Could a simple hose within your apartment be a ticking time bomb? Could it be the reason you end up with a flooded apartment and either frustrated tenants or soaked belongings? It seems that there is a growing concern with flexible braided water hoses (flexi hoses) reaching their end of life and bursting causing significant damage to properties. It can mean some 1,500 litres of water per hour flowing through your property.
To avoid this situation from arising, bodies corporate or individual owners need to develop a maintenance plan to investigate and repair flex hoses. In some instances, bodies corporate have shown initiative and actually paid for the replacement to avoid large insurance claims and ultimately, maintain a reduced premium and low claims history. The flexi hoses are in fact very easy to replace and in most instances if you have some basic handyman skills, you should be able to replace them yourself. Nearly all hardware stores stock this item and they are usually a generic pipe and likely, the same throughout the unit. i.e. under kitchen sink, bathroom vanity and laundry sink.
Another step to proactively avoid this issue, is to regularly maintain and check other fittings such as the fridge pipes that function with a water/ice making system, as this is another common problem with cracking/bursting over time. The main cause for the burst flexi hoses is usually age as the pipe has weakened over time. Another example is if you are away for a period of time, the water pressure builds up within the pipe and subsequently, bursts. Ideally, an owner or tenant would isolate all water to the premises if away for a period of time or, turn off the water supply simply to those pipes with flexi hoses.
Most insurance policies do not cover hardwood floors and all strata policies do not cover carpets, so you will be faced with two insurance excesses – usually for the structural water damage to the lot, and the excess for a claim to be lodged on their contents or landlords insurance for the carpet or floating floor boards.
Regardless the age of the scheme, flexi hoses should be monitored – if it looks as though it’s aging, replace it!