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Stainless Steel Vs Rubber Washer Hoses (How to Prevent Leaks)

Updated
Discover the difference between stainless steel vs rubber washer hoses.

Rubber hoses on your washing machine are something you don’t think about. All they do is connect the washing machine to the valve that supplies the water. However, these hoses can and will burst causing expensive water damage that will need to be repaired.

The best way to burst proof your hose is to use the proper hose for your situation and make sure that they’re properly installed and maintained. So let’s discuss the merits of using stainless steel or rubber washing machine hoses in your home.

Stainless Steel Vs Rubber Washer Hoses

You’ll find two types of washer hoses available for you to use on your washing machines. The first is a braided stainless steel washer hose and the second is a rubber washer hose. The stainless steel washer hose is industry standard for use inside homes. The reinforced rubber washer hose is more likely to burst and is recommended only for washing machines outside your house.


Types of Washing Machine Hoses

When you browse the shelves, you’ll find two main types: stainless steel and rubber hoses.

Stainless Steel Washer Hoses

 

Stainless steel braided washing machine hoses are recommended for use inside the house. Inside the braided stainless steel is a rubber hose. The stainless steel gives extra protection against bursting and has a lower failure rate than a plain rubber hose.

You will need to be careful with regards to tight spaces that may cause kinking or bending. The bending of the hose may cause the stainless steel to bite into the rubber hose, eventually causing it to burst. If this is an issue in your home, you can look for a stainless steel hose with an elbow at the end which will allow the hose to bend without kinking.

Another type of stainless steel hose you can use in the home is one with an auto-shutoff. The auto-shutoff hose is very similar to the regular stainless steel braided washing machine hose, but it has a shutoff mechanism.

If the hose should burst, the shutoff mechanism senses the change in water pressure and will turn off the water keeping your laundry room flood safe.

Rubber Washer Hoses

You’ll find that there are two types of rubber hoses available. The first is a regular rubber hose which is not very durable. It will lose flexibility and strength over time and is not recommended for use with a washing machine.

The second type of rubber hose is a flexible rubber hose that’s reinforced with a braided rayon or polyester mesh to help prevent bursting. This type of hose is not recommended for use inside of a house because it has a higher chance of bursting than a stainless steel hose.

However, it may be used for washing machines that are located outside of your house.

Stainless Steel Vs Rubber Washer Hoses

To easily see the difference between the stainless steel and rubber washing machine hoses, please consult the table below.

Stainless Steel Vs Rubber Washer Water Hoses

Cost Durability Lifespan Recommendation
Plain rubber hose Least expensive Not likely to hold up to the pressure 3-5 years Not recommended for use with a washer
Reinforced rubber hose Slightly more expensive More likely to burst 3-5 years Recommended only for washers outside the home
Stainless steel hose More expensive Less likely to burst 3-5 years Recommended for washing machines
Stainless steel hose with auto-shutoff Most expensive Includes safety mechanism to prevent flooding 3-5 years Recommended for washing machines

What Else to Consider When Buying a Hose

When you’re heading to the store to purchase a washer hose, you should consider the length of the hose you will need to purchase, installation requirements, and the temperature range of the hose.

Proper Length

When you’re purchasing a new hose or replacing an old hose for your washing machine, it’s very important that you purchase the proper length. A hose that’s too long will increase the risk of kinks and bends. A hose that’s too short will put a strain on the connections which will increase the risk of leaks.

Washer hoses usually come in a variety of lengths between 3 ft and 12 ft. Pick an appropriate length that will give you several inches of slack.

If you have a larger distance such as 20 ft between your water line and washer, you may need to pick up couplers to connect several hoses together. This is not ideal as you increase the risk of leakage.

Installation Requirements

Check the installation requirements for the hoses when you purchase them as well. Double-check to find out if you need to pick up washers, tools, or plumber’s tape in order to install the new hoses correctly.

Temperature Range

Washing machine hoses also need to handle a wide temperature range as well. Make sure that your water hose can handle a temperature range of around 60 degrees Fahrenheit for cold and 90-120 degrees Fahrenheit for hot.

Check the product specifications on your hoses. They’re usually color-coded for hot and cold, and some hoses must be fitted correctly while other hoses may be interchangeable.

How to Replace a Rubber Washer Hose

If you discover that your washing machine is fitted with a rubber washer hose, you will need to replace it with a stainless steel hose to prevent flooding.

  • Time: 15 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner

What You’ll Need

  • 2 stainless steel braided hoses of the proper length
  • Bucket
  • Pliers
  • Old towels

1. Turn Off Power

Use your breaker box to turn off the power to your washing machine and dryer. Then unplug your washer by pulling the plug from the wall socket.

2. Pull Out Washing Machine

Pull out your washing machine from the wall so you can access the hoses and water supply valves behind the machine.

3. Turn Off Water Supply

Turn off the water supply to your washing machine at the valves before you begin changing the hoses. At this time you should see 2 smaller hoses for hot and cold water, and a large drain hose. You will be replacing the small hoses.

4. Remove Old Hoses

Place a bucket under the hookup to catch any water that may drain from the hose, and use towels to mop up any mess that occurs. Use the pliers if necessary to turn the fittings clockwise giving each hose time to drain into the bucket before moving to the next connection.

Remove the old hoses. If necessary mark the hot water connections so you don’t mix up the hot water and cold water connections.

5. Attach New Hoses

Make sure that the washer is properly placed inside the hose connector before you attach the hoses. If your hoses are color-coded, make sure that you connect the red hose to the hot water and the blue hose to the cold water.

Tighten all 4 connections by hand until you feel a strong resistance. Then give it another ¼ turn with pliers. Do not over-tighten the connection.

6. Turn On Water Supply

Slowly turn on the water supply to check for leaks.

Push your washing machine back into place leaving at least 4 inches of space between the washer and the wall. This will prevent the hoses from kinking. If you don’t have enough room, consider purchasing hoses with an elbow at the end.

7. Turn On the Power

Plug in the washing machine and double-check your washing machine hoses to make sure nothing is kinked or bent. Finally, turn on the breaker box to send power to your washing machine.

Washer Water Hose Maintenance Tips

  • Keep 3-4 inches between the wall and washer to prevent kinks and sharp bends in your hoses.
  • Inspect your washer hoses once or twice a year looking for kinks, damage, rust, snags, and signs of leakage.
  • Shut off the water supply valves when you’re on vacation and not using the washing machine for a longer period of time. The constant water pressure in the hoses may contribute to hose failure.
  • Replace the hoses every 3-5 years.
  • Consider purchasing a water hammer arrestor which will help absorb the shock of increased water pressure that happens in the hose after the washing machine cycle ends.

FAQs

Are Washing Machine Hoses Universal?

Yes, washing machine hoses use standard sizes and fittings so they will fit most washing machines.

How Long Do Stainless Steel Washing Machine Hoses Last?

Stainless steel washing machine hoses usually last 3-5 years.

How Long Do Metal Washer Hoses Last?

Metal hoses are made from stainless steel braided hoses and last around 3-5 years.

How Often Should You Change a Washer Hose?

It’s recommended that you replace your washer hoses every 5 years. However, you should replace them immediately if you discover cracks, distortions, or damage.


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About the Author

Sara Dennis

Sara Dennis is a coffee-loving freelance writer, homeschool blogger, and mom of six kids. In her free time, Sara loves reading books and researching more efficient and effective ways to keep a clean house, homeschool her children, and blog better while making a home for her large family.