You may not know what a Flexible Inlet Water Hose is, or have even seen one – but they're now one of the most common cause of water damage in the home.
This small, inexpensive but convenient pipe could cause major cost and disruption to your life and we’d like to help you reduce the chance of that happening.
So what is it?
A flexible inlet water hose, also known as a braided hose, is used to connect water from the wall outlet to the taps under sinks, basins and tubs.
Often made of stainless steel, it can over time, become corroded by rust, kinked, start to unravel, or come loose at the connection points.
After completing more than 3,000 claim reviews NRMA Insurance found a common trend:
Flexible inlet water hoses were a major cause of water damage in the home – significantly more than any other source.
And they're in most homes.
Water, water everywhere
It's believed the cause of this increase is due to the lifespan of the average hose being 10 years; and as they're typically out of sight and out of mind, it’s not something you’re probably thinking about replacing.
Over time, they can deteriorate and then when you're not expecting it, a big flood can start in your kitchen, bathroom or laundry.
And that can mean a very large bill.
The average cost per NRMA Home Insurance claim for escape of water in 2016/17 was a huge $4,818, excluding Excess and GST.
But you can avoid the mess and the money spent by doing some simple checks every few months, to help identify the potential flooding before it happens.
What to look out for
- Early signs of corrosion and rust and/or snapped fine braid wire strands that look or feel like steel splinters.
- Broken wire strands that can be felt by running your fingers lightly along the braided stainless hose, just go gently to avoid getting pricked by the metal.
- Nylon manufacturers tags and date stamps adjacent to the connectors, which are traceable back to manufacturer, certification, year of assembly and warranty. Anything over 10 years old – it's recommended you have it replaced.
What to do if you find a sub-standard hose
If you can see any corrosion, broken strands, missing nylon manufacturers tags or out of date stamps you should:
- Consider replacing all affected flexible hoses in your home with a new product as soon as possible.
- Engage a suitably qualified professional plumber to supply and install the new hoses.
- Set yourself reminders to replace flexible hoses in the future, as they only have a 10-year warranty period.
The replacement recommendation is every 8-10 years, even if there are no signs of corrosion or damage.
If you follow these steps you should be saved the drama and expense of water damage from an old flexible hose.
Are you covered for water damage to your home and contents? Find out more about about the cover you need here.