A strata manager or owners' worst nightmare: a phone call from the tenant who says a flexible braided water hose under the sink has burst and there is water going everywhere.
It can mean some 1,500 litres of water per hour flowing through the property.
This is a growing issue as many property owners are unaware their "flexi hoses" are reaching their end of their lifespan and threatening to burst. This is especially prevalent in properties over 15 years old who have had the same flexi hosing in place in that period. It's a case of an accident waiting to happen. The bursting of flexi hoses accounts for over 20%* of household water damage claims in Australia. On average, more than 45% of CHU claims are water damage and failure of flexible braided water hoses significantly contributes to that number. Some hoses can come with a five to 10-year warranty period whilst others have no warranty at all. They can last for 10 years, but insurers are finding more and more claims coming from hoses that have burst long before that.
In many cases, the hoses fail long before their warranty expires because of incorrect installation. Examples of these issues include over-tightening, over-stretching, kinking and looseness.
The impact of what may seem to be such a simple burst of a hose is far more reaching than many strata mangers or owners anticipate. They can include:
- Need to move out
- Damage to owners or tenants contents
- Damage to common passageways
- Possible damage to units next to or underneath where the flexi hose burst
- Potential loss of a good tenant
- If an investment property and the burst happens between tenants, inability to lease whilst repairs undertaken and with no lease in place, no cover under the insurance policy.
Here is a useful checklist to help strata owners and managers minimise some of the risks of the flexible braided water hose issue:
- Incorporate a flexi hose review into your maintenance program.
- Look for bulging, rust spot, fraying or kinking.
- Check out the warranty period (expiry date on collar of the hose).
- Consider a licensed plumber to install the hose.
- Purchase replacement hoses that come with a warranty
Ensuring you have adequate insurance cover can help if this water disaster strikes. Contents or Landlords insurance, such as provided by CHU, covers accidental loss or damage to contents in the unit from events, including the escape of water.