The Low-Cost Liability: Why You Should Switch Out Your Braided Pipes This Winter
Published in Blog, 27th Jun 2017
Many homeowners have little idea what type of piping is beneath their kitchen or bathroom sinks, yet these common household fixtures can cause serious unexpected damage. There are already too many stories of people returning home to find water cascading down the stairs due to a burst braided pipe connecting the toilet cistern, or sinks.
It’s worth getting to know your household piping a little better before something catches you unaware, like the flexible braided water pipes under your sink. These pipes replaced the old copper piping use in housing and are made of rubber encased in braided layers of stainless steel.
Common in modern bathrooms and kitchens on account of their ability to be bent into shape, they’ve been a popular item in residential construction for about 15 years. They are now known to have a lifespan limited to about a decade, which is why recently they have been called to attention, and why you need to have your piping checked as soon as possible.
Care and Maintenance
The proverb ‘out of sight, out of mind’ is generally used with a negative connotation, and for good reason.
It reminds us that, just because we do not see something on a day to day basis, does not mean that we shouldn’t be mindful of it. Check your bathroom and kitchen pipes for any visible cracks or signs to deterioration.
Some of these signs include bulging of the pipe or rust spots on the metal.
Once the metal rusts, the rubber piping isn’t strong enough to hold the water pressure, causing the pipe to burst.
If in doubt, call a plumber to have a look for you, especially if your home is over that 10-year mark. Many of the flexi-hoses also carry an expiry date printed on the collar so take heed of that too. Replacing the piping in your kitchen or bathroom is an inexpensive job that can save you thousands.
One of the main issues surrounding the use of these flexi-hoses is the incorrect installation of them, leading to a quickening of the wear and tear factor, and increasing the potential for leakages and bursts. There are certain things that should be taken care of by a qualified and experienced tradesperson – the installation of hosing and piping is one of them.
Hot or Cold
Winter can play havoc on hot water piping from the constant fluctuations in temperature.
The flexi-hoses have a tendency to wear out faster when connected to hot water taps as the heat affects the inner rubber hosing, so pay close attention to any braided pipes used for that purpose. Kitchens are generally the hot spots for hot water damage to the flexi-hoses so be sure to check those every 5 years, replacing them when needed. Kitchens also hold a greater risk of electrical danger, so take great care if you have a burst pipe in the kitchen.
It’s also not a bad idea to turn off the water main if you are planning a trip away, just to be on the safe side. Luckily, avoiding damage to your home from a burst flexi-hose is easy and affordable to avoid, just call the experienced plumbers at O’Shea Plumbing today, before the problem falls out of mind again!