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I'm finding that major appliance retailers and manufacturers insist that a new washer requires new fill hoses. Used fill hoses cannot be reused, it is claimed.

Of course I have to wonder about this since (a) many (most?) units do not come with the required hoses and (b) the folks dispensing this advice would happily sell me new hoses. If a new washer requires new hoses, what is the justification for not including them as a matter of course?

Can old fill hoses be reused? If not, why not?

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"what is the justification for not including them as a matter of course?"

  • there are numerous choices when it comes to type and length of hose. Cheaper rubber hoses, more expensive stainless steel braided jacket rubber hoses, lengths from 4' to 12' long, etc.

"Can old fill hoses be reused? If not, why not?"

  • They certainly can be reused. If you are confident enough that they are in good shape then feel free to use old hoses (you should replace the washers at the end connections).

The downside is that, unless you turn your water supply valves off every time you leave your house, an old hose that fails can easily cause catastrophic flooding of your home. You need to make your decision based on a risk assessment putting the cost of new high quality hoses against the chances of and cost of a hose failure.

I bought brand new supply valves with quick 1/4 turn ball-valve construction to facilitate easy shut-off, and the best quality braided stainless hoses; and I shut off the valves whenever I will be gone for more than a day, because I do not want to come home to a flooded house.

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Old hoses can of course provide the needed functionality. It is however highly discouraged to re-use them. The reasoning has to do with the aging and set that a pair of hoses hanging behind washer get in the course of years.

Almost all hose materials get less flexible over time and could even be subject to forming a crack as they are flexed during a re-installation. The new hoses will be nice and flexible and so will not have the same risk of failure.

The last thing you want to see happen is that the hose bursts and creates a major flood in your laundry area. This is one of the reasons that you will read some recommendations to inspect and replace the hoses on a periodic basis such every two to five years. Another thing that is done is to equip the hose connection points with ball valves that can be easily shut off when the washer is not in use. This removes a lot of the risk of leaving high pressure water connected to what tend to be fairly light duty hoses.

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There's no law saying that you have to buy new hoses, but really: the cost of a flood dwarfs the cost of new hoses. It's just common sense.

(My local big box will sell you nice braided steel hoses for 20 bucks a pair.)

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