My mother was obsessed with preventing washing machine leaks! Every time she finished doing a load of laundry, she turned off the hot and cold water faucets that fill the washer. She claimed that if she left the water “on,” pressure would build up in the hoses and cause them to burst, which would result in a big, watery mess that would flood the laundry room and the basement below!
One day I asked my plumber for his thoughts on my mother’s obsession with turning off the washing machine faucets, and he said that my mother was very wise and her technique for preventing washing machine leaks was actually very effective.
Apparently water pressure can build up in the washing machine inlet hoses if you leave the water “on,” which can cause them to leak or burst. But since most people either forget or can’t be bothered to shut off the water supply after every load of wash, he suggested several other strategies for preventing washing machine leaks, all of which are great do-it-yourself ideas!
Well, it’s too late for me to share these great ideas with my mother, but I do want to share them with you and my other readers.
WASHING MACHINE FLOOD PROTECTION STRATEGIES (starting with least expensive)
1. Washer floor tray – If you can’t afford to replace or repair your leaking washing machine right away or want to protect against future leaks, slide a water catching tray under your washing machine to catch drips and leaks. It’s a simple, inexpensive way to prevent water damage to your floor from a leaky washing machine. Purchase price around $20.
2. Replace water supply hoses – Over time, water supply hoses can become brittle and burst. Check them periodically and replace your old hoses with the newer types that consist of flexible plastic tubing encased in a stainless steel braided exterior. Better still, upgrade to the new auto-shutoff connector hoses that protect against catastrophic water damage by automatically shutting off the water supply to the washing machine if excess water flow is sensed. These ingenious hoses cost only about $20 each and can be used on washing machines, dishwashers and other plumbing fixtures and appliances.
3. Single-lever shutoff valve – If you are a conscientious launder like my mother and can remember to turn the water off after each load of wash, replace your dual faucets with a single-lever faucet that lets you controls both hot and cold water at the same time. A low cost solution that’s easy to use! Pick one up at any hardware store for about $25.
4. Flood protection device – An automatic water leak detection device prevents flooding by immediately shutting off both the hot and cold water supply to the washing machine when sensors detect a water leak. These devices are quick and easy to install by homeowners and provide 24/7 protection against damage caused by washing machine floods. Some even sound an audible alarm. Price tag is less than $150.
5. Automatic Washing Machine Water Shutoff Valve and Leak Sensor – This “intelligent” valve does it all to protect against catastrophic water damage from a burst inlet hose connected to a washing machine that is in use or unattended! It allows water to flow only when it senses that the washing machine is turned on and stops water from flowing if the machine is turned off. It also stops water from flowing if it senses excessive water flow or detects a leak. Easy to hookup yourself. Can be found online for under $200. A great investment to prevent all washing machine leaks regardless of the cause.