Washing machine hose failures

by Jun 15, 2020Uncategorized

In 1989, Steve Vargo was a property manager for several 40 story luxury condominiums.  One average night, an owner on the 34th floor had a washing machine hose burst while they slept.  About 5 hours later, an owner on a floor much lower than Mr. 34th stepped onto wet carpet.  The water and damage and potential mold explosion made it’s way down to the 17th floor!  Greater than $100,000 in repairs was the reward.  Since some of us actually learn from history, Steve just knew that this could happen again so off on his new quest he went…  In search of the perfect washing machine hose was the focus that really did lead him to a new career.  Steve’s newly designed product, touted as the best available at any price, is sold direct to the end user from Honolulu to Hartford.  Mechanical engineers specify these things; some manufacturers install them on their high end models…standard.  FYI, per insurance company estimates, failed washer hoses cause more than $200 million in damage every year.

 Let’s look at how these tough guys compare with the also rans…….

Basic black: These are the 3/8″ black hoses that nearly all of us have or have seen.  The biggest reason for their failures is caused when the thin, flat tin/copper alloy coupling becomes honed to a nice razor sharp edge from water rushing past it and it slices through the hose.  Ever wonder why you’ve only seen the failures at or very near the ends of the hose, now you can say you heard it here.  Most Central Florida homes plumbing systems operate between 60-70psi.  When one of these fine hoses fails, at 70psi it can discharge 600 gallons of water per hour!   So imagine you’re at work or on vacation, now do the math.  Staggering isn’t it! 

Steel braided: Look’s really cool, macho, industrial strength, glamorous.  In order to reduce costs, the basic black two ply rubber was replaced with an unreinforced rubber tube.  Now there’s a brilliant idea…if you’re an accountant.  Some even have a plastic tube inside of them.  The steel braid is purely cosmetic and offers no strength to the part that has water flowing through it.  So follow me here.  They take this rubber tube, insert a garden hose coupling and crimp the rubber tube in between the steel braids and coupling.  Anyone see what’s happening here yet?  They’re pinching the thin rubber tube with little metal pointy things.  If the tube fails, what’s left?

Bad boys: They sacrifice cost engineering for quality engineering.  All brass metal stuff and the thickest rubber washer hose you’ve ever seen.  These sausage thick hoses are color/temperature coded red and blue, but they should come in shiny black with their own bottle of Armor All because they are bad to the bone.  Three layers of EPDM (the stuff that makes commercial roofs and tires water proof) with rayon braid in between each layer that has the bursting strength of 1700psi!  They have hex nut shaped couplings, beefy washers and heavy brass metal parts that won’t corrode.  Steve is so confident in his Floodchek hoses, he guarantees them for 20 years!  He will also put his $$$ where his mouth is and pick up the tab for incidental and consequential damages!  Check it all out at www.floodchek.com, yes that’s spelled right.

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