Doing the laundry is a simple routine. You never think about how quickly it can go wrong.
Suddenly, a washing machine pipe bursts. The damage spreads in a matter of minutes. One ruptured hose can flood the laundry room with a flow equivalent to 650 gallons per hour.
That’s a huge volume of water filling the basement. In an upstairs laundry, it can push the flooding through the floor and into the walls and ceiling below.
We help homeowners deal with water damage from broken washing machine hoses all across Chicagoland. Based on our decades of experience as restoration professionals, we know how to handle this laundry day emergency.
Why Do Washing Machine Pipes Burst?
When a washing machine leaks, it floods the room with water from the washer’s tub.
Depending on your machine’s size and type, you’re dealing with 20 to 40 gallons of water.
When washing machine supply lines fail, your home’s water pressure pushes a non-stop flood through the burst hoses.
These are the most common causes of this laundry room disaster.
1. Water Hammer
It occurs at the end of every cycle. Water abruptly stops flowing into the washing machine, creating a sudden pressure increase.
This hydraulic shock is the main source of everyday wear and tear on supply hoses.
2. Bad Washer
Both supply pipes are sealed with rubber washers at their shut-off valves.
When these small rubber parts wear out, pressure in the lines can cause a burst just below the point of attachment.
3. Rusted Fittings
Hose couplings are also prone to corrosion and rust buildup.
The deterioration weakens the connection between the lines and your home’s plumbing system, causing ruptures around the shut-off valves.
4. Metal Razoring
Over time, the metal insert at the coupling end of each pipe becomes thin due to vibrations from the washing machine.
It eventually develops razor-sharp edges that slice into and tear open the surrounding hose material.
5. Water Quality
Hard water mineral buildup often causes problems inside washing machine pipes.
Accumulated sediment narrows the diameter of hose interiors, creating increased pressure and a higher risk of burst lines.
6. Faulty Installation
Whether you’re replacing worn-out hoses or broken pipe components, faulty installation sets the stage for laundry room flooding.
For example, incorrectly fitted connectors, loose attachments and twisted lines can all result in washing machine hose failure.
What to Do If Your Washing Machine Pipe Bursts
You come into the laundry room, ready to move a load of clean clothes into the dryer. Instead, you see a soaked floor and water gushing out of a burst washing machine pipe.
Every minute counts. Where do you start?
Be ready to get the situation under control with these five steps for dealing with a washing machine hose break.
1. Turn Off the Water
Try stopping the water flow by closing the shut-off valves on both hoses. If this doesn’t work, shut down the water coming into your home at its main supply shut-off valve.
2. Remove Excess Water
Mop up as much water as you can. A shop vac makes the work go more quickly, but concentrate on removing excess water for now. Cleanup comes later.
Power Tip: If possible, open windows in the laundry room so that fresh air can circulate through the area.
3. Call Your Insurance Company
Homeowners insurance usually covers damage caused by broken washing machine hoses. Call your agent, explain the situation, and arrange for an adjuster’s inspection.
4. Call a Licensed Plumber
In most cases, washing machine pipe repair isn’t a DIY job.
Call a licensed plumber. If you don’t already have someone who can do the work, our staff can put you in touch with an experienced plumber.
5. Call a Certified Restoration Company
Contact a restoration company that specializes in water damage mitigation and cleanup.
If you’re in the Chicago area, our teams here at ServiceMaster by Zaba are on call 24/7 with certified remediation and restoration services.
Power Tip: A certified restoration company also takes care of the mold growth that develops after a supply line break.
How to Prevent Washing Machine Hose Failure
We recently shared our insider tips and recommendations for preventing leaks from the washing machine.
It’s always our pleasure to give you information you can use, so let’s wrap up with strategies that can head off problems with washing machine supply hoses.
• Stay Away From the Wall – Make sure the back of the washing machine is positioned at least 4 inches away from the wall. This keeps hoses from kinking and developing weak spots.
• Give Valves Time Off – If you plan on being away from home for a few days, shut off the washing machine pipe valves. This minimizes pressure in the lines and reduces the chances of a laundry room disaster while you’re gone.
• Make Inspections Routine – Check your washing machine water supply lines once a month. Keep connections tight, and be on the lookout for any signs of worn or damaged hoses.
Power Tip: Check the shut-off valves too. Moisture or rust are both indicators of potential problems.
• Switch to Ball Valves – Most washing machine lines connect to plumbing pipes with gate valves that require several turns to close. Ball valves shut off the water faster with a one-push lever action that creates a powerful seal.
• Switch to Braided Hoses – The water supply pipes on your washing machine need replacing every three to five years. Consider switching to stainless steel braided hoses that resist breaks better and last longer than rubber lines.
• Arrest Water Hammer – Reduce the damage of fluctuating pressure by installing a water hammer arrester. This device helps extend the life of washing machine water pipes, and it makes laundry day a little quieter too.
Power Tip: It’s always easier to let a licensed plumber replace old or install new washing machine components.
Has a Washing Machine Pipe Burst in Your Chicago Home? We Can Help!
It only takes a few minutes for a broken washing machine pipe to flood floors and soak walls. As bad as a laundry room disaster can be, you have help you can count on.
Our teams take care of all types of burst pipe water damage for homeowners in Chicago and the suburbs.
Here at ServiceMaster by Zaba, we’re ready to respond to your laundry day emergency 24/7, and we’re always just a phone call away: 773-647-1985