Around the house or in commercial environments, stainless steel hoses are commonly used to make connections in plumbing applications, including:
- Water Heaters
- Washing Machines
Using stainless steel instead of rubber offers increased durability so they will last longer without failure. But if you do not install them properly or care for them right, stainless steel hoses can fail. Here's how to treat your stainless steel hoses right so they last 5 years or longer.
Purchase Hoses with Fittings
While it's very possible to purchase a stainless steel hose, cut it to size and install your own fittings, it is best to leave this to professional plumbers. If you do it yourself, you risk cutting the hose at an angle. This may make it difficult to properly attach fittings, and your hose is more likely to leak over time.
Make Sure Your Hose is the Correct Length
If you are using a hose that is so short that it has no "give," the hose is more liable to kink. Having a little extra length in the hose is known as bend radius, and it's ideal for keeping your hose in good shape. However, a hose that is too long is likely to rub against walls or flooring and become frayed. Carefully measure the length of hose you'll need and install one that is no more than 3 to 4 inches longer than needed.
Inspect Hoses Before Installation
Make sure that your hose assembly doesn't have any cuts or frayed areas before you put it in. Also look to make sure your hose doesn't appear used -- in other words, it is clean and shows no signs of wear. Make sure no part of the hose is twisted.
Maintain Your Hoses
Ideally, you would be able to leave your stainless steel hoses and never check them. But to get the longest life from your hoses, check them regularly -- perhaps as part of an annual spring cleaning -- for leaks, frayed areas, corrosion or other signs of damage. If you spot a problem, replace the hose before a major issue comes up.
Replace All Hoses Every 5 Years
There are a few reasons why stainless steel hoses might not last longer than 5 years. For example, water that flows through the hoses may corrode the hose or contain chemicals that can lead to early deterioration.
While most hoses will last quite a bit longer than 5 years, many residential insurers suggest that you proactively replace hoses every 5 years, especially those on washing machines or other appliances that are hard to inspect on a regular basis.
For more information, contact Liberty Hose & Supply Inc. or a similar company.