Plumbing leaks pose risk that’s too easy to ignore


A best practice to prevent a leak is to use a reinforced steel braided hose for water connections.


Many homeowners don’t recognize the plumbing leak risk that lies in plain sight within their home or condo: water supply lines.

It has become common to connect a home’s water to appliances using flexible water supply hoses. They are used not only for water connections to washing machines, but also for toilets, sinks, air conditioning cooling water, water softeners and many other appliances and fixtures. To make this issue more personal and relevant, ask yourself: “When is the last time I inspected my water supply lines?”

Every hose in a home or condo is at risk of failure that could lead to extensive water damage. Considering that a typical home has at least three hoses per bathroom (two under the sink and one under the toilet) and two in the laundry room, it is clear the possibility for loss exists in even the most modest homes. Regardless of design or materials, all hoses will deteriorate over time and fail.

Make regular inspection of the water supply lines a key part of routine home maintenance. If there is any outward sign of corrosion, excessive wear and tear or bulging, replace the supply line immediately.

In general:

  • All hoses used in the home should be replaced every five years at a minimum
  • Replacing them all at the same time makes it easier to track the age of all the hoses in your home
  • Everyone in your family should know where the main water shut-off to your home is located
  • Consider turning off your water supply to the home when leaving for vacation or an extended period

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety provides additional tips to help protect your home from water damage caused by water supply lines.

This loss control information is advisory only. The authors assume no responsibility for management or control of loss control activities. Not all exposures are identified in this article. Contact your local, independent insurance agent for coverage advice and policy service.

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