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Thread: Do you pros use flexible supply lines? Any tips?

  1. #1
    DIY Senior Member SteveW's Avatar
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    Default Do you pros use flexible supply lines? Any tips?

    In the "toilets" section, Cass gave what I thought was a great tip - if you use a flexible stainless steel water supply line to your toilet, use a longer rather than a shorter line, so that you can gently loop it. I would not have thought of that!

    So, got me to wondering. Do the pros on this site use braided steel lines, or conventional "hard" supply lines to toilets and faucets?

    If you do use flexible lines, any other great tips you'd like to share?

    Thanks in advance.

    Last edited by Terry; 01-16-2008 at 05:13 PM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    Default

    I'm not a pro, but I'm pretty certain the pros always use flex lines with the braided stainless steel covering.

  3. #3
    Plumber jimbo's Avatar
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    Some guys take a real " old school " approach, which is fine. But the price and labor savings of the flexies are hard to ignore. And in my mind, they are light years ahead of the old integral corrugated metal valve/flex combos, which licensed plumbers all over the country installed by the millions in new construction, because they were cheap and quick. I'll take an SS flex any day.

  4. #4

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    I prefer the flexible PVC supply lines.

    IMHO, they resist "knotting" and "kinking" better than the SS lines when tightening down the compression nuts.
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    Last edited by Verdeboy; 11-11-2007 at 10:52 AM.

  5. #5
    DIY Senior Member Marlin336's Avatar
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    I default to chrome supplies, flexes only get used when I have some kind of reason not to use chrome. Hard lines are a little cheaper then flex lines so it's really just the labor. Once you get the hang of bending it only takes a couple minutes to install a hard line which in my opinion it is a much more finished and professional look then a thick braided line with a loop in it that anyone with a wrench can throw on.
    Last edited by Marlin336; 11-11-2007 at 11:42 AM.

  6. #6
    Master Plumber Dunbar Plumbing's Avatar
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    I started off using the soft copper chrome supplies, hated it and they are hard to remove as much as they are hard to install at times, especially when you have a really strange offset leading to a toilet. Out of all that I've seen and removed........? They all show signs of leaking at some time given the greenish corrosion at the 3/8" nut, you can tell the difference between a leak and condensation dripping back.

    I've seen many of the hard ones indirectly supporting a fixture like a wall hung sink or a toilet.

    I use Fluidmaster or Watts stainless steel flex supplies only, ONLY with the brass barb inserts that connect to the crimps that hold the supply lines on.


    Verdeboy on those that you are using,

    If those have plastic barbs holding the nuts on, they break over time and that vinyl braided plastic gets hard a freaking rock. I've replaced a few of those for splits either on toilet supplies, faucets, then leading down to washing machine hoses.

    I bought them because they was cheaper but I got away from the liability.

    Watts has the tightest mesh pattern of stainless steel webbing around the vinyl tubing; Fluidmaster is wider which I don't appreciate but I appreciate the quality they use on the connections and the brass barbs for the crimps.

    Stainless braided isn't foolproof, but it makes for a more less time consuming task. They do make a corrugated stainless tubing but isn't popular amoung plumbers yet.

    I really wish someone would come out with a 7/8" chrome brass nut for toilet supplies in flexible stainless; I don't trust plastic and those nuts break all the time on stock supplied nuts that require your own hard supply line.
    Read what the end of this sentence means.

  7. #7
    Consultant cwhyu2's Avatar
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    I prefer solid copper tubbing but I have used flex.

  8. #8
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    I wanted to post a picture but don't see how to do it on this forum.

    I have seen flex line with ss braid that blew nearly completely in two. This was a dishwasher line that flooded a kitchen on into a dining room. Big mess! It was definately something new to see for me but there it was, nearly all the way around the circumference of the ss braid was just curled back on either side as if a little bomb went off inside the line. Wish I could post the picture!

  9. #9

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    To Post a pic click on:

    Manage Attachments/Browse/Upload

  10. #10
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    I tried but the file size is way too big. I'm showing my ignorance I know but isn't there some kind of way to compress the file size so that I can post it?

  11. #11
    In the Trades kordts's Avatar
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    Check out the Brasscraft "innoflex" no one has them in my area yet, but I can't wait!

  12. #12
    DIY Member JeffH's Avatar
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    Default Let's be flexible about this....

    First off, yes, I use SS flex. Watts & Fluidmaster. Stay away from cheap bargin bin hardware!

    To loop or not to loop? It really comes down to the distance between the stop and and toilet connection. Looping is good. A loop to tight will kink. If it looks like it will kink...adapt your application.

    Copper tubing has it's applications, but typically not worth the $time$. Some Customers like the aesthetic qualities. Does on last longer? Not really. IMO, here in sunny cal, where earthquakes are a real possibility, flexibility definitely has it's pro's. Go with SS.

  13. #13
    Jack of all trades frenchie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by smellslike$tome View Post
    I tried but the file size is way too big. I'm showing my ignorance I know but isn't there some kind of way to compress the file size so that I can post it?
    This is what I use:

    http://www.download.com/3000-20-10607499.html

    it's freeware, and a small/fast program, works great.
    Master Plumber Mark:

    there is nothing better than the
    manly smell of WD 40 in the air
    while banging away on brass with a chisel and hammer...

    it smells like......victory......

    do not hit your thumb...
    __________________
    Just so everyone's clear: I'm the POODLE in the picture ("french", get it?) The hot woman is my wife.

  14. #14
    Plumbing Company Owner smellslike$tome's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frenchie View Post
    This is what I use:

    http://www.download.com/3000-20-10607499.html

    it's freeware, and a small/fast program, works great.
    Does'nt seem to be Mac compatable. I'm using a MacBook Pro w/OS 10.4.10.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by smellslike$tome View Post
    Does'nt seem to be Mac compatable. I'm using a MacBook Pro w/OS 10.4.10.

    Try this freeware:

    http://photofiltre.free.fr/frames_en.htm

    click Downloads/English Version

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