As a home inspector, one of the things I inspect are washing machine hoses. It may seem like a simple non-descript item to inspect, but these hoses can be the cause of significant loss and stress. I feel it is my duty to inform sellers or potential buyers of items that are not only an immediate concern, such as, a live wire dangling from the ceiling, but also those things that could be a potential concern in the long term.
In my inspection reports, if I notice that the current washing machine hoses are plain rubber, I recommend that they be replaced with the braided stainless steel type of hose because they are far less likely to burst, like this one from Certified Appliance. They are certainly not immune to failure, but if they do fail, they are much more likely to develop a leak, than to rupture.
This photo shows a hose that was removed from a washing machine after I discovered it during an inspection. The washing machine was actually in the kitchen area. Since the house was on city water, had the hose burst, it would have flooded the kitchen and run into the basement. This could have easily cost the homeowners thousands of dollars in loss, clean up, and repair.
Another thing to note in this situation is evidence of minor leaking at the opposite end. The white crusty substances are mineral deposits from hard water. When there is a minor leak at a water connection, the water will evaporate leaving the minerals behind. Over time, the deposits build up and cause the leak to become greater. Additionally, these deposits can bind threaded couplings together, which makes separating them nearly impossible without breaking one component or the other. In this situation, the shut off valve for the washing machine broke and had to be replaced.
If you’re looking to install a washer and dryer in the home you’re flipping, or in your own home, spend a little extra for the added insurance of better hoses. Be sure that they are tightly secured to prevent leaks. I normally tighten them hand tight and then use water pump pliers (aka Channellock’s ®) to tighten them 1/8 to 1/4 of a turn. Be careful not to over tighten them.