Avoid burst flexi hoses – don’t go away without having them checked this school holidays

As the summer holidays beckon, and you’re planning to go away, it’s time to check your flexi hoses at home!

With flexi hoses being so cheap and readily available, they’ve been a versatile staple in any Australian home. They connect to the water taps and they are not just for hosing your garden but can be found under your sinks, in your bathroom, kitchen and laundry.

However, they are not without risks; if they are not checked and maintained properly, you can end up with a burst flexi hose, leading to heavy flooding.

Why do flexi hoses fail?

Flexi hoses are made to last between 5 to 10 years but you get what you pay for! With some being widely available for as little as $5, these are made with low quality materials and can lead to corrosion. The cheaper models tend to use thinner, weaker braiding, which again results in corrosion and compromises the integrity of the hose.

DIY is also a majority cause of the integrity of flexi hoses being compromised as they are usually damaged at the time of installation. You are at risk of not being covered by your insurance company if a licensed plumber does not install them.

Despite the shelf life being long, insurance companies have been reporting that flexi hoses are the primary cause of flooding inside Australian homes, with 22% of water damage claims*.

broken flexi pipe

Why is there a greater chance of a flexi hose leak while you’re away on holiday?

It doesn’t seem right that your flexi hoses are more at risk whilst you’re away, but no matter how implausible it seems, this is the case. With burst flexi hoses capable of leaking up to 1500 litres of water an hour, they can literally be a burning fuse.

The greater risk whilst you are away is due to the water pressure in the pipes not being released as it is every time a tap is turned on or a toilet is flushed. Even overnight, the system pressurised the water as it has no escape. This constant pressure can create a weak point in the flexi hose and can result in a bulge. This effect is similar to that when you keep blowing a little air into a balloon and then let it out, over time, this stretches the inner tub of the hose. Although this starts as mere micro measurements, eventually, it adds up to a bulge on the inner rubber tube of the hose which applies pressure on the outer sleeve.

When you are away on holiday, the system never gets to release this pressure for the entire duration and so the inner tube is overstretched and weak. If the pressure continues, this weakest point can fail and water is pumped into your home.

What can you do to prevent flexi hose failure?

  • Regularly check the condition of your flexi hoses for damage, corrosion, bulges or kinks
  • Invest in quality, Watermark certifies, hoses
  • Always have a licensed plumber install flexi hoses and arrange regular maintenance checks
  • Install a vent hole in cupboards where you store chemicals for ventilation to diminish moisture and chlorine levels
  • Install a Flo Leak Protector system to notify you of any issues and allow you to shut off the water supply remotely
  • ALWAYS switch off the main water supply to your home when you are going away for an extended period

Fallon Solutions offers a wide range of options to protect your home from water damage due to burst flexi hoses, including the Flo Leak Protector. Contact our plumbing team today at 1300 762 260 for a stress-free summer break.

*Insurance Australia Group, 2016