It’s an owner’s responsibility to ensure flexible braided hoses are checked and maintained in rental properties.
WHAT ARE FLEXIBLE BRAIDED HOSES?
Flexible braided hoses are rubber pipes encased in braided stainless steel (see image above).
Also called flexi hoses, they are commonly found in household kitchens and bathrooms. They are used to connect the water main to taps, sinks, basins and tubs, and are also used on some toilets to connect the stop valve to the cistern.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS POSED BY FLEXI HOSES?
Flexi hoses have a limited life span (between five and ten years). They deteriorate over time, particularly if they haven’t been regularly checked and maintained. This poses a risk of the pipes bursting, flooding the property and causing serious damage.
The older the property, the higher the risk of flexi pipes bursting – and the resulting water damage likely won’t be covered under insurance if proper maintenance hasn’t been carried out.
Research from Insurance Australia Group showed that flexi hoses were responsible for more than 20% of water damage claims lodged by Australian households in 2016, with the majority of issues occurring in properties built between 11 and 30 years ago.
HOW CAN I AVOID WATER DAMAGE FROM A BURST FLEXI HOSE?
If your property has flexi hoses, there are a few things you can do to avoid potential water damage:
- Check hoses regularly for rust spots, bulging, frayed and/or kinked sections – all signs the hose is at risk of bursting
- Check the expiry date (found on the collars of all flexi hoses) and set a reminder to replace when necessary
- Ensure any new hoses you purchase come with a warranty (usually 10 years)
- Always have a professional plumber install or perform maintenance on any flexi hoses.