Disaster waiting to happen
Hello again gentlefolk and loyal Blog followers -
Well here we are on our next Blog post, and to be honest, fate has played a hand in this months topic as will shortly be revealed. The picture above is of course, a set of washing machine supply hoses in all their rubberized glory. Now, generally speaking, we pay these ubiquitous hoses very little mind. They are usually installed when one gets a new washing machine and that is, as a rule the end of that......Or so we think.... Let me give you a little background.
Last weekend I was enjoying some one on one time, with my eldest Son T, In usual tween fashion he tells me he is bored, So after a short discussion, we decided to go catch a movie together. Fast forward a few hours, minus some healthy brain cells.and now loaded with popcorn Kernels that have surreptitiously hidden themselves within the crevices of my attire no doubt for later consumption., So while brushing the debris of movie goer ship from my person,I turned my cell phone back on only to be greeted with a barrage of missed calls and text messages. 911 EMERGENCY....... in all caps punctuated in 3 minute intervals with help, and where are you messages. So as it turns out, while T and I where enjoying our very over priced movie and concessions, we were blissfully unaware of the ensuing disaster back home , All hell had secretly broken loose.....now In my defense, and given that I was Being a good movie Patron, I had turned my cell phone off for the movie. So while T and I enjoyed our Soda and bonded over an otherwise rubbish movie, our seemingly innocent vulcanized rubber washing machine hoses had decided to cry havoc and let slip the dogs of war . In short, they had turned our otherwise dry comfortable suburban home into a giant slip'n'slide. My poor wife who was home alone at the time, had no idea what hit her..... One minute she enjoying some much deserved couch time, the next she has been turned into a stricken U boat commander, trying too rescue a sinking submarine.... Water everywhere. abandon ship......
Upon hearing water coming from the Laundry room, she did what any self respecting homeowner would do and investigated. Horrified to find that water was gushing out from behind the washing machine, she sprung into action and attempted to turn off the supply valve. Unfortunately for her, the shut off valve had other ideas, and promptly came off in her hand . Unbeknownst to us, it had corroded to the point of critical failure. My now very damp and panicked Spouse resorted to grabbing a towel and trying to stem the flow water with one hand while screaming for help.... Now as comical as this all sounds, please know that 6 gallons per minute flow from a residential washing machine supply line. and this has being going on for the better part of 20 minutes. So at this point, my downstairs neighbor has now got a new shower in his living room.... Luckily for us, he was home at the time and upon noticing his new water feature called 911.. Fast forward another 15 minutes, the fire department has finally arrived and shut off the water supply to the building.
Bear in mind, not before approximately 220 gallons of water, has escaped the confines of our plumbing system, and caused absolute bloody chaos. and a messy and inconvenient clean up.
Being your benevolent neighborhood Handyman, I would like nothing more than to spare all of you from a similar situation.
Pictured above is an example of a very badly corroded washing machine supply hose. if yours look like this or exhibits any of the following symptoms, then they should be replaced as soon as possible.
There are a few guidelines you should follow when replacing hoses
Install Hoses Properly
Leave Ample Space for the Hoses-When installing hoses, be sure to leave at least four inches of space between the back of the washing machine and the wall connection. This space is
necessary to prevent kinking in the hose near the valve connection, where sharp edges within the hardware can cut into the inside of the hose .
Handle Connections with Care
.Ensure that the valve connections are securely fastened, but do not over tighten them, as this may damage the hardware or the hoses. Tighten first by hand, then use pliers to tighten an additional ⅔ turn. Be sure your rubber washer gasket is in
good condition, and use Teflon thread tape.
Consider Installing a Lever Valve
Many homeowners may find it easier to manage a dual ball valve lever operated water shut
off valve than a traditional screw type valve (which is also prone to leaking). A lever valve can be set up to shut off both hot and cold water with a single lever, which will make it easier to turn off the water supply when it is not in use, or in an emergency situation.
Know How and Where to Shut Off the Water Supply.
Know where the building’s main water shutoff valve is located, so that the water may be shut off if the control valves at the washing machine are inoperable.
See image below for a typical household water shut off identification.
Well that's it for this installment. I hope it has been useful and or educational, As always,please don't hesitate to reach out if you have any questions or comments.... I hope this installment serves to prevent any of you from a similar fate as was mine last week.
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Hi My Name is Bruce Kenny and I am the owner and founder of Britannia Home Services. I am married with 3 kids and reside in Naperville Illinois.