Among the many possible causes of flooding in the home, a simple washing machine hose is one of the top culprits. This small, often-overlooked piece of equipment can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home if it fails. Many homeowners don’t spare a thought for the washer hoses – it’s a simple case of “out of sight, out of mind.” When you think about the amount of water that passes through those small tubes, it’s no wonder they’re prone to causing trouble. A worn-out washer hose can burst, releasing gallons of pent-up water into your home. If no one is home to shut off the water supply valve, the resulting flood can destroy the house.
The good news is that replacing an old washing machine hose is a simple DIY job that just about anyone can tackle. If it’s been more than about three years since you replaced the hoses on your washer, read on and we will tell you how to prevent a deluge.
Types of Washer Hoses
First, let’s take a look at the hoses themselves. Washing machine hoses are made from two basic materials: black rubber and stainless steel. Which one is the best option for your machine?
Rubber hoses: This is the basic style and may or may not be reinforced with a polyester or rayon mesh – check the label to find out for sure. If your washing machine is located inside the house, this might not be your best bet, but if it’s outdoors – say, on the back porch or in the garage – then a black rubber hose might be sufficient.
Stainless steel: A much better option for most homeowners is a braided stainless steel washer hose. These are made of flexible plastic encased in stainless steel. While no washer hose is truly burst-proof, these strong, supple hoses come close when maintained properly. For washing machines that are located indoors, a stainless-steel hose is a way to go.
Installing A New Washing Machine Hose
Whether they’re made of black rubber or stainless steel, washer hoses need to be replaced about every three to five years. If it’s been that long, or if the hoses are showing signs of wear, it can be easy to replace them if you follow these simple steps:
- Turn off the water supply. This is the first step to any plumbing repair job!
Run the washing machine for a few minutes to drain any remaining water out of the hoses and prevent a spill when you unhook them.
- Unplug the washing machine and pull it out from the wall. There will be three hoses: a large drain hose and two smaller ones for hot and cold water. The smaller ones are what you’ll be replacing.
- Place a bucket under the connection to catch any remaining water and use a pipe wrench to remove the old washer hoses.
- Make sure that the rubber washer is properly placed in the hose connectors and attach the new hoses. Some plumber’s grease might be helpful here.
- Tighten all four connections until you feel strong resistance, then slowly turn on the water supply to check for leaks. Having another person slowly turn on the water can help with this part.
- Push the washing machine back into place, leaving at least 4 inches of space between the machine and the wall so that the hoses don’t kink.
You’ve done it! Now you’ll just need to check the hoses periodically for leaks and replace them immediately if you see any signs that they’re wearing out.