How To Prevent Water Damage Caused By Appliances
When your home sustains water damage caused by leaking appliances in Connecticut, the damages can be widespread. Any appliance in your home that uses water can significantly increase your risk for flood damage.
Here, we will review the appliances which are most likely to cause flooding in your home, ways to prevent appliance leaks from occurring, and when water damage caused by appliances would be covered by your homeowner’s insurance company.
Hot Water Heater
Did you know the average lifespan of a residential hot water heater is only 8 to 15 years? Most water heaters don’t even make it to 15 years old, with an estimated 75% failing before they are 12 years old. Holding anywhere from 40 to 120 gallons of water, a failed water heater can cause major flooding in your Connecticut home.
Common causes of water heater failure include:
- Loose drain valve
- Too much pressure in the tank can cause it to burst or crack
- Old tanks can naturally deteriorate and leak
- Too much sediment in the tank
- Corroded anode rod
While the average washing machine only uses 19 gallons of water per load, this amount of water can still cause serious damage when the washing machine overflows or a water supply hose detaches from it. Depending on the location of your laundry room, all of this water can seep into the floor and through the ceiling below, making its way all the way to your basement.
Washing machine water damage is most often caused by a failed supply hose, which needs to be replaced about every 7 years to prevent a failure.
While not as common as other appliances, your refrigerator can leak water for a wide variety of reasons. Water filter or ice maker supply lines can be installed incorrectly or be punctured and cause it to leak for weeks before anyone even realizes. If your defrost drain is faulty or becomes clogged, it can also cause water to leak all over your kitchen floor and reach the subfloor below.
Dishwashers may not hold as much water as other household appliances, but they can still cause a significant amount of damage to your home. When they leak on to the floor, water can quickly seep underneath it and into the rooms below.
Causes of dishwasher leaks include:
- Leaking dishwasher door
- Leaking or cracked tub
- Loose or cracked water hoses or clamps
- Using the incorrect or too much detergent
When air conditioners or air handlers leak water, most homeowners don’t notice the leak right away. Depending on the location of your air conditioning unit in your home, you may not notice any signs of water damage until the problem has already become widespread.
The most common causes of an air conditioner leaking include:
- Clogged or disconnected drain
- Dirty condensate pump
- Clogged air filter
- Dirty evaporator coil
- Cracked drain pan
- Low refrigerant
- Condensation buildup within ductwork
How To Prevent Water Damage From Leaking Appliances
When you take steps to perform regular maintenance and visual inspections around your home in Connecticut, water damage caused by leaking appliances is more likely to be avoided.
- Inspect Water Supply Lines - You should keep a monthly schedule to perform visual inspections of all water supply lines in your home. This simple task can help you identify any signs of clogged, damaged, or deteriorating water lines before they begin to leak and cause damage to your home, and doesn’t even need the help of a professional.
- Keep Track of When Supply Line Hoses Should Be Replaced - In addition to performing visual inspections, you should replace all water hoses before the average time that they are expected to fail.
- Have Your Water Heater Inspected Once Per Year - Over time, sediment and other debris can build up in your hot water heater which can cause the appliance to malfunction and leak. You can follow the manufacturer's directions to flush out the heater tank yourself or call a local plumber. It may be best to have a professional inspect your water heater, as there may be internal elements that you can’t inspect yourself.
- Have Your HVAC System Serviced Once Per Year - Since HVAC systems are more complex than other appliances in your home, it can be harder to tell based on visual inspections if something is wrong. Having your system inspected by an HVAC professional once per year can help prevent air conditioner leaks and water damage.
- Follow All Manufacturer Guidelines - You can help prevent water damage from washing machines or dishwashers by simply using the correct detergents and not overloading the appliances, as these are major causes of their failures.
When Is Water Damage Caused By Leaking Appliances Covered By Insurance?
Luckily for most homeowners, your insurance company should cover water damage caused by appliances. Most damages are covered by your insurance policy when caused by sudden and unforeseen water damage, meaning that you weren’t neglecting needed repairs or the water leak altogether. If you let your dishwasher leak every time you used it for months - your insurance company may not cover the cost of damage restoration.
In a similar vein, if your insurance adjuster determines that the damages to your home could’ve been prevented by performing regular maintenance, your claim will be denied. Claims for leaking appliances can be complicated if it isn’t clear the leak occurred suddenly and unexpectedly.
Times when your claim should be covered include:
- Hot water heater leak or burst
- Washing machine overflow
- HVAC leaks
- Dishwasher leaks
- Ice maker line leaks
Need Help With Appliance Leaks and Water Damage in Connecticut? SERVPRO Can Help!
SERVPRO of Old Saybrook is your local water damage restoration company serving all of Connecticut. With over 15 years of experience, our team has restored countless homes and businesses after appliance water damage.
- 24/7 Emergency Response
- We Handle The Insurance Process For You
- Free Water Damage Estimates
- IICRC Certified Technicians