Don't Let Washing Machine Hoses Damage Your Home

Are the furnishings, floor coverings and keepsakes in your home worth an extra $10 to $20?

Invest that money in new washing machine hoses, and you'll be taking an important step toward avoiding costly damage, mess, inconvenience and the loss of items that could never be replaced.

It's money well spent. Washing machine hose failures cause about $150 million in damage to homes in the United States and Canada each year.

To reduce the chances that your hoses will fail, it's a good idea to inspect your washing machine hoses regularly, and to take steps to minimize the factors that can cause damage.

Can I replace the hoses myself?

Yes, replacing your washing machine hoses is a fairly simple home repair task. It's as easy as hooking up a hose to a water spigot.

Just shut off the water supply to your washing machine. If there's not a shutoff near your washer, close the main shutoff valve in your house. Unscrew the old hoses and hook up the new ones. Make sure you line up the threads and screw the hoses on tightly. When you're done, turn on the water supply and check carefully for leaks.  

Washing machine hoses can be purchased at most home repair centers, hardware stores and plumbing supply outlets.

Several thickness' and types of rubber washing machine hoses are available. There are also hoses on the market that have pre-formed metal elbows at the ends that attach to your washing machine.  These rigid elbows prevent the hoses from kinking. Expect to pay $10 to $20 for a new set of washing machine hoses.

When you replace your washing machine hoses, keep them free of kinks and tight bends.

A professional plumber can tell you about other products, such as water hammer arrestors, which may lessen the chances of washing machine hoses breaking. A water hammer arrestor can absorb the increased water pressure that comes when the electric valve in your washing machine shuts off.

What else can I do to reduce the chances of failure?

You can take these precautionary steps:

  • Make sure there are at least four inches (or 11 centimeters) between the water connection and the back of the washing machine. This space will help reduce the chances that the hose will kink.

  • Regularly inspect your washing machine hoses. Replace hoses every 3-5 years as part of a proactive maintenance program.

  • Keep track of the last time you inspected the hoses by jotting the "inspected" date on the magnet that's included in this brochure. Attach the magnet to the washing machine.

  • Check that hose connections are secure, including the drain hose.

  • Make sure everyone in your household knows where the water shutoff valve is and how to open and close it. Shut off water at valves if you will be away from your home for several days or longer.

  • Consider installing or having a professional plumber install a single-handled valve that makes it easier to turn off the water supply to your washing machine.