How to prevent water damage in your home from flexi hoses

man fixing leaking tap

Alice Piper

Posted April 14, 2022


Water damage from flexi hose leaks and burst pipes can cause thousands of dollars in damage to your home. Here's how to prevent water damage in your home.

When we think of water damage to the home, what often springs to mind is winter storms with windows left open, broken roof tiles, or other damage caused by a leaky shower or burst kitchen tap.

However, a lot of water damage in the home is caused by an under-the-sink product known as a flexi hose: a popular, cheap, and convenient rubber pipe encased in stainless steel, which is widely used in kitchens, laundries and bathroom sinks as they can be easily bent into shape to fit piping.

Flexi hoses, particularly the hot water hose, are the most common cause of internal water leaks in homes. Depending on the appliance they're connected to, such as washing machines and dishwashers, flexi hoses can cause significant damage when they burst. RACV Trades were called to nearly 5,000 homes in 2021 due to burst pipes, and almost 7,500 homes where the tap could not be turned off.

While RACV Home Buildings and Contents Insurance will cover you for insured events such as water leaks from baths and toilets, burst flexi hoses and pipes, and blocked gutters, water damage can be prevented if you know what to look for and be proactive with home maintenance.


Water damage prevention tips 
 

Ensure all flexi hoses are installed by licensed plumber

No matter how simple a job may seem, it’s important to always have a licensed plumber install flexi hoses and other plumbing products in the home.

A licenced plumber will follow best practice protocol and ensure the job is done to relevant safety standards. 

Proactively check appliances for water leaks

It’s possible for minor water leaks to go undetected in the home, and over a long period of time, this can cause significant damage.

In the case of flexi hoses, they’re unlike the fixed plumbing within the home. Flexi hoses have a limited life span, which is usually around 10 years according to most manufacturers.

This means, at some point your flexi hoses are going to fail – so be sure to check underneath sinks, and around dishwashers and washing machines for signs of leaking water, as well as fraying or kinking flexi hoses. 

Maintain flexi hoses for increased life span

Having a regular home maintenance schedule, which includes a licensed plumber checking along the flexi hose for signs of water leaks and damage, can be the difference between a minor and fixable problem, or major water damage to your home in the future. 

mopping up overflowing water from washing machine with blue bucket in background

Avoid water damage by regularly checking for leaks in the kitchen, bathroom and laundry. Image: Getty


   

Keep your gutters clean

While autumn is touted as the time of the year to clean your gutters to avoid leaves clogging pipes and drains, be mindful that moss and weeds can grow throughout the year, which can cause water to overflow down the side of the house. 

Inspect the roof

It’s important to check for signs of water leaks on the roof, which will include tea-coloured stains on plaster or damp spots on the joints.

From the outside, check for things like broken roof tiles, whether the flashing surrounding the chimney is intact, and other signs of visible water damage. 

Look for moisture and mould in the home

When inspecting the inside of the home for potential water damage, look for signs like flaking paint or wallpaper, as well as speckled marks on skirting boards.

Condensation on skylights or windowsills in the mornings can also be a sign there is above-average moisture levels in the house. 

 

leaves sitting in a roof gutter

Ensure roof gutters are clear of leaves and debris. Image: Getty


Know where the water main is

In the event a pipe, flexi hose or tap does burst, it can only take a matter of minutes before major water damage is done to the home.

Ensure that everyone residing in the house knows where the water main is in case it needs to be turned off quickly to prevent further water damage to the home. 

Install a water leak detection device

A water leak detection device is a relatively inexpensive product that can alert you to a hidden water leak behind appliances or when you're away from home. This could save your home from significant water damage if a flexi hose or pipe bursts while you're out, particularly during holiday periods.

RACV Trades can help get your home in order.
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The information provided is general advice only. Before making any decisions please consider your own circumstances and the Product Disclosure Statement and Target Market Determinations. For copies, visit racv.com.au. As distributor, RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd AFS Licence No. 230039 receives commission for each policy sold or renewed. Products issued by Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Ltd ABN 93 004 208 084 AFS Licence No. 227678.​

RACV Emergency Home Assist is an emergency home service product, separate to insurance, that is provided by Royal Automobile Club of Victoria (RACV) Ltd and not RACV Insurance Services Pty Ltd. It is a fast response service providing up to 8 call outs a year for common plumbing, electrical and locksmith emergencies, all for one annual fee. Up to 1 hour of labour, including minor parts and materials, is used to repair or make your home safe. Emergency Home Assist does not insure you against the costs of a home emergency and is not a home insurance product. Refer to the RACV Emergency Home Assist Terms and Conditions for more details.​