Water damage caused by household appliances is a common problem in California homes. According to, the most common type of water damage in homes is caused by appliances such as dishwashers, hot water heaters, and other plumbing fixtures. As appliances age, corrosion, and sediment build-up can cause them to malfunction and leak, resulting in significant water damage.

Water damage caused by appliances and plumbing is a common problem in California homes, often more so than the damage caused by large-scale natural disasters like floods and hurricanes. Therefore, only regular maintenance and attention can help prevent potentially costly damage. If water damage does occur, it is important to address the issue immediately to prevent further damage and potential health risks.

 Causes of Water Damage:

Common culprits for appliance-related water damage include dishwashers and hot water heaters, which can cause significant damage before they are discovered. Other appliances that transport water, such as refrigerators and washing machines, can also be at risk of causing water damage if their pipes, filters, or gaskets fail.

1.   Water damage due to Hot water heaters:

Hot water heaters are a particularly common cause of water damage in California homes. The tanks of these appliances are always filled with water, and as the machine ages, corrosion and sediment can set in, leading to malfunction and leaks. 

A leaking water heater can be caused by a number of factors such as an old water tank, a malfunctioning temperature and pressure relief valve, high pressure, inlet/outlet connections, a cracked or damaged storage tank, or a buildup of sediment.

2.   Water damage due to Washing machines:

Washing machines are also a common culprit, as damaged hoses or poor connections can cause water to leak and pool on the floor, leading to mold growth and a musky smell. A washing machine leak can be caused by a leaky or malfunctioning water connection hose, a disconnected or broken drain pump, or a damaged door seal/flange. 

Taking preventive measures such as proper maintenance, checking hoses for leaks, and positioning the drain hose correctly can help prevent washing machine water disasters.

3.   Water damage due to Dishwashers:

Dishwashers are another likely cause of water damage, particularly if they run overnight or while no one is home. Leaked water can have plenty of time to damage floors and cabinetry. To reduce the chances of a kitchen flood, regular checking of water lines and connections is essential.

Water Damage due to Air Conditioning or Heating Appliances

Heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) units are also common causes of water damage in California homes. If these systems develop leaks or malfunctions, they can cause water damage that may go unnoticed until it becomes a major problem.

  • To prevent water damage, it is recommended to regularly check water lines and connections for any signs of damage or leaks. 
  • If an appliance is suspected of causing water damage, it is important to immediately turn off the water supply and unplug the appliance to prevent further damage. 
  • It is worth noting that the cost of repairs and replacements for water-damaged property caused by a neighbor’s negligence can potentially be recovered through legal action.
  • It is important to address water damage as soon as possible, as untreated damage can lead to more severe problems such as mold growth, deterioration of the home’s structure, and potential health risks from contaminated water. Common signs of water damage include leaking faucets or pipes, damage to walls or ceilings, and mold or rust.
  • It is essential to regularly check for leaks to minimize the chances of water damage caused by appliances in California homes. In the event of water damage, it is important to turn off the breaker box but only if it is located in a dry part of the home.
  • If it is wet or near water, calling the utility company to turn it off from their end is the best course of action. Homeowners’ insurance may cover water damage caused by appliances, but it is important to check the policy and be aware of exclusions.