This one simple tip could save your home from water damage
An unassuming, inexpensive item of plumbing kit could be the difference between significant water damage in our homes and peace of mind.
In the past 12 months insurers have received more than 30,000 claims for water damage caused by the failure of braided flexible hoses, according to the Insurance Council of Australia.
The claims cost for these failures is estimated at over $320 million, with damaged cupboards and flooring making up the bulk of the costs.
Yet many of us don’t know the significance of the flexible braided hose found lurking under our bathroom and kitchen sinks and almost never think of checking on them.
But QBE’s Arron Mann, Head of Short Tail Claims, is desperate for this to change and says the solution is actually very simple.
“Go home tonight and look under your sinks for your flexible braided hoses, also known as flexi hoses, that connect your hot and cold water to your taps,” Mann urges.
“Not many people are aware of this, but they are only designed to last five to ten years and when they eventually burst they have the potential to flood your house with water and cause extensive damage.”
In the best-case scenario, Mann says, you'll be at home when it happens and can turn the water off at the mains. The downside is you’ll still likely be dealing with some damage.
“In the worst case, you’ll be away from home – either at work or on holiday for an extended period of time, and the water will run at full pressure through your home causing an extensive and expensive problem.”
There should be an expiry date tagged on your flexible braided hose which householders can look for.
“If it has expired, or there is no tag, then contact a professional plumber to check them immediately,” says Mann. “I’d also urge householders to have their flexi hoses assessed by a professional plumber every two years as certain factors will cause them to degrade faster than anticipated.
“I can assure you there are thousands of people across Australia who wish they had known this simple piece of information before it happened to them.
“The best way to save on claims costs is to prevent the loss in the first place because avoidable losses like this lead to increased premiums, something we are actively working to avoid,” says Mann.
Top tips for flexible braided hoses
- Check the expiry tag on your flexible braided hose and get a plumber to inspect them at least every two years.
- Never install a flexible braided hose yourself. A professional plumber should always do this specialised work.
- Don’t store harsh chemicals near your flexible braided hose as this could cause the item to fail faster than expected.