I don’t know why washing machine manufacturers insist on providing the lowest quality of hoses for their product. The standard black rubber hoses are not designed to be under constant water pressure. In addition these hoses often break down, cracking over time. Most insurance companies will advise you that damage to homes due to broken washing machine hoses is one of the largest types of claims they receive.
If you do have the basic black rubber hoses, you should check them twice a year (at the same time that you change the batteries in your smoke detector). Unfortunately even if the hoses show no external wear, they could still fail.
The two basic types of replacement hoses available are stainless steel reinforced hoses and reinforced rubber hoses.
Stainless steel braided hose are often referred as burst proof. The hose is comprised of a flexible plastic hose encased in a twisted stainless steel wire mesh. This is a highly durable hose that is resistant to cracking, crimping and bulging due to water pressure.
Reinforced rubber hoses are similar to the hoses that come with the washer machine. However, they are reinforced with a braided polyester mesh to increase their resistance to cracking and bursting.
Regardless of the hose you choose, they can fail.
One of the primary causes of failure is age. You may think that the hose is new when you purchase it but in fact it could have been sitting on the shelf or in a warehouse for years. As a result, even with reinforced hoses, it is recommended that you check them twice a year and replace them ever 3 to 5 years.
There are some basic steps you can do to help minimize the possibility of a failure. First off you can shut the water off at the valve when not using the washing machine. Indeed this is good advised to adhere to when going on vacation. You also want to minimize any kinking to the hoses as sharp kinks or bends will weaken the hose. You also do not want to keep the back of the washing machine directly up against the wall. Leave a few inches to allow the machine to vibrate without rubbing the hose against the wall.
If you have a tight area for installation, choose hoses that have right angle connectors. This allows the washing machine to be placed closer to the wall.
Finally you can install new water valves that will detect pressure drops and shut off the flow of water when there is a break in the hose.