Spring has finally arrived and I am sure that you have started on that list looking for places that caused the pipes to freeze last winter. If not, keep the plumbers phone number in a place you will remember so you won’t have to look for it when you need it next winter.
Spring also is the time for vacation planning. Here are a couple of things you might not have thought of to add to your to do list. First take a look at the hoses for your washing machine. If they show evidence of wear or are older, you may want to replace them. It might be better if you turn the faucets off when you leave. This becomes more important if you have for convenience installed your washing machine on the second floor. Imagine coming home to find the living room ceiling covering the furniture. Could never happen? I recently heard of a case similar to this that finally was resolved by a court action. Washing machine located in basement? What would happen if your floor drain became stopped up or in the case of a sump pump that failed because the motor was burned out? Probably would ruin furnace controls, hot water heater controls or possibly electric panel.
Another scenario could be some dishwashers have a braided hose connection for the water. This breaks and water runs under and through the cabinets for however long you are gone. Probably ruin cabinets and floor. I recently made an inspection for a homeowner who told me she wanted to insure everything was OK. In her previous home the dishwasher went bad and was replaced. The hose hookup failed, resulting in loss of cabinets and expensive hardwood floor.
In the case of a washing machine it was the hot water hose that broke and naturally the dishwasher has only hot water. Now imagine the dials on your gas or electric meter spinning at a rapid rate while the water heater tries to raise the cold incoming water temperature to the 120 degrees you have the unit set at.
Maybe there was no problem with broken hoses but there was a slight drip from a faucet because it was not shut off all the way. Continued water running over a faucet seat or ceramic disk can cause a grove that will make a repair necessary. Since we live in a throw way society I’ll bet that is what will happen to this faucet.
None of these things have ever happened? I can personally attest that in my years of experience it has and will. So while you are checking your wardrobe, buying sun tan lotion, calamine and Benadryl lotion, take time to check your household insurance to see if you would be covered for these types of events. You may be surprised.
Tom Spayth is the Plumbing Administrator for the Madison County/London City Health District. He can be reached at (740) 852-3065.