Last Updated on October 26, 2017 by Mark Lavington
Why should holiday homeowners be concerned about flexible braided hoses? No matter the size of your holiday home there’s one thing that we can guarantee; it’s going to have a kitchen, bathroom and no doubt an ensuite or two! Within these you’ll have sinks, behind which you’re going to have pipes feeding the hot and cold water taps.
All absolutely fine and normal so far! However, a potential issue could be lurking behind your sink; we are of course talking about flexible braided hoses. These are often used in confined spaces such as found in the kitchen and bathroom. Fitted in order to more easily join the necessary pipework to the taps. Without the complexity of an alternative such as soldered copper piping. This is often to save time and money in the short term.
The issue here is that more and more people have been experiencing problems with the functionality and longevity these pipes. Which when combined with the fact that escape of water claims are not only one of the most common in the UK, but also one of the most expensive (on average costing a home around £7,000 in damage), is thrusting their suitability for UK holiday homes quickly into the limelight.
Facts about flexible braided hoses
Flexible braided hoses are a plumbing connection from the water main to sanitory ware. They are very versatile and commonly installed in modern homes to replace copper pipe. Unfortunately, they come with a whole host of cons, which can lead to leakages and ruptures, or worst case scenario, major escape of water claims. Some of the reasons this might occur are:
- They don’t have a very long shelf life – often just five years.
- Some products are of questionable quality
- Correct maintenance is not carried out which can lead to rust, fraying or kinking
- Incorrect installation. They could be over stretched or too loose
If your pipes were to fail, you could be facing ruined carpets, warped wooden floors and water damaged ceilings, which can often leave parts or the whole of your property uninhabitable for some time after the event.
Reasons why flexible braided hoses are often used
Stainless steel flexible braided hoses are attractive because of their price point – they are cheap. They’re also fairly easy to install compared to alternatives, which of course appeals to the DIY plumber. If you do have any installed in your holiday home, whether it be in your bathrooms or kitchen, were you aware that they have a meager 5-year life span? They will most likely start to deteriorate if they exceed that time.
The majority won’t be aware, but if you do have these in your cottage there’s no need to panic or start calling for the emergency plumber as there are a number of ways to safeguard your property going forward.
What can you do to prevent water damage from flexible piping?
The good news is, water damage from flexi hoses is preventable. There a few important steps to follow in order to reduce the risk of water leakage or full pipe failure within your holiday cottage:
- Ensure a licensed plumber installs all flexible water hoses within your property. In order for installation to be safe and thorough, you need someone with specialised knowledge.
- If you’ve already had pipes installed by an unqualified individual, ask a profressional plumber to check the quality and brand of the product and the installation, to ensure there aren’t any issues with the installation.
- Leave information in your guest pack as to where the mains water stopcock is in case they need to switch it off in an emergency.
- Carry out proactive, effective and regular maintenance. You need to be regularly checking the flexible hoses throughout your cottage in order to identify corrosion and small leaks before they become big issues.
- If you see any signs of corrosion, leakage or any connectors are loosening, contact a licensed plumber as soon as possible.
- Replace the flexible hoses every 5 years and be sure to check the warranties on anything you purchase.
- Better still consider replacing your flexible braided hoses with copper plumbing to the taps before they reach their shelf life
If your holiday home is going to be empty for a period of time, switch off the main water valve to prevent flooding if a leak occurs. Leave your heating on to prevent frozen pipes, refer to your holiday home insurance policy document for conditions to which you should adhere in this respect.
Are you a client of Boshers?
You will have received a Water Leak Action Pack complete with a tag to mark the location of your stopcock. Read more here:
Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444.