Back when I was on the tools, I could count on one hand the amount of plumbing jobs Dad and I went to that had leaking water flexible hoses. Yet, a recent report on Channel 7 news featuring Calvin’s Plumbing has shown that there has been an increase in water damage from the hoses after they have ruptured. In fact, in 2016, one in every five water damage claims was for burst flexible hoses.
Calvin admitted to attending one job per week replacing faulty water hoses. But it seems to be more common than ever.
What Are Flexible Water Hoses?
Flexible water hoses are a stainless steel fabricated hose used to hook water to taps and fixtures.
Flexible water hoses have replaced the standard copper pipe installation from the wall outlet to the taps under sinks, basins and tubs. All tapware – whether mixer taps or hob mounted include flexible hoses as part of their hardware.
The hoses are also used on toilets as well and are used to replace the copper pipe connecting water from the stop tap to the cistern.
To prevent a flexible hose rupturing in your home and causing a flood, here are some recommendations on what you can do to prevent a similar case happening at your property.
How to prevent a flexible water hose rupturing at your property
1. Always get your plumber to install the flexible water hoses
Always have a plumber install the flexible hoses. A plumber will choose the right length hose to ensure it’s not too loose or taut as either incorrect installation will cause the braiding to unravel and the hose to break which will cause a major leak. Flexible hoses are easy to cross thread or overtighten which can fracture the rubber seal connection. A plumber will ensure the hose is installed correctly.
2. Regularly check your flexible hoses for rust or fraying
Check your hoses every couple of months by running your fingers along the hose. Be careful when you do this because the metal fibres can be sharp if they have started to unravel. If you do find a rusted spot or part of the braid on the hose is starting to unravel, get it replaced as soon as possible. I’d recommend turning off the water if you leave the house until the plumber arrives just for extra caution.
3. Have mini stop taps on all water feed connections
All taps and fixtures should have mini stop taps so they can be isolated in an emergency. Get your plumber to install Arco valves or mini stop valves on the water lines that have flexible hose connections.
This means if you have the unfortunate experience of the flexible hose breaking and leaking full bore water, a valve under the sink or basin can be turned to stop the water. This will hopefully buy more time and prevent more damage than if you had to run outside and turn the water main off.
Secondly, it makes it easier for the plumber to replace next time when needed and therefore less labour costs.
4. Replace existing hoses with more current, durable flexi hoses
Your plumber will be able to recommend which flexible hoses are the best and have a reputation for quality. Replace all existing hoses with their recommended choice.
When you purchase a new tap, the box will supply their own braided flexible hoses so this can’t always be changed. Again, ask your plumber what they recommend.
5. Keep cleaners and chemicals away from the steel hoses
Cleaners and chemicals can accelerate the deterioration of your flexi hose. A rusted and corroded flexi hose indicates the flexi hose is going to burst and is at the end of its material life. Remove cleaners and chemicals to reduce the likelihood of a chemical reaction.
The damage caused by a leaking flexible hose can be expensive and inconvenient. If you go away on holiday, consider turning off the water to the flexible hoses. This will ensure you don’t come home to a house with an indoor pool.
Let me know if you’ve ever had water flexible hoses burst at your home? Go and check all your hoses now to ensure they aren’t frayed, rusted or corroded.