Bullnose supply line miniscule leak

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jdtsmith, Apr 12, 2008.

  1. jdtsmith

    jdtsmith New Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Just replaced an old pedestal sink, and had good success following advice on this forum to stop the leak around the drain tail rubber mack gasket -- a little dab of silicone grease and an extra 1/2 turn using 3 fingers at once seemed to do it (luckily no threads met the gasket to daub putty into).

    On the other hand, I used rigid copper water supply lines, and they both leak right where the bull-nose "plug" goes into the base of the faucet assembly. The leaks are tiny, about 1 drip every 5 hours or so (no, I didn't time it ;)). The big box "expert" claimed that once failed these types of bull-nose fittings simply will never work, so you have to replace them. I bought two new ones, re-cut, re-bent, re-assembled, re-cursed the painful working space of a pedestal sink, and ... same exact leak. I didn't bother to install the 2nd one.

    Is there any validity to the statement that once they fail to "seat", these types of fittings just won't work? I've tightened them very tight, but it's rather awkward to get two wrenches up there, so it's possible I could get a bit more. Should I try to tighten further? Would silicone grease on the bull-nose tip help? Should I just ignore it and assume sediment will eventually fill in whatever microscopic crevices admit the tiny flow? Any other suggestions (other than going for braided flexible or PEX supplies?).


  2. gardner

    gardner DIY Senior Member

    Apr 2, 2007
    I gave up on soft copper supply lines a while ago. What do you have against stainless steel braided ones? It will take 2 mins to put them in and there will be no leaks. Just don't crank the nuts too tight.
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  4. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Aug 31, 2004
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    bull nose

    "Bull nose" in the plumbing trade means something other than what you are talking about. If they leak, and there is no defect in the faucet or supply nosepiece, then they can be tightened further. You need a basin wrench, not two wrenches, to tighten them. You must also be a 600 pound gorilla if you could tighten the drain nut without using at least one of those wrenches.
  5. jdtsmith

    jdtsmith New Member

    Apr 12, 2008
    Thanks both. Braided just doesn't have the look for exposed supply lines in a vintage (read: old) 1930's bathroom.

    The drain nut had finger holds, but did require some awkward and somewhat painful tightening to eliminate a leak. I'll sort out a basin wrench and tighten a bit more. In the meantime, the miniscule supply leaks have slowed to a near stop.

    What do you call such a rigid supply line with a flanged knob on the end?
  6. mattbee24

    mattbee24 In the Trades

    Mar 29, 2007
    Salesman and Purchasing Agent for a wholesale plum
    Fremont, OH
    just call them chrome/copper faucet supplies. That style of supply line you have is meant to seat up inside the 1/2" shanks comming out of the faucet. The supply lines need to be really freaking straight for them to seat right. It is basically a metal to metal seal. That's why not many people use them any more. You should be able to go to your local plumbing store and pick up some 1/2 x 3/8 step washers. You can cut the "ball" end of the supplies off and use these step washers to seal it up.
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