Do Flexible Hoses Really Work?
18th May 2017
Flexi braided pipes, commonly known as flexi pipes, are fast becoming the bane of a plumber’s existence. They’re to blame for nearly a quarter of all water damage claims but continue to persist as a popular option in kitchen and bathroom sinks due to the fact that they’re cheap and can be fitted into awkward spaces without much fuss. They consist of a rubber pipe that is armoured with braided layers of stainless steel that allows them to be bent into different shapes and have been being installed across Australia for about 15 years.
But insurance companies are calling these friendly looking pipes ‘ticking time bombs under the sink’ due to the sheer number of claims coming in following bursts across the country that are causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage.
It seems the pipes have a limited life span, which is fine if you remember to change them – but is the average person thinking about the age of their pipes in the same way they might think about their fridge or washing machine? We know they’re not. In fact, many home owners aren’t aware that they even have flexi pipes installed in their bathrooms or kitchens.
Those that have split have causes often irreparable damage to furniture, walls, and carpets and in some cases, even structural damage. It seems that these flexi pipes only have a life span of about 10 years and if they’re not being replaced, they wear out and eventually burst.
If you have flexi pipes, there are a few things you can do to protect yourself against water damage:
Look for warning signs including bulging or rust spots on the braided metal, as this means it’s wearing out
Check the collar of the hose – most will have an expiry date. We recommend replacing them at least two months before their expiry to be safest
Consider investing in copper pipes. While they’re a little more expensive, their life span is far longer and they’ve been the industry standard for some time now
Store household chemicals away from any flexi pipes. Some experts suggest that common cleaning product fumes may be causing braided pipes to erode faster
Have your flexi hoses assessed by a plumber and ask them to install a flood stop isolating valve, which will instantly block the flow of water if there is ever an instance of a rupture
Make sure your home insurance covers flood insurance, for peace of mind in the instance of a flood due to a burst flexi pipe
Turn off the water that runs to flexi hoses if you go on holiday. This gives you peace of mind that nothing damaging will happen while you’re away
If you’re concerned about your flexi pipes, give Sydney Emergency Plumbing a call on 1800 862 565 and we can make time to pop out and assess the situation.