In this video, Ask This Old House plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey explains how and why to install an automatic shutoff valve for the washing machine supply hoses.
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Richard Trethewey demonstrates what you can do to a washing machine to prevent a flooding catastrophe. In the United States, the average insurance claim for water damage due to plumbing failures is ten thousand dollars. One of the worst culprits are washing machines.
Washing machine hoses usually last about eight to nine years, and if it bursts, it can be disastrous. Now that many laundry machines are found on upper levels, rather than the basement, the risk of severe flooding from burst hoses has increased. The best way to prevent flooding is to depressurize the washing machine hoses when they’re not in use by simply closing the shutoff valves. The issue is nobody ever does that.
Time: 1 to 2 hours
Cost: $300 and up
Skill Level: Moderate
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Steps to Prevent Washing Machine Floods
1. Shut off the water supply.
2. Cut the hot and cold water lines going into your current shutoff valves. Then, cut the drain.
3. You may need to cut your wall to fit the device.
4. Make the drain connection first, as the drain has less flexibility than the hot and cold lines.
a. Clean and glue PVC together.
5. Cut the existing hot and cold lines to the right length.
6. Connect water lines using stainless steel clamps and PEX couplings by using a PEX cinch tool.
7. The device will be plugged into the wall while the washing machine will be plugged into the device.
Where to find it?
Richard replaced the standard hot and cold washing machine shutoff valves with an Automatic Washing Machine Shut Off [https://amzn.to/3uZ3s18], which is manufactured by Watts [https://www.watts.com/].
The other tools and materials Richard needed to remove the valves and make the new connections, including the braided, stainless steel hoses, the PEX piping and connections, and the PVC glue, can all be found at home centers.
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From the makers of This Old House, America’s first and most trusted home improvement show, Ask This Old House answers the steady stream of home improvement questions asked by viewers across the United States. Covering topics from landscaping to electrical to HVAC and plumbing to painting and more. Ask This Old House features the experts from This Old House, including general contractor Tom Silva, plumbing and heating expert Richard Trethewey, landscape contractor Jenn Nawada, master carpenter Norm Abram, and host Kevin O’Connor. Ask This Old House helps you protect and preserve your greatest investment—your home.
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How to Prevent Laundry Room Flooding | Ask This Old House