The issue all starts way back when your dishwasher, washing machine, faucets, toilets and ice maker were all installed. Yep for some of us that could be 25 or more years ago or it could be last week.
For one reason or another (cost most likely) some installers and homeowners too choose to go with the less expensive option and choose rubber hoses or PVC hoses with braided nylon. These options are definitely less expensive and will definitely do the job…for a while.
So now you’re thinking just how long is “for a while”, right? The answer to that question is “who knows”. Believe me when I say...you don’t ever want to find out so here’s why it happens and what you can do about it…
What causes the flood, you ask? The water supply lines that run from the shut-off valves to your appliances or fixtures are always under pressure. That means you turn the appliance or fixture on and water immediately jets out. Those supply lines are typically made of PVC or rubber. Now here’s the rub (pun intended) - rubber and PVC degrades and overtime can crack, rot, and rupture, causing a pressurized geyser (ahhh now the title of this blog makes sense) of water that will run and run and run some more until the valve manually shut off.
Now just how much water will be pouring into your home? The typical residential water system puts out about 6 gallons per minute. I’ve never been good at math so my daughter tells me that’s a whopping 360 gallons of water pouring into your home every hour! For all you bourbon drinkers out there that equates to roughly 6.5 barrels of bourbon every hour.
Well this, my friends, brings us to the point of this whole blog post…replace all the rubber and PVC supply lines in your home! You heard me...every last one of them. Braided stainless steel supply lines are considered to be the gold standard and have an inner neoprene liner and their failure rate is slim to none. They’re also a brushed-stainless finish that are good looking too—a plus where lines are visible like under pedestal sinks.
Braided stainless steel supply lines are your best bet however nothing is perfect and you therefore need to use common sense too. The very best insurance is to replace all the supply lines every 8-10 years and to keep an eye on them – if there is any hint of corrosion, bulging, etc REPLACE IT IMMEDIATELY!
Flexible supply lines come in different lengths so you need to know the distance from the shut-off valve to the fixture before you buy a replacement. Most importantly you must know and specify to the salesperson what the line is for, since your washing machine, toilet, sink, etc. have different size fittings. Your best bet is to take the old hose with you.
Oh and one more thing...
I always try and get the following tidbit out as much as I can and this article lends itself well to this…ALWAYS TURN THE WATER OFF TO THE HOUSE WHEN YOU LEAVE TOWN FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS! You never know if a pipe is going to freeze, if a supply line is going to burst, or if a whole bunch of other bad things will happen while you’re out of town. You should also make sure everyone in your home is familiar with the location of the main shut-off valve in case the water needs shut-off in a hurry.
OK so that's it. I truly hope none of you have to deal with a burst water supply line related flood but if you do just remember...I told you so.
For over 35 years Rick Kelley Builders has provided home building and remodeling services in the Central Ohio area. For more information check out our NEW & IMPROVED website by clicking HERE.