Laundry room floods are rare, but not as rare as you might think. When they come, they can do catastrophic damage to your home, so it’s a good idea to do some preventative work on your home to make sure it doesn’t happen.
First, check your valves where the washing machine hoses connect. If these are corroded, green, or just generally nasty looking, it’s probably time to have them replaced. After all, they could be releasing chemicals into your hoses and your washer that could cause both to malfunction over time.
Test these valves, too. Using a bucket, turn the water all the way on. Then, turn it all the way off. Make sure the flow stops entirely because, if anything ever bursts, you want to know for sure that you can turn the water off. If the water keeps flowing, or even dripping, it’s time to replace or repair your valves.
Next, make sure that you can screw and unscrew your hoses easily. This makes it easier to check them for leaks and to replace them when it’s time to do that. If they are stuck or corroded onto the valves, you have a couple of options. You can use a hacksaw to cut the hose, then split-connect another hose to the old one. The best option, though, is to replace the valves. A split connector is not nearly as trustworthy as the original screw-on connection, and it’s not usually worth the risk of a laundry room flood.
If you need to replace your valves, look into a ball valve. These look nicer and work better and easier than the traditional screw valves. Also, try to find valves made out of brass. These are not affected by water like other metals, so they will last longer and be less likely to leak.
If your valves and hose connections are in good shape, check your hoses. They should have no bubbles or damage, and should not have water on them. If they show signs of damage, or if it has been five years since you last changed them, it’s time for new hoses. Rubber ones are okay, but the stainless-steel coated ones will give you more protection. They are still rubber inside, but the steel keeps the hose from shooting water everywhere if it bursts.
There are also flood-stop hoses, which are supposed to stop the flow of water in case of a burst, so your home doesn’t flood. However, the technology for these is still developing. Some of the hoses have been known to stop the water entirely, even when the machine is working properly! You may want to wait until these are more trustworthy before you install them in your home.
If you need new washing machine valves, or you have some questions about how yours is working, we can give you answers. Call Wimpy’s Plumbing at (941) 322-1911 to schedule an appointment, or do it through our website. We’ll get your laundry room working again in no time.