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PLUMBING TIP OF THE MONTH: WATER SUPPLY LINES

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Every toilet and sink in your home has water supply lines that connect into the home’s fresh water system. Every toilet has one supply line and every sink has two – one for hot and one for cold.  Inspect your home and replace older, out-dated water supply lines sooner than later.  Here’s why:

Older homes used somewhat flexible all-metal/copper lines (Figure 1) when they were originally constructed. These lines are ridged and can be challenging to work with during install and maintenance. They also wear out easily and/or can kink if you’re not especially careful when handling them. If you look under your sink or toilet and see these types of lines, you’ll want to target those lines first for changing.

When replacing these water supply lines, you’ll want to use braided steel lines with brass nuts. (see Figure 2, top supply line) The braided steel lines are so much easier to work with, don’t kink and the brass nuts are much stronger and provide an extra level of protection.

There are some braided supply lines that have plastic nuts (Figure 2, middle and bottom supply lines). We’d like to warn you to NOT use those at all. They are a huge false sense of security, as the plastic is much weaker and can burst. If they burst while you’re at work, or even worse while you’re on vacation, you’re going to come home to an awful mess and lots of water damage.

Keys to Success for this Plumbing DIY Project:

  • Water Shut-off Valve: Be sure to turn off the main water line outside your house BEFORE you begin.
  • Drain your whole home’s water lines: Once you’ve shut off your homes water line, go to the lowest faucet in your home and open it to drain the water from the pipes.
  • Once you’ve removed and replaced your lines, be sure to thoroughly test for drips and any leaks.

Key Supplies:

  • Small bucket for draining and catching drips
  • Plumbers Teflon tape o Wrenches and possibly channel locks
  • Rags/towels for any spills and cleanup

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