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How to Maintain Your Washing Machine

Defusing a Washing Machine Water Damage Time Bomb

Who doesn’t love the smell of freshly washed clothes? How about wet and moldy flooring? No? Well, a burst water supply line causes half of all water damage incidents involving washing machines1. And on average, each incident caused more than $5,000 in damages…and plenty of smelly, moldy carpeting.

So what are the keys to keeping your washing machine from flooding?

Keep it level and replace your hoses.

Washing machines can vibrate and do a little “walking” if they’re overloaded, unbalanced or not on a level surface. Over time, this can cause cracks and loosen water hoses, causing a little dripping on the floor or even a full out flood. So make sure your washing machine is leveled, and try running smaller loads of laundry to keep it in its place.

It’s also a good rule of thumb to change out your machine’s rubber water hoses every 5 years or so. Old hoses can tear and spray, so you want to swap them out before they cause any water damage.

Replacing your water hoses is pretty easy, even if you’re not much of a do-it-yourselfer. Just:

  1. Unplug your washing machine.

  2. Turn off the water supply.

  3. Unscrew the old hoses from the back of the machine and the water supply.

  4. Screw in the new ones. (consider using stainless steel hoses, since they’re stronger and last longer)

  5. Turn on the water supply and plug the machine back in.

It should only take a few minutes, and it’s definitely easier, and less costly than dealing with water damage!

1. Washing Machine Failure Risks. (2012). Retrieved April 4, 2014, from https://www.disastersafety.org/studies-reports/washing-machine-failure-risks/