What is a flexi?
Flexible water hoses, commonly referred to as ‘flexi hoses’, are multipurpose hoses found in connections from wall outlets to taps, in sinks, basins and to connect water from the toilet stop tap to the cistern. They are also commonly used to replace standard copper pipe installations in older homes.
Assembled in outer braided layers of stainless steel with an internal rubber pipe the flexi is designed for its malleability. When pressurised the rubber tube lining expands,the braided layers of stainless steel are designed to prevent the tube from further expansion. If the stainless steel fails, the rubber inner core will expand to a point where it bursts.
Burst flexi hoses accounted for 22% % of water damage, leakages, ruptures, water bursts and home flooding claims in Australian households in 2016, according to research by general insurer IAG (refer https://www.iag.com.au/faulty-hoses-dampening-australian-households) with claims most likely to be for kitchen and bathroom damage, including ruined furniture, water-stained walls, soaked carpets and even severe structural damage.
Up to 1,500 litres of water per hour can flood into your home from a burst hose.
Main Reasons for flexi bursts
- Age; Flexi hoses have a limited lifespan and should be replaced every five to ten years. Most flexi’s will have an expiry date/warranty period printed on the collar of the hose
- Poor or incorrect Installation; flexi should be installed by licenced plumbers to safeguard your home from leakages, ruptures and leaks. Over tightening, over stretching, and looseness can cause the hose to fail, wear and tear over time.
- Lack of Maintenance; Incremental damage through limited or no maintenance can cause rusting, fraying and kinking leading to bursts.
- Poor quality products; Ensure qualified plumbers install and maintain your flexi hoses and quality plumbing products are used in your home.
Maintenance and Replacement
Flexi hoses at minimum should be replaced by a qualified plumber every 10 years.
Contact Mackie Plumbing if you notice any visible signs of wear and tear on the hose such as corrosion, or fraying of the metal, for any signs of leaks, loose connections or to check the integrity of existing flexi hoses in your home. Small, easily repairable leaks or compromised hoses should flag as a warning that it could be time for a whole-house replacement of water hoses.