Washer and Dryer Maintenance: Preventing Leaks, Damage and Fires In Your Home

A brittle hose? Lint buildup? These may seem like innocent issues for your washing machine and dryer, but TotalProtect knows all too well that, unchecked, these can lead to much, much bigger problems. A brittle hose can lead to a flooded home in less than an hour, and lint buildup can not only shorten your dryer's lifespan, but it's also a fire hazard.

Washing Machine Maintenance: Check and Replace Water Supply Hoses

The Lowe's Home Improvement website suggests checking hot and cold rubber washing machine hoses at least once each year for kinks, cracks, stiffness or brittleness. Replace them every five years at most. For best results, experts from Lowe's and This Old House advise upgrading to steel-jacketed hoses that cannot split open.

Dryer Maintenance: Clear Vents, Exhaust Pipes and Hoses

Does your dryer take a long time to dry clothes? You may have lint buildup. According to Reader's Digest home repair experts, a typical 11-pound load of laundry absorbs up to two quarts of water. Your dryer must convert every drop to vapor, then force it out the exhaust vent, along with any lint and fluff. A buildup of lint forces your dryer to work much harder and less effectively. It is also a major fire hazard.

  • Check and clear lint traps after every use.
  • Replace plastic or vinyl exhaust hoses with rigid or flexible metal venting, if you can.
  • Ensure pathway from dryer to outside vent is as straight as possible with no blockage.

Lowe's appliance experts suggest that homeowners disconnect their dryer and use a vacuum hose or dryer vent brush to clear all lint from the exhaust pipe every three to six months.

TotalProtect: A Plan for the Unpredictable

Like most appliances, washers and dryers can still break down unexpectedly for even the most diligent homeowners. A TotalProtect Home Warranty ensures that your budget is protected if that happens. It covers all your major home appliances and systems, including your washer and dryer, refrigerator, water heater, A/C system and more. With a huge network of pre-screened local technicians and covered repairs and replacements, TotalProtect just makes sense. Not sure still? See what our customers have to say. Call to get your instant quote today.

Tips from This Old House, Reader's Digest and Lowe's Home Improvement websites.

The information in this article is intended to provide guidance on the proper maintenance and care of systems and appliances in the home. Not all of the topics mentioned are covered by our home warranty or maintenance plans. Please review your home warranty contract carefully to understand your coverage.