use. They are middle-of-the-road in price, but the added safety is worth the extra cost. The braided stainless steel encases a rubber hose and provides a burst-resistant measure. These hoses have a lower failure rate than rubber hoses when properly installed. However, in tight spaces, the braided stainless steel can dig into the rubber hose, causing kinks and bends that may lead to failure. Consider purchasing a hose with an elbow at the end to prevent this issue.
Auto-shutoff hoses are the safest option and provide peace of mind in case of a hose failure. These are also stainless steel-braided hoses that can be used indoors. These hoses have a shut-off mechanism at one end that stops the flow of water if the hose bursts. This feature can mean the difference between a little water on the laundry room floor and extensive flood damage. Auto-shutoff hoses come in different styles and offer various warranty options based on the brand.
Washing Machine Hose Tips
In addition to selecting the right hose, proper installation is essential for preventing hose failure and flooding. Follow these tips to help prevent costly flood damage:
- Buy hoses that fit the space between the wall and the machine without sharp bends.
- Inspect hoses for kinks, damage, rust, or snags in the braided stainless steel at least once or twice a year.
- Consider purchasing a washing machine leak detection system for added peace of mind.
- Shut off water supply valves when not in use or when away from home, such as on vacation. The constant water pressure on the washing machine hoses can contribute to hose failure.
- Replace washing machine hoses every three to five years, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.
By following these tips and selecting the right washing machine hose for your needs, you can prevent costly water damage and ensure your washing machine operates safely and efficiently.