Many people treat washing machine hoses as a “fit and forget” item and are unaware that hoses are subject to wear. That is, until they are suddenly ankle deep in water and suds. One of the causes of hose wear is the constant friction of the water itself. Additionally, frequent changes in water pressure and temperature add to the problem, and cracks and bulges can form in hoses, causing points of weakness.
A good washing machine can last many years, but manufacturers recommend replacing even the best washing machine hoses every 5 years. For anyone who can’t remember when they last checked the condition of their hoses, there’s a good chance they are due for renewal. The following is a comprehensive guide to find the best replacements for washing machine hoses to help prevent accidents in the laundry room.
- BEST OVERALL: Kelaro Premium Stainless Steel Washing Machine Hoses
- RUNNER-UP: K&J Premium Stainless Steel Washing Machine Hoses
- BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Highcraft CNCT2564L Hose Connector, for Hot and Cold
- BEST 90-DEGREE ELBOW: Shark Industrial Washing Machine Hoses – 90 Degree
- UPGRADE PICK: Hippohose Washing Machine Hoses (6FT) Universal Fit
- HONORABLE MENTION: K&J 2-Pack Rubber Washing Machine Hoses 6ft Long
- ALSO CONSIDER: Certified Appliance Accessories Hoses (2 Pack)
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Washing Machine Hoses
A quick check of washing machine hoses every 6 months will help spot problems early so you can drain down your machine to install quality hose replacements. Before shopping for hoses, it’s a good idea to consider the following important criteria.
Washing machine hoses vary in length from about 3 feet to 12 feet. When choosing an appropriate length for a hose, include a few extra inches of slack. Hoses that are too tight between the water supply taps and the machine can put strain on the connections at either end, particularly with the movement and vibration that is inherent in washing machine operation. Although a leak may not be apparent at first, a hose that is too tight does increase the risk of it happening eventually.
In the event that the washing machine hoses needed are longer than 12 feet, couplers are available. However, this is another area of potential leaks. If possible, it’s recommended that the main water supply pipes (which are probably durable copper) are extended closer to the washing machine. As a result, more manageable lengths of hoses can be fitted.
There are two materials used to manufacture washing machine hoses: reinforced rubber and braided stainless steel.
Reinforced rubber is generally the budget option. Typically, hoses described this way are actually made of polyester rather than natural rubber. PVC is also used. It’s a little tougher, but it’s not quite as flexible. Rayon or polyester fibers are also added to create a mesh that increases strength. Rayon is a natural cellulose made from plant matter, whereas polyester is synthetic. When used in washing machine hoses, there’s no appreciable difference in durability. Beware of very low-cost hoses which may be plain rubber and not reinforced.
Braided stainless steel hoses have either a rubber or a PVC core. The braiding protects them from external damage and adds stiffness that helps prevent bulges that might result in a burst hose. Stainless steel is used to reduce corrosion, although in the high humidity of a laundry room it can happen eventually. Braided hose is more expensive than rubber but in general is considerably more durable. While some manufacturers call their products “burst-proof” and claim they can withstand high pressures, this is by no means a guarantee that they are indestructible. Wear and cracks in hoses will still develop over time.
Hose connections are almost invariably brass, which does not rust, and they are often chrome- or nickel-plated.
A household’s cold water supply is seldom below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, and hot water from most boilers runs somewhere between 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Both rubber and braided hoses are more than capable of handling these temperature ranges.
Nevertheless, it’s important to check product specifications before fitting. They are usually (though not always) color-coded in some way: blue for cold, red for hot. Some need to be fitted to the appropriate cold or hot supply, while others are interchangeable.
If at all possible, washing machine hoses should be protected from freezing temperatures, which can certainly weaken them and could cause them to burst. Also, water temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit will reduce the effectiveness of most detergents.
A little care when installing washing machine hoses can dramatically reduce the chance of leaks.
- Trapped dirt can affect the seal, so make sure the connecting threads on the machine are clean before attaching the hoses. Use a cloth or soft brush to wipe off any dirt. Washers should be used inside fittings because their slight flex and ability to compress ensures a better seal.
- Wherever possible, allow 3 to 4 inches of space between the washing machine and the wall behind it. This provides room for the hoses without the danger of kinks. If space is tight, choose hoses that have 90-degree elbows rather than straight connectors.
- Attach the hose connections carefully; they should fit easily. Do not overtighten. Once the connections are hand-tight, it’s usually recommended to give them another ¼ turn with pliers.
- When you push the washing machine back toward the wall, work slowly and carefully so as not to kink the new hoses.
- If practical, turn off the water supply when the washing machine is not in use so the hoses aren’t under constant pressure.
Our Top Picks
Having read about the main features found in the best washing machine hoses, it’s now time to look at current models available to purchase. While there are many similarities, small differences might make one pair more appropriate than another, so they are separated into a number of categories.
Kelaro’s premium washing machine hoses are made from UPC (Uniform Plumbing Code)-certified 304 stainless steel, a material popular in kitchen and laundry appliances for its strength and resistance to both heat and corrosion. They are also lead-free and certified to the California AB1953 standard (safe for drinking water), NSF61 (National Sanitary Foundation), and CSA (Canadian Standards Association).
The hose core is PVC, which is burst-proof up to 1,500 psi (pounds per square inch). Comparatively, standard household water pressure is approximately 60 psi. Nuts and ferrules are nickel-plated brass with a universal ¾-inch NPT (National Pipe Thread). The thick washers included ensure a leak-free seal. The hoses for the hot and cold water are clearly identified by a blue or a red stripe through the braid. Kelaro’s premium washing machine hoses are available in 3-, 8- and 12-foot lengths.
K&J is one of the leading manufacturers of washing machine hoses, producing both stainless steel and rubber versions. While these 6-foot long, high-tensile hoses are their premium product, they remain very affordable. The core is rubber, which provides excellent flexibility. It’s also tough—the same grade is used for car tires.
These hoses are identified with red and blue markings throughout the braid, though their strength and temperature resistance means they are actually interchangeable. They are rated burst-proof to 1,500 psi. Fittings are ¾-inch NPT, common to all U.S. washing machines, with a pliable rubber washer for leak-free connections.
For decades, rubber hoses like this quality example from Highcraft were the standard in all households. These American-made hoses are EPD rubber (ethylene propylene diene), a synthetic version that’s technically called a saturated polyethylene. It’s favored for its high heat resistance and, unlike some synthetic rubbers, is largely unaffected by the damaging UV rays in daylight. They are reinforced with a spiral polyester mesh.
Fittings are ¾-inch NPT made of nickel-plated brass. Washers are pre-fitted so they won’t fall out. The rubber is colored for easy identification: blue for cold, red for hot. Highcraft’s tough, flexible, low-cost washing machine hoses are available in 4-, 5-, 6-, 10- and 12-foot lengths.
Shark Industrial produces washing machine hoses with a host of high-quality features. The tough PVC core is reinforced with a nylon mesh. A 304 stainless steel braid is then added to create a burst-proof hose resistant to 1,500 psi. Each hose is color coded, red for hot and blue for cold. The finished product complies with international NSF/ANSI (American National Standards Institute) and CSA standards.
Space is often a challenge in laundry rooms, so Shark Industrial has fit 90-degree elbows to each 5-foot hose. These elbows allow the hoses to run snug against the back of the machine. Fittings are rust-proof nickel-plated brass, with ¾-inch NPT threads. They are also very competitively priced.
These washing machine hoses from Hippohose offer high durability with cores that are 100 percent rubber. They are sheathed in 304 stainless steel braid, which is UPC-certified, and they are lead-free and burst-proof to 1,500 psi. Most manufacturers stop there, but Hippohose adds a further PVC protective layer so even though the risk is minimal, water does not reach the stainless steel layer.
They are not just immensely strong, but the red and blue finishes are so attractive it seems a shame to hide them behind a washing machine. While they are available only in 4- or 6-foot lengths, they come with standard ¾-inch NPT fittings with either straight connections or 90-degree elbows.
K&J hoses are given the honorable mention designation because of the exceptional quality of their stainless steel hoses. These reinforced rubber versions are made to the same high standards. Despite technically not having the durability of their metal counterparts, the addition of high-tensile fiber mesh gives good pressure and temperature resistance. The lack of color coding is because these hoses are fully interchangeable for hot or cold use.
These rubber washing machine hoses are 6 feet long with plain brass universal ¾-inch NPT fittings. They may be a low-budget alternative to stainless steel models, but they are still a robust and well-made option.
Often the choice between rubber washing machine hoses and the more durable stainless steel models is simply a matter of price. Almost invariably, the latter cost more. These from Certified Appliance Accessories are the exception to the rule and are actually less expensive than many rubber washing machine hoses.
The core is durable PVC, reinforced with woven polyester. Stainless steel braid adds a tough outer layer. They are certified by UPC, NSF, and CSA so there should be no concern about product quality. They have the typical ¾-inch NPT nickel-plated brass fittings. They are available only in a 4-foot length.
FAQs About Washing Machine Hoses
Having had the opportunity to study the key features and benefits of the best washing machine hoses, you are well equipped to make your choice. However, you may still have some more questions. The following represent those that buyers of new washing machine hoses ask most often.
Q. Are all washing machine hoses the same?
No. There is considerable variety as explained above. The “top picks” section should help shoppers find the best washing machine hoses for a laundry room.
Q. What are the temperature requirements for a washing machine hose?
Washing machine hoses should not be exposed to freezing temperatures. If there’s even a chance of this happening, the water should be disconnected when not in use. At the other end of the scale, the general operating range for household water heaters is between 90 degrees Fahrenheit and 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Washing machine hoses for hot water should be able to handle those temperatures.
Q. How is a washing machine drain hose installed?
Hoses are usually pre-fitted at the machine end. If using a laundry sink or a standpipe, the hose can simply be hooked over the edge. Do not seal the connection to a standpipe, as this can cause siphoning of the water from the machine. Plumbing codes require that you leave an air gap. As the standpipe is a larger diameter than the drain hose, this is not a problem. If fitting into a sink drain, an adaptor may be required.
Q. How often should washer hoses be replaced?
It is recommended that washing machine hoses be replaced every 5 years, though they should be replaced immediately if they have cracks or distortions.