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I see that an installer used stainless steel jacketed filler hoses with my new washer. (See picture below.) I was wondering if these are any better than rubber hoses?

I've heard a few stories about people going on vacation and finding their washing machine hoses burst while they were away. I try to remember to shut off the valves when I'm away, but I I'd like to know if these SS hoses help at all. (After all, they don't have to burst only while I'm out of town.)

I see in the details from my hardware store that stainless steel hoses are rated for 1500 to 2500 PSI. The rubber ones are rated at 150 PSI. That's a big difference, but does it address the underlying problem, which I assume is that the hose ages and eventually fails?

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I was about to answer that these stainless steel-wrapped hoses are more reliable than plain rubber, but after looking at some articles on line, I'm not so inclined to say so. This PDF says they're no more reliable nor last longer than good quality rubber hoses, and another article here says about the same thing. Both rubber and stainless steel clad hoses should be replaced at the same interval, about three - five years.

I would still go with the stainless steel hoses, as they're not too expensive and during their lifetime are less prone to damage. However, if your water supplier uses chloramine (as opposed to chlorine) to disinfect your water, then I strongly recommend using good quality rubber hoses and replacing them every three years.

  • Thanks for the info. Aside from the crimping issue, it does look like a SS cladding can minimize the strain that might occur at a weak spot. That should or might prevent additional stress from occurring. – Jim Mar 31 '16 at 19:07
  • @Jim, that's why I suggested their use instead of plain rubber. Over their lifespan I believe the cost is minimal and worthwhile. – BillDOe Mar 31 '16 at 22:19
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You should stick with high quality braided stainless clad rubber, and install heavy duty ball valve shut-offs. Continue your excellent practice of closing the supply valves when you will be away for a time.

Typically, water heater flex supply lines are equipped with pipe thread connections; whereas washing machine connecting hoses utilize garden hose thread. Adapters would be necessary for this option, introducing additional complexity and potential failure points.

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I've had Rubber & I've had Stainless Braided. Personally, the Stainless Braided have vastly outperformed the Rubber. The Rubber wore out in less than 10-years, very small bubbles or bulges started showing in 5-years, by year 7 the bubbles & bulges were greatly enlarged & ready to burst.

Stainless Braided I've had fresh for the past 15-years & no changes since the day they went in & I've replaced numerous Stainless Braided lines older than that with just exterior rust being the sole sign of any deterioration or degradation.

However, I'll be switching over to the below Water Heater Connectors later this year, after moving my laundry, to eliminate any & all future concerns. These might put your concerns to bed as well, no rubber, no plastic & no water restriction. Available in copper, stainless steel & color coded stainless steel in lengths up to 4', 2' maximum is what I see in Home Improvement stores.

Connects

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    Typically, water heater flex supply lines are equipped with pipe thread connections; whereas washing machine connecting hoses utilize garden hose thread. Adapters would be necessary for this option, introducing additional complexity and potential failure points. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 17 '16 at 13:29
  • Yep, but totally worth it! I feel much more confident and clean with them and no seepage like with many rigid lines. Pipe dope or Teflon tape have never failed after installation. The biggest benefit is getting rid of the pipe noise, because there's no restriction down to 3/8's in an unsupported area. Wonderfully quiet. – Iggy Dec 17 '16 at 22:39
  • Flexible water heater supply lines are not appropriate for washing machines. They're meant to be used where the plumbing will see very little, to no movement. The supply lines for washers take a lot of abuse, and need to be a lot more flexible. – Tester101 Dec 19 '16 at 12:45
  • Don't be silly. Do you disagree with Copper refrigerator lines? I hope not, I've seen many that are as old as you and they still had no problems whatsoever, after hundreds of pull-outs and push-ins for cleaning. – Iggy Dec 19 '16 at 18:36
  • I know you'll never change your opinion, so I'm not even going to bother trying to persuade you. I'll just leave my previous comment as a warning to others who stumble upon this answer. – Tester101 Dec 21 '16 at 16:30

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