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Have you ever put something heavy in your washing machine, only to hear what sounded like a herd of buffalo trampling through your laundry room once the spin cycle began? Your washing machine goes endures a lot of force throughout the years, and occasionally some part of it can’t take the abuse any more and gives out. In fact, flooding from washing machines sits comfortably in the top 10 causes of insurance claims each year.
What makes water damage from washing machine malfunctions so unfortunate is the amount of water that can enter your premises within a matter of minutes. And if you’re like most people and occasionally leave the house with your washing machine running, should the supply line burst while you’re away, you’re going to come home to a bigger mess than you can even imagine. As an emergency water damage company, we see the effects of washing machine floods firsthand each week. Fortunately, we also know there are things you can do to limit the chances of your washing machine causing significant water damage to your home.
Why do washing machines malfunction and flood?
Washing machines can send water throughout your home for any number of reasons, but here are the main causes of water damage from washing machines along with tips to ensure these problems don’t happen to you:
The water supply lines burst or the connections loosen
If you’ve ever turned on your washing machine and watched what happens to the supply lines, you’ve probably noticed a slight jolt as a massive amount of high pressure water flows through them all at once. It’s a lot of pressure building up in the hoses year after year, especially if you still have old rubber hoses. Eventually, these hoses will weaken in spots. The first sign of a problem is if you get a large bubble in one part of the hose. That indicates a hose that is on the verge of complete failure. Nowadays, it is recommended that you install burst-free braided hoses and that you replace them once every 5 or 6 years. If not, you could be looking at calling a water extraction service like us to clean up a huge mess!
The pump valve malfunctions or gets clogged
Another problem that can occur is the pump designed to push the water out of your washing machine can malfunction. With no where to go, the water will escape anywhere it can and spill onto your floor. In many homes, the washing machine is on the second level close to the bedrooms, meaning the water will soak the carpets and stream down the wall cavities or drip through the ceiling below. It’s always a good idea to make sure there is no blockage or soap or scum residue build up within the pump valve itself or in the filter designed to keep the pump valve free and clear of debris. There are plenty of videos on youtube you can watch that explain how to check these areas and keep them working properly!
The drain hose disconnects
The drain hose allows the water to exit your machine and enter your home’s drain system once the washing machine has washed your clothes and it is time to drain out the water. Unfortunately, these hoses can become disconnected and send the water meant for your drain pipes flooding throughout your home. It’s recommended that every 6 months you check the hose’s connection to make sure it’s fastened properly, that there are no blockages and that there are no kinks in the hose itself.
What’s the best way to prevent my washing machine from flooding my house?
The single best thing you can do to prevent water damage in your home from a washing machine leak is to install a flood stopper. These can be purchased for roughly $150 and are really easy to install. They work by placing a sensor on the floor next to the washing machine that detects water. Once the sensor is triggered, the piece you’ve installed at the connection point for the hoses activates and shuts off the water supply, killing anymore water to the machine.
What should I do if I have water damage from my washing machine?
If you still have water spilling everywhere, shut off the supply lines to the washing machine. Next, salvage anything that hasn’t gotten wet but is in the path of the water. Once you’ve done what you can, it’s imperative to call a water damage repair company like us! While your loss is most certainly covered by insurance, you never need a claim to begin saving your home and its contents. The longer you wait for professional help, the more the water damage will spread and the greater the cost will be to your insurer. So call us now and we will be happy to provide you with a free cost estimate for any flooding damage you may have!