Toilet Supply Line - Different Types - Pros and Cons?

Discussion in 'Toilet Forum discussions' started by pwjone1, Jul 17, 2010.

  1. pwjone1

    pwjone1 Engineer

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I am getting set to do a toilet fill valve replacement (parts ordered, etc., it's an old Kohler), and I am probably going to replace the supply line, same time, in for a dime, in for a dollar as it were. The old supply line is conventional enough. Looks like this:

    [​IMG]

    T style chrome platted copper, compression fitting to the shut-off valve. The old one looks decent enough, and it was plumbed in nicely, maybe about a 3-4" run to the toilet, slight bend, nothing too bad to match.

    But a trip to the plumbing supply kind of showed me that there are tons of alternatives out there, and I was told that for a toilet, it might be better to use a stainless flexible, something like this:

    [​IMG]

    Something to do with the flex allows for a bit of movement, people getting on and off the toilet, wouldn't break or open up or anything. Supposedly Consumers Reports had suggested this direction, but I could not find anything like that on their web site, so was unable to confirm. On this web site, I did find links saying essentially don't use the Watts Floodsafe variant, too-bad, sounded like a nice approach, but I will stay away from that. Similarly, some of the plastic parts don't look all that solid to me, call me old-school. I won't say that cost-is-no-object, but I want to do this right, better to do it right once than wrong multiple times.

    So my question comes down to basically, what are people using these days, and what do they think works the best in general?
  2. pwjone1

    pwjone1 Engineer

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Oh, I guess I did have one follow-on question, since the shut-off to fill valve run is so short on my toilet, 3-4", if a stainless is longer, do people just loop it, or what.

    Here's a link to Fluidmaster's site:

    http://www.fluidmaster.com/index.asp?bhcp=1

    looks like the shortest they make is 6". Maybe that would do, but the stores seem to carry more 9" and 12".

    I'm also seeing Watts in the stores, something along these lines:

    http://www.watts.com/pages/_products_details.asp?pid=3412

    [​IMG]

    If I stay away from the Floodsafe variants, are those OK, or is the compression/connector still a weak point?
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,055
    Location:
    New England
    A toilet should NOT move. If it does, then you need to fix it. A solid line is fine. People tend to use the flexible lines because they are faster to install, not because they are better. If you choose to use a flexible line, then yes, you can loop it. The advantage to a solid line is that you can make it the exact length you need.
  4. Redwood

    Redwood Master Plumber

    Messages:
    7,450
    Location:
    Connecticut
    I'd still avoid the Floodsafe ones...
    The connection failing wasn't their only weakness... I don't know if that has been fixed or not...
    They were also prone to false trips.
  5. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    Without experience you should stay away from the jiffy tube ( your first pic), they can get tricky to get the bends right and if you mess up and kink it you have to buy a new one. Go with the stainless flex.
  6. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

    Messages:
    7,351
    Location:
    Yakima WA
    Mostly, I think you are overly concerned. Get a flex line with stainless steel mesh without Floodsafe and quit worrying about it. Get is as close to the exact length as possible, and loop the extra. Toilets don't move when sat on unless they are improperly install. In that case, you have lost the wax ring seal and have a problem there.
  7. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,684
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    If you have to loop it, then you need a much longer tube, not one "close to the exact size".
  8. pwjone1

    pwjone1 Engineer

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Thanks, I've done this a few times before, have the right bending equipment, never seemed that tough, and this particular one is close enough to dead on I could probably just do it by hand. But I wasn't sure if the technology hadn't marched forward in some fashion. I couldn't see a toilet moving around all that much, and obviously that type of connection has worked for years, although there's probably still a bit of give in the system.
  9. pwjone1

    pwjone1 Engineer

    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Just to complete the thread/thought, I let myself get talked into one of the stainless flex lines, down at the plumbing store. The 9" worked fine, got one from Brassco, went to multiple stores, nobody stocked the 6". There were Watts and Fluidmaster units that looked fine, just liked this one a bit better. I was going to buy the conventional (I guess I would have to say old-style) supply, but believe it or not, they were having a hard time finding the price on the compression ring, guy at the counter said they don't sell much of this anymore. So I guess I let them talk me into it, but still, I was a little curious, in any case. Tons easier to install, that much is for sure. Hardest part was getting the old T-supply out, but also put in a new valve (long story there, and I do realize that made the price of a compression ring kind of academic) and the flex supply went on in about 15 seconds.
  10. shacko

    shacko Master Plumber-Gas Fitter

    Messages:
    561
    Location:
    Rosedale, Md
    In a residential situation most people use the flex supplies because they are fast and easy, but in a commercial job it''s a good chance you will see the Jiffy tubes due to cost, if you are doing 200 lavs and toilets you wouldn believe how much you can save, just info.
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