3 Tips to Prevent Water Damage from Your Washing Machine

leaking water machineJust how much water damage can a common residential washing machine inflict? As it turns out, quite a lot. According to the Insurance Institute For Business & Home Safety (IBHS), washing machines consistently rank among the most expensive causes of household water damage. Cost of these unexpected events average over $5,000 after the deductible amount is paid. In addition to structural damage, mold contamination is a frequent secondary consequence of washing machine incidents.

What can you do to avoid the expense and losses? The IBHS recommends three crucial preventive measures to reduce the potential for costly and inconvenient washing machine water damage:

Replace Water Supply Hoses

Many washers are installed with rubber supply hoses connected to hot and cold faucets on the wall behind the unit. Over time, these hoses deteriorate and eventually rupture. A ruptured hose may release hundreds or even thousands of gallons of water before the situation is discovered. Inspect hoses monthly and replace immediately if any signs of deterioration—cracking or blistering hose or seepage at the connection—is noted. Replace hoses every five years even if no deterioration is evident. For maximum safety, replace rubber hoses with braided stainless steel lines that provide greater expected service life.

Turn Off The Water Supply

For greater security against hose ruptures—as well as leakage from defective valves and other components inside the washer—develop the habit of turning off the hot and cold water supply valves after each use of the machine. To simplify this procedure, you can have the rotary screw-type faucets installed on the wall behind the unit replaced with lever-operated valves that can be quickly closed and opened in one easy motion.

Don’t Wash Clothes While You Are Away Or Asleep

Any washing machine water incident can be costly. However, if it occurs after you’ve started the machine and then left the house—or while you’re fast asleep in another room—that event can be truly catastrophic due to the volume of water released. Schedule clothes washing while you’re home and awake in order to react promptly to any events such as pipe ruptures or overflows.

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