More and more we hear stories about leaking or burst pipes causing water damage inside the home. The Sydney Morning Herald ran one such article just over 12 months ago. It was about the increase in claims caused by damaged Flexible Braided Pipes, more commonly known as Flexi hoses.
The article quotes ‘claims data’* from one of Australia’s largest insurance companies AIG. It showed that flexible hoses were the cause of over 20% of water damage insurance claims in Australian households in 2016. Properties between 11 and 30 years old were most likely to make an ‘escape of water claim’.
Flexi hoses have commonly been used in Australia for more than 15 years. They consist of an internal rubber hose with braided layers of stainless steel, and connector nuts at each end.
Due to their flexibility, they are ideal for use on hot and cold water connections. They’re used on taps under sinks, basins and tubs, as well as hot water systems and dishwashers. Almost all households in Australia would have at least one Flexi hose installation as part of their water supply pipework.
Many plumbers are finding that faulty Flexi hoses are responsible for major structural damage to bathrooms, kitchens and laundries. They also contributed to wet carpets, and other damage to household furniture and goods in affected areas.
The drying process from internal water leaks can take days. It often requires noisy air movers and dryers to combat the excess water and smells that result. Also, your insurance policy may not cover all costs associated with the restoration service involved.
Most Flexi hoses have an average life of around 10 years. The most common fault is corrosion in the stainless steel braiding, which restricts pressure on the rubber pipe inside. When the braiding corrodes, the pressure in the rubber pipe is released, rupturing the pipe and water flows freely.
Another problem with Flexi hoses has been with the installation. When not installed properly, they can develop a leak within months. Most water services will have a stop tap connected to stop the water flow until help arrives.
To avoid major flood damage or high water damage to your home from burst pipes or hoses;
- Check your Flexi hoses regularly for any signs of leakage. They should have an expiry tag or date stamp to alert you when they are due for replacement.
- Always use a qualified plumber when getting your Flexi hose serviced to avoid refusal of any water damage claims.
If you can’t find the expiry date, please call our office on 0420 102 345. We can arrange a professional plumber to have new Flexi hoses or pipes installed, if needed.
Remember not all leaks are seen immediately. If your water bill has increased suddenly, you may have a leak. Also check if your water meter is turning when you’re not using any. If you find a leak on your property we respond quickly with our 24 hour service anywhere on the Mornington Peninsula.