Connecting a 1/4" tube to water supply???

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice, Tips & ' started by Montalvo, Apr 4, 2012.

  1. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    I have a counter-mounted, filtered-water dispenser that's connected to my water supply with 1/4" plastic tubing. The tubing attached to a 1/2" water pipe with a plastic fitting that came with the dispenser. Recently, while changing the filter, I discovered that the fitting was leaking. When I tried to tighten it, the fitting cracked. But since this water dispenser has been discontinued, I can't get a replacement fitting from the manufacturer.

    The tubing is semi-stiff and attached to the old fitting by simply forcing it into a snug hole where it was held in place by the tightness of the fit (much the same as with 5/8" drip irrigation tubing and fittings that I've worked with).

    Do they make any standard fittings that would allow me to attach this tubing to a half-inch water pipe? The connection has to be secure enough to withstand house pressure and attachment to a barbed male fitting would unduly restrict the water flow.

    Thanks for any guidance you can give me!

    Bob
  2. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    The cleaner fix would be to use something like a dual-outlet shutoff and replace the existing shutoff for your cold water supply to the faucet. http://www.brasscraft.com/PDF/0300_Water_Supplies_Catalog.pdf page 26 has at least one that should work.

    Some plastic tubing gets brittle with age...you may want to consider replacing it as well. To use a compression fitting, you would likely need a reinforcing ferrule that slides on the inside of the tubing. Then, when you use the compression nut and ferrule, it has something to tighten down on without collapsing the soft tubing.

    Maybe a picture of what you have might lead to some additional possibilities.
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    We cant use those dual outlet stops(with one handle) and be within the plumbing code. Everything has to have its on separate cut off. I use pex tube.......no stiffener for 3/8 or 1/4" tube,just a plastic ferrule is used.
  4. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Well, if you must have dual handle shutoffs, go a few pages further in the catalog, and there are lots of them, too.
  5. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,608
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    You would have to look long and hard to find ANY dishwasher or drinking water faucet connected with a double valve in this area. There are many ways to do what you want to, ranging from a double valve, to a double outlet valve, to a single outlet valve with an "Add-a-Tee" connected to it.
  6. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    Jim, you describe what you called "the cleaner fix" and what I was hoping for was "the easier fix", i.e., finding a fitting virtually identical to the one that cracked and simply screwing it onto the 1/2" nipple protruding from my water supply, then pushing the 1/4" tubing into the hole...voila! Done! Are you saying that you know of no such fitting?

    Absent that, I'm probably better served pitching the discontinued filter/faucet and replacing it with one that has all the necessary parts included to connect it to my water supply.
  7. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    hj, apparently my description of what I need wasn't very clear because I don't need any kind of VALVE. I need to replace the 1/2' FITTING that connects to the 1'2" nipple from the water supply, one that will accept a push-in plastic tubing insert from the filter. As I told Jim, if I can't readily find a clone of the part that broke, I'd probably be better served to simple buy a new filter/faucet with water supply connectors included.
  8. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
  9. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    21,990
    Location:
    New England
    Without a picture of what you really have, it's all just a guess.
  10. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    Jim, after getting assurances from the seller that the part shown in the link above would work for me, I found that it's simply a tube that doesn't create a water-tight seal with the 1/4" tubing. Instead, I bought a Rain-Drip irrigation part that has an FPT end and a self-sealing tube for 1/4" tubing...PERFECT!

    Thanks for your help.

    Bob
  11. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,608
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    Irrigation parts are NOT designed for "high pressure" applications, but since we really do not know what your situation is, it is hard to tell whether it was the right fix or not.
  12. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    The 1/2 inch threaded to 1/4 inch drip irrigation fittings (plastic ones from the big box store) I've used always break. It is so bad that I'm throwing them all away this year and starting over with something else...
  13. Montalvo

    Montalvo New Member

    Messages:
    77
    Location:
    California
    I've used this particular part for linking a drip irrigation line to a high-pressure lawn sprinkler system and have never experienced a problem. But I guess the pressure coming off that connection when the sprinklers are fully on would be less than the static pressure of my irrigation system. And in my application, this fitting will experience the higher static pressure, about 50 PSI in my house, since it will be under pressure even when not in use. In any case, I think I'll give it a try but watch it closely after installation. Currently, the line for this faucet doesn't have a shut-off valve but I'm putting one in for some additional insurance.

    Bluebinky, I've been using Rain-Drip irrigation fittings (Home Depot) for decades and had very few failures. Most have been from stepping on the fittings or, in one case, ants eating through the 1/4" tubing.
  14. bluebinky

    bluebinky Member

    Messages:
    391
    Location:
    Santa Clara, CA
    Hmm. The only problem I'm having is with the manifold-type fittings for the 1/4 inch tubing. It seems they get brittle from being in the sun or something, because they are constantly breaking off at the base of the barbs. I'm thinking of switching to the 3/8 inch(?) tubing with the piercing-style connections for the 1/4 inch lines.

    Are you using the "manifolds", and if so, which one.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread...
  15. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,608
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    quote; Currently, the line for this faucet doesn't have a shut-off valve but I'm putting one in for some additional insurance. And,
    hj, apparently my description of what I need wasn't very clear because I don't need any kind of VALVE

    A bit of contradiction there, maybe? My original suggestion still holds. Can you watch it 24/7, because things seldom break while you are watching them but you could wake up some morning and think you are crossing the Red Sea, but NOT on dry land.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2012
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