Every homeowner and renter with a washing machine needs to know how to avoid water damage. Water is the single-most long-term destructive force in the indoor environment and has the potential to cause severe damage to your home and your possessions. Washing machines are dangerous because they have three hoses leading out the back of them. One for hot water, one for cold water and one for draining the water. Washing machine hose failure is one of the top ten leading causes of residential water losses and causes an average of $150 million in damages per year. If you have a washing machine in your home, it's vital that you know how to avoid water damage.

How To Avoid Water Damage From Washing Machine - Safety Precautions 

Safety precautions start with following the manufacturer's instructions that came with your washer. If you bought the washer second hand and don't have the instructions, find the make and model number and search for the instructions on the manufacturer's website. The instruction manual should tell you exactly how to use your make and model properly, ensuring safe usage. It will also tell you not to overload the washer, and to only operate the washer while someone is home. An unattended running washer is a recipe for costly repairs should the machine overflow or a hose break.

How To Avoid Water Damage From Washing Machine - Monthly Inspections

Once a month, check all three hoses for signs of wear including cracks and kinks. Also, check the hose connections and tighten if needed. These are common areas for failure. In between inspections, look for any slight leaks that appear when you use the washer. Small leaks are huge red flags.

How To Avoid Water Damage From Washing Machine - Replace The Hoses 

Replace all three washing machine hoses every 3 to 5 years. The tubes wear out easily, but it's not always visible. Some hose failures come from the inside rather than the outside. If you replace them regularly, even when they still look fine, you have a better shot at preventing failure. If you currently have rubber hoses, replace them with reinforced steel braided hoses. Steel braided hoses last far longer and have fewer breaks.

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How To Avoid Water Damage From Washing Machine - The Water Hammer

A water hammer is a shock wave that occurs when water in motion is abruptly stopped. It happens to your washing machine hose every time you use the machine. You've most likely heard it, and you may have even seen the hose move because of it. Water hammers are hard on the hoses and will eventually cause enough damage to create a water loss. Solve this problem by buying and installing a water hammer arrestor like this one from Home Depot.

How To Avoid Water Damage From Washing Machine - If The Water Damage Still Happens

If you take all of these precautions, or none of them, you can have water damage from your washing machine. When it happens, it's typically sudden and serious and time is of the essence. Call a water damage restoration company right away. They will extract water from the affected rooms and start the drying out process, which involves dehumidifiers and fans. The goal is to save your home as quickly as possible to protect you from costly repairs and future mold growth.

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