Did you know that burst flexible hoses are one of the most common causes of insurance claims in the home? According to research, flexible braided hoses made up one in five water damage claims lodged by Australian households in 2016.
The above photo was taken at a recent emergency call out attended by the No Probs Plumbing and gas fitting team. The problem presented itself when the client could hear water running, even though all the taps in the house were turned off.
Luckily, the client was home and was able to isolate the water to the house before extensive damage was done.
Most homes have at least 8 flexible hoses installed; you can find them under your kitchen sink, the basin in your bathroom, next to your toilet and under your laundry tub.
What is a flexible hose?
Flexible braided hoses, more commonly known as flexi hoses, have been used in Australia for around 15 years.
Replacing copper pipes, the flexi hose is a rubber pipe encased in braided lengths of stainless steel. They are a popular choice as they can be easily bent into shape to fit into tight spaces. They are also cheap to purchase (around $10) and easy to install.
Most braided hoses on the market today come with a 10-year warranty, but many of the hoses installed over the past decade have a lifespan of only half this time, and may be close to failing.
Why can they cause so much damage?
As previously mentioned, flexible hoses have a limited working life. According to reports, pipes are most at risk of bursting and flooding a home a decade after it is built, with some not even making it to his milestone.
The first element to break is usually the braided steel lining, which allows the rubber tube lining to expand and eventually burst.
When the hose is breached, it can expel a large volume of water in a short period of time; as much as 1500L an hour.
This amount of flooding can cause serious issues, ranging from warped floorboards, ruined walls and even collapsed ceilings. You then must take into account damage to contents, future mould issues and even damage to your neighbours – especially if you live in a unit or complex.
In worst case scenarios, your home may become uninhabitable until the damage is repaired – which could be costly and inconvenient.
What preventative measures should I take?
Always enlist the help of a licensed Perth plumber to install your flexible hoses
When a flexible water hose installation is too loose or, conversely, too tight, it can cause the braiding to unravel before it’s use-by date. The key is in selecting the right length of hose for your bathroom or laundry’s requirements – a skill our Perth plumbers have extensive experience with.
Regularly check your hoses for signs of rust or fraying
This simple check could potentially save you thousands of dollars and plenty of headaches. Inspect the hose by carefully running your fingers along the length, searching for rusted spots or fraying braids.
At the first sign of wear, call in your Perth plumber from No Probs to have it replaced. If the damage is significant and you suspect an imminent breach, turn the water off while you wait for reinforcements.
Install a flood stop valve
While our Perth plumbers are at it, ask about flood stop isolating valves. These valves are attached to all water connections with a hose, and immediately stem the flow of water in the event of a rupture.
Utilise mini stop taps
An alternative to flood stop valves are mini stops valves, which allow the homeowner to physically turn the water off at the location of the damaged hose in the event of a rupture. This will buy you time to turn off the main water and call our Perth Plumbers for a permanent solution.
If your hoses were installed a number of years ago, it is worth contemplating an upgrade to a newer, more durable version.
Give No Probs Plumbing and Gas a call and we can point you in the right direction when it comes to choosing a quality replacement.
Call the experts at No Probs Plumbing for advice
As part of our service, our Perth Plumbers offer a FREE inspection of all flexible hoses.
With no call-out fees and obligation free quotes, No Probs Plumbing is your solution for all plumbing services in your home.
We also assist with appliance installations, renovations and hot water system repairs.
For more information, or if you have any concerns with the state of your flexible water hoses, call our fully qualified Perth plumbing team on (08) 9315 5545.