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JohnHardy 02-23-2009 01:41 PM

Reliability of flex lines?
I have an all-copper plumbed house, built in the 1980s. I reluctantly replaced a faucet recently using the braided stainless flex lines like you buy at Home Depot (20 inch long line, end fittings are rubber o-ring type 3/8 compression to 1/2 compression).

My question is: Do I need to be concerned about these lines and replace them every 5 years or so? I'm old-school and a little bit nervous about having flexible lines under pressure for years at a time. I had a hard time finding all-metal replacement tubes for the faucet-to-shutoff valve connections. The old existing ones were too short for the new faucet. I religiously replace my washer hoses every 4 years; am I paranoid, or can I rest at night with these things in place?:confused:

Thanks for any advice, this is my first post...

glennjanie 02-23-2009 03:58 PM

Welcome JohnHardy:
You can rest easy with the braided cover on the hoses. They will outlast me. The saying goes, "You don't have to feel paranoid, just because we're all talking about you."

jdougn 02-24-2009 06:26 AM

I've used the stainles steel braided hoses for decades and I can not remember ever seeing one fail. The faucet will be old and worn out first. The stainless steel braid on the exterior does a really good job of making the flexible hoses last a long, long time.
hth, Doug

majakdragon 03-04-2009 09:58 AM

Replacing stainless steel braided hoses every five years is only a part of a company disclaimer, to avoid liability. These hoses are rubber inside the stainless mesh, but will last for many years. You are not paranoid, just overly cautious.

Redwood 04-13-2009 10:58 PM

If you bought them at Home Depot I would have very serious concerns about them. Homey is pushing the Watts Floodsafe supplies very agressively and it is virtually impossible to get good connectors there.

The Watts Flood safe connectors have a valve that is supposed to shut off the water flow if the braided stainless steel no-burst hose was to burst.... :confused:

Did I just say what I thought I said? :confused:

Problem is they have 2 faults...

The first is a nusance more than anything...
If the pressure in your house is on the high side they will trip falsely and shut of the water until you reset them... No big deal just a pain in the....

The second is more serious and can result in severe water damage to your home...
There are several instances I know of where these Watts Flood safe hoses have failed. The compression nut that threads on the angle stop valve separates fron the Flood safe valve and floods the house. they break at the point indicated by the arrow in the photo below...

Redwood 04-22-2009 10:49 PM

Hmmm I thought I had posted more info on the floodsafe connectores...
Maybe I messed up the post...

Here is a picture of the failed connector...

Seattle Drain Service 04-23-2009 09:41 AM

I have only heard bad things about them also, just use the standard braided flex lines.

inspectorD 04-23-2009 02:53 PM

Unfortunatly sometimes you get what you pay for.
Go to the plumbing supply stores...alllllll the professionals do.:)
Floodsafe....they make sure your flood is safe, and it's guaranteed to be a good one.;)

Nestor_Kelebay 04-23-2009 05:12 PM

John Hardy:

There are important differences in application between the hoses used on washing machines and those used on faucets. Washing machines spin 20 pounds of clothes at up to 200 rpm, and that can cause the washer to dance all over the place. While it's dancing, ANY of the sharp sheet metal edges on the back of the washing machine can be rubbing against a rubber hose, and therefore cutting into it. Most often, when rubber hoses burst, it's at a site where the hose was rubbing against metal, typically a sharp metal edge.

Most people aren't aware of it, but Stainless steel is considerably harder than the mild steel used to make the front, back, top and side panels of washers and dryers out of. So, by having a stainless steel jacket on your washer supply hoses, if a hose rubs against the sharp edge of a metal panel, it'll be the sharp edge that gets worn down, not the stainless steel jacket. That's cuz the stainless jacket is harder than mild steel.

And, faucet supply tubes typically don't have sharp edges of metal panels nearby, and faucets don't have the same good reasons that washing machines have to dance around.

You can buy stainless steel jacketed washer supply hoses at any appliance parts shop.

Also, be careful about what you're buying. Where I live, Home Depot sells faucet supply tubes that have a braided silver coloured vinyl jacket. It looks kinda like stainless if you don't look too close. But, since they cost the same as those with the real stainless jackets, I buy stainless. Neither one is ever gonna leak, but for my money, I'd rather have real stainless steel, not a cheap immitation.

RandyJ 05-02-2009 12:30 PM

My .02 here... I've had problems with a few flex supply lines. If they don't leak within a few minutes of installation then I've never had one to leak... but I have had quite a few from Homer and my local mom & pop hardware to leak when installed. Seems that I rarely had that problem in the old days of installing the nice shiny chrome tubes with ferrules and compression nuts.

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