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The Importance of a Flexi-Hose Inspection

Regular Flexi-Hose Inspections help keep your home safe from water damage

Did you know that burst braided flexible hoses are a major cause of water damage in Australian homes? It’s true. Escaped water from a flexible hose can cause tens of thousands of dollars in water damage, leave a home unlivable, and destroy sentimental items in a matter of hours. Yet many of us don’t know the significance of the hose found lurking under our sinks and rarely think of checking them.

Flexi-hoses – also known as flexible braided hoses or flexible plumbing hoses – are a common style of plumbing fitting. They are a rubber hose reinforced externally with stainless steel webbing, fitted with clamped stainless-steel fittings on either end.

Flexi-hoses are used to connect water to taps and fixtures – where their flexibility, low cost and ease of installation make them a popular choice for plumbers. They are especially common in:

  • Kitchens – under the sink, dishwashers, refrigerators, water filters
  • Bathrooms / Toilets – vanity units, inside the cistern and basins
  • Laundry – Laundry tub / trough, washing machines

If you’ve had some plumbing work done to your home in the last 20 years, it’s likely you have a flexi-hose (or two) under your sink.

How do they burst?

In most cases, a burst flexi-hose is due to the breakdown of the external braiding material due to rust and corrosion or the effects of twisting, kinking or stretching.

Some flexi-hoses can work without an issue for 20 years, while others corrode, rust and fail faster.

Damage to a flexi-hose can come in many forms, including visible rust and corrosion, broken fibres, calcification with green or white staining evident on the fitting or the hose itself.

Damage and destruction – what a burst flexi-hose is capable of

It can take as little as 24 hours for an entire house to be flooded and significant water damage to occur as a result of a bust flexi-hose – if left unattended.

This can be costly. In addition to any major repairs or replacement that may be required due to flooding or water damage, you could find yourself with a higher than usual water bill (from the escape of water from the burst flexi-hose), as well as higher electricity bills from dryers and dehumidifyers to reduce/remove moisture after the event.

Common damage seen by insurance assessors as result of a burst flexi-hose

  • Swollen skirting boards and architraves
  • Swollen cabinetry – water damaged kickers will swell and pull away from cabinetry
  • Mould throughout internals of the house and contents e.g. furtiture, soft furnishings
  • Water logged power points in cabintery / walls
  • Ceiling damage to the first floor if a flexi-hose has burst on the second floor
  • Potential for drummy tiles if grout or silicone is damaged and water can get under it if left for a while

Why Flexi-Hose Inspection is important?

Burst flexi-hoses are unfortunately a common issue – but they don’t have to be. Flexi-hose inspection is important due to several key reasons that revolve around preventing water damage, ensuring the functionality of your plumbing system, and maintaining the safety of your home.

It’s easy to keep on top of flexi-hose maintenance and reduce the likelihood of your home being flooded or damaged by water as a result of a burst flexi-hose.

Top tips for flexi-hose maintenance

  1. Prevent Water Damage. Flexi-hoses are susceptible to wear and tear over time, which can lead to leaks or bursts. Regular inspection of the condition of your flexi-hose every 6-12 months helps to detect potential issues before they escalate into major water damage incidents. If there are any signs of deterioration present in the flexi-hose, it should be checked and replaced by a licenced plumber as soon as possible.
  2. Maintain Structural Integrity. Water damage resulting from a flexi-hose failure can compromise the structural integrity of your home or building. Severe water infiltration can weaken foundations, walls and the electrical systems, leading to costly repairs and renovations. It’s also a good idea to turn off the water mains properly before heading off on holidays.
  3. Prevent Unexpected Expenses. Addressing hose issues during regular inspections can help you avoid sudden and expensive plumbing emergencies. Replacing a worn-out hose is considerably more cost-effective than dealing with the aftermath of a burst hose.
  4. Ensure Proper Functionality. Check that flexi-hoses are not twisted, kinking or stretched – if you notice anything like this, contact a licenced plumber as soon as possible. Flexi-hoses play a crucial role in the functionality of appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, vanities, sinks etc. Regular inspections ensure that these appliances continue to work efficiently without interruptions caused by hose failures.
  5. Safety Precautions. Corrosion, especially in metal fittings, can weaken the hose over time. Inspect the connections for any signs of rust. Any household chemicals that are stored under the sink near flexi-hoses should be kept sealed and in their original containers.

Not maintained? Not covered.

While most Australians purchase insurance to protect themselves and their assets in the event of an accident at home, many aren’t aware that ‘wear and tear‘ isn’t covered.

This is why it’s so important to ensure you do regular maintenance checks on your flexi-hoses – and contact a licenced plumber if you notice something isn’t right.

 

 

 

Published On: May 27th, 2024Categories: Home & Contents Insurance

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