It’s Probably Time To Replace Your Washer Hoses
Don't Let Your Washing Machine Hoses Fail!
|Look at the corrosion on the hardware of these washer hoses! If yours look anything like this, they need to be changed ASAP.|
Next time you're doing the laundry, take a look behind your washing machine. You should see two water valves on the wall with hoses coming out of them (they connect to the back of your washing machine.) These are the hoses that supply water to your washing machine.
Most washer hoses are rubber hoses reinforced with nylon. These hoses are under constant water pressure (anywhere from 60 to 80 pounds per square inch!). As they get older, the rubber becomes more brittle and the nylon reinforcement inside the hose starts to separate. This causes the rubber to bubble up due to the water pressure. Eventually, the hose will burst. As fate often has it, the burst will occur when you’re not home to shut the water off.
Trust us, coming home to a burst hose and a foot of water in your house is one mess you really don’t want to deal with. If your washer hoses are more than 5 years old, they really should be replaced. Five years is about the most you can expect a rubber washer hose to last.
What Plumbers Recommend May Surprise You
A lot of plumbers have had so many emergency calls from homeowners who come home to a flooded house from a burst washer hose that they recommend turning off the water supply to the washing machine after every use. It may seem like an inconvenience, but it really is the only way to be completely sure you won't come home to a flooded house if a washer hose fails while you're gone.
We realize most people aren't going to bother with turning off the water supply every time they're done doing laundry. At the very least, though, you should shut off the water supply to your washer whenever you plan to be away from home for more than a day or two. Per Murphy's Law, washer hoses are most likely to fail when you're nowhere nearby to shut off the water. Just turn the water valves behind your washing machine all the way to the right to shut off the water supply to your washer.
Changing Your Washer Hoses
You can buy new rubber washer hoses, of course, but for a little more you can buy stainless-steel braided hoses. These are PVC hoses reinforced with a braided steel mesh. They usually sell for about $20 a pair, versus about $10 for rubber hoses. Replacing the hoses is a pretty easy job
- Step 1: Just to be safe, unplug your washing machine.
- Step 2: Turn off the water supply behind your washing machine.
- Step 3: Get an old towel and a bowl in case any water drips out of the old washer hoses when you remove them.
- Step 4: Unscrew the old hoses from the back of your washer and from the valves to your water line.
- Step 5: Wrap some plumbers tape on your water valves, then attach the new hoses to the shutoff valves and your washing machine. Make sure to connect the hose for hot water to the inlet marked “H” and to the hot water valve, and the other hose to the inlet marked “C” and the cold water valve. TIP: The end of the hose with a screen filter on it should be connected to the water valve--not the connection on the back of your washer.
- Step 6: Tighten both connections with pliers
- Step 7: Turn your water back on and plug your washer back in. Be careful to leave 4” of space between the back of your washer and the wall to avoid putting too much pressure against the hoses.
What Could Go Wrong?
If all goes well, changing out the hoses is an easy job. Unfortunately, things don’t always go well. Often, the hoses just don’t want to unscrew from the valves, even with pliers. Sometimes, they’re so corroded they literally crumble apart as you’re trying to plier them off. In a worst case scenario, sometimes the plastic fitting on the back of the washing machine breaks from overtightening the washer hose onto it.
There’s also the possibility of damaging the ferrule (the metal wrapping crimped on the hose just below the connector piece) if your pliers slip. If the ferrule is damaged, it can leak there. If you’re going the DIY route, be sure you only clamp your pliers on the serrated ring where you connect the hose to the water valve, not on the ferrule or the hose itself.
New Washer Hoses or Old, You Should Check Them Regularly
If you have rubber washer hoses, take a peek behind your washer once a month or so to make sure they aren't bulging up--a sure sign the hose is damaged inside and water pressure is about to burst the hose. Because washer hoses can also work loose at the connection to the water supply, feel around the connection point for any drips. A small drip may not even be visible, but you'll be able to feel water on the hose.
If you find water has been leaking out of your washer hose, you'll need to take a good look behind your washing machine for signs of mold. Look for black spots growing on the wall or floor. If you find any mold growth, you can usually eliminate by cleaning with a mixture of water and bleach (use rubber gloves, a brush, and a mask rated for mold spore protection).
Does Dryer Vent Wizard Install Washer Hoses?
Yes, and no. Dryer Vent Wizard doesn’t make appointments just to replace washer hoses, but if we’re out at your house to do a vent cleaning or to install a vent line for a dryer, we can certainly replace your washer hoses if they need it. We usually keep several pairs of them in our truck because we never know when we’ll come across a situation where the washer hoses are in dire need of replacement.
Why We Only Install Stainless Steel Braided Washing Machine Hoses
Most insurance companies recommend the braided steel hoses over rubber hoses, but you still need to check them every once in a while for signs of leaking. If you really want to play it safe, you should also plan on replacing them at the 5-year mark.
Schedule a Dryer Vent Cleaning and We’ll Install New Hoses While We’re There
If you haven’t had your dryer vents cleaned in over a year, it’s time. Fire Marshals and insurance companies all across the country recommend at least a yearly dryer vent cleaning to remove any flammable lint that may be clogging your vent line—every six months if you do 5 or more loads of laundry per week.
For anyone with a dryer more than 5 years old, it’s worth considering a deep cleaning, too. This involves opening up your dryer and cleaning out all the lint that has accumulated inside. Believe it or not, your lint trap can’t catch every piece of dryer lint. A little makes it way inside your dryer every time you run it. Over a period of years, it can build up to the point that it becomes a fire hazard.
Contact the Dryer Vent Wizard of Wisconsin Nearest You:
Northeast Wisconsin: Fond du lac, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Kewaunee and the Fox Valley Counties. 920-644-3797
North Milwaukee: All locations north of Highway 94 in Dane County, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Washington and Dodge counties. 262-757-8368
Southeast Wisconsin: All locations south of Highway 94 in Dane County, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Walworth, Racine and Kenosha counties. 262-312-1991. For property managers and condo associations, call 262-501-5240.