Preventing Water Damage: Appliance Maintenance Tips

prevent water leadsWhen thinking about ways to prevent water leaks, most people naturally focus on defective plumbing pipes and fixtures. However, appliances are also frequently implicated in residential water damage. In our automated homes, we place a lot of trust in devices like washing machines, refrigerators and water heaters to function flawlessly with little attention. However, most of them receive the same municipal water pressure as other household plumbing and are equally capable of flooding the house in the event of a defect or malfunction. Here are some ways to prevent water leaks from common appliances:

Washing Machines

  • Don’t start the washer and then leave the house. A stuck fill valve or a clogged drain line can cause a catastrophic overflow while you’re gone, inundating the home with hundreds of gallons of water.
  • Shut off the washer’s cold and hot water supply valves when you go out of town.
  • Inspect the cold and hot water supply hoses and connections every six months. Replace these items every five years. Consider replacing rubber supply hoses with braided stainless steel lines for greater reliability.

Water Heater

  • Flush hard water sediment out of the tank annually. Sediment accumulation triggers corrosion and causes early tank leakage or total tank rupture. Water in the tank is under pressure and can cause severe water damage.
  • Schedule regular yearly water heater maintenance by a qualified plumber. He’ll evaluate the condition of the internal anode rod, a vital component that reduces corrosive substances inside the tank and prevents leaks. Anodes may need to be replaced periodically. He’ll also test the function of the temperature and pressure relief valve, a frequent source of minor leaks when it fails to seal properly.

Refrigerator With Ice Maker

  • Verify at least three inches of clearance between the refrigerator and the wall. Refrigerators frequently get pushed backwards, kinking the plastic water supply line and causing it to leak or rupture.
  • Inspect the water supply line and well as its connections and shut-off valve every six months.

Ask the water damage experts at Rytech, Inc. about more ways to prevent water leaks from appliances.

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