Leaking at supply tube coupling

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by jvstevens, Jul 16, 2011.

  1. jvstevens

    jvstevens Member

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    Sep 14, 2005
    Location:
    California
    I installed 2 new bath sink faucets, but since the shanks on the new faucet are shorter than the old faucets, the existing supply tubes are not long enough. And unfortunately, the existing supply tubes are "beaded" ("spiral" or "corrugated"...not sure of the correct terminology) flexible copper tubing that are integral with the angle stop valve. So, to replace the existing supply tubes means replacing the angle stop valves as well, which I am reluctant to do (possible new leaks). So, my thinking was to connect a new SS braided supply line to the new faucet shanks, and then use a 1/2" brass nipple to connect the old and new supply tubes together. I used new threaded cone washers with a brass washer on the old tube, but it seems like it won't stop dripping where the old supply tube mates to the brass nipple. The only thing that has worked is if I wrap plumbers tape around the cone washers themselves, and on the old spiral tubing under the cone washer. But this sounds hokey to me. What am I doing wrong? Is there a special type of brass nipple I should be using? I'm getting this same leaking action on all four connections, and its making me crazy.

    Also, what's your experience with those spiral supply tubes? Is it just me, or are they unreliable and a pain in the #$%?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 14, 2014
  2. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Bothell, Washington
    The corrugated tubing with stops must always be replaced anytime a new faucet or toilet is installed.
    They are a one-use part, that can and will crack if bent a second time.

    [​IMG]

    No plumber would guarantee them.
    We use a sleeve puller to remove the back nut and sleeve.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2016
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  4. jvstevens

    jvstevens Member

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    Not sure what you mean by "bent a second time"? The leak is happening within the cone washer/nut/brass nipple connection, not at a bend. I recognize that the tubing is fragile, so I was careful not to rebend it. Seems like if you just put in a new threaded cone washer and brass washer, it should be good, no?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 16, 2011
  5. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Since you don't have any experience with this, let me make it more clear.

    No plumber would reuse a corrugated supply line. This can cause thousands of dollars in water damage to the home.
    They have a habit on failing after they have been "touched".

    We will not reuse them, since the courts would say that "we" should have known better.
    Most insurance is a deductible, so even if they pay out; you will be out $1,000 if it fails while you are at work. Loss of the home is a bitch too while they reconstruct the damage.
    It's a time bomb waiting to happen. I've seen it happen too many times.
    Handymen love reusing old parts. Plumbers won't. It's really pretty simple. The more you know, the more afraid of them you become.

    And none of the methods you propose would need Plumbers Tape.
    In fact, it's my job to go in and remove the Tape from those joints to fix the leaks.
    Stainless steel flex connectors come with their own seals on the ends. Introducing Tape into and past the seal prevents the threads from spinning on, and and loose bits of tape will create a path for the water between the two sealing surfaces.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2014
  6. Furd

    Furd Engineer

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    Thanks, Terry. I cringe and scream at the television whenever I see one of the "experts" using Teflon or goo on these fittings.

    thebeave, heed well what Terry has explained. Remove those cheapa** stop valves and replace them with decent valves that will allow you to use a high-quality connector hose with a stainless-steel braided cover. In the long run it will be the least expensive option.
     
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2011
  7. jvstevens

    jvstevens Member

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    Location:
    California
    Thanks for your responses. I appreciate the straight talk. I will plan on replacing the stop valves. One other question: How do you guys feel about leaving on the old compression ring and nut, and just screwing a new valve into the old nut? I just watched a youtube video from a plumber who did this, but wasn't sure if it was something that you guys felt was OK. Also, another video showed them wrapping the compression ring with teflon tape, then screwing the nut down. Seems odd to me.
     
  8. Furd

    Furd Engineer

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    Retired energy systems engineer
    Location:
    Wet side of Washington State
    IF, the size of the threads on the nut are the same and IF the ferrule cone is the same then you might be able to put new valves on using the old nuts and ferrules. I'd say try it but just snug the nuts slightly more than hand tight and then turn the main water back on to check for leaks. If it is a major leak they you have your answer, they are NOT compatible, but if only a drop or two you may try snugging the nut carefully maybe a total of another eighth of a turn. Do not tighten any more than absolutely necessary.

    And do NOT use ANYTHING on the ferrule or threads beyond a drop or two of light mineral (lubricating) oil.
     
  9. Gary Swart

    Gary Swart In the Trades

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    Most of us use the 1/4 turn stop valves now. Reason is, toilets and sinks should always be 100% on or 100% off. So 1/4 turn is quick and easy to turn on/off.
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Again, No Teflon Tape.

    I don't care how many handymen use it, or how many youtube video's by homeowners and pretend plumbers use Teflon Tape.
    My job as a plumber, is to remove all the handyman and homeowner tape and have the parts assembled according to the manufactures instructions.

    You do realize that construction workers don't read.
    They used to make fun of me for reading instructions, newspapers and books. I think reading gives them headaches.
    It's like the blind leading the blind.
    And what plumber is going to work at a hardware store for $10 an hour. They don't.
    They hire non-skilled shelf stockers that stand around trying to look smart.

    [​IMG]

    No tape on supply lines. Please!
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  11. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    San Diego, CA
    I have a picture somewhere, which I will post if I can find it....showing what happens to corrugated lines. They are thin to begin with, and get thinner and brittle with age. If never touched, they may well last 20 years . But when you have to move it around as you do when you disconnect it from a faucet, then fiddle with trying to reconnect....the odds that hairline cracks develop skyrocet. Myself, and possibly others on the forum here, have been victims of that. In other words, we learned this the hard way! But one thing about a good plumber....you only have to kick him once! We never repeat the same mistake! SO, every plumber I know and every one who posts on this forum , has an absolute policy that if we touch a corrugated line....it gets replaced...period.

    By the way, in addition to the hairline crack issue, corrugated lines are also somewhat to susceptible to blow out of the faucet! There is no mechanical connection, only the friction of the threaded rubber gasket. Which leads to another whole problem for homeowners....the new rubber gasket sometimes included with a new faucet...is NOT threaded and will leak or blow out on a corrugated line!

    This plumbing stuff can drive you crazy!!!!!!!
     
  12. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    San Diego, CA
    Even our "hero" Mike Holmes is shown putting teflon on compression ferrules. So the myths perpetuate. I think Teflon is illegal in Canada, so I don't know where he is coming from!!!!!!
     
  13. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

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    How well does that puller work? I would never reuse a compression fitting but lacking a puller, I split the ring and clean up the pipe before putting a new nut and ring on it.
     
  14. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Cutting the ring off could leave a score mark and make the new one hard to seal. I've been lucky, in the few I've had to replace, they weren't overtightened, and the ring came off with little trouble.
     
  15. jvstevens

    jvstevens Member

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    Location:
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    Hearing all these horror stories about the corrugated tubing really got me thinking, "How in the hell did these ever make it on the market in the first place?". Are they still being made and used? Seems this product would be a lawyer's dream come true. It's like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off any minute.

    One of the reasons I initially rejected replacing the old angle stop was due to a past experience years ago helping out my cousin with her bath remodel, where I replaced one (compression type) and had a hell of a time getting it to stop leaking... a very slow drip. It was making me crazy, and I still don't know why it was so troublesome. I just didn't want to go through that again.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 17, 2011
  16. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    The main problem with compression stops is when the original has been overtightened it will deform the pipe just enough to cause a leak for the next sucker. The fix is to get a sweat-on valve or open the wall up and replace the stub-out. In the bigger picture of life and death, it's really no big deal either way.
     
  17. Terry

    Terry Administrator Staff Member

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    Occupation:
    Plumber
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    Bothell, Washington
    We replace about twenty compression stops a week using a puller. It slides off the sleeve and the back nut comes with it.
    Then we replace the chrome escutcheon, Emory the copper, much like honing a cylinder, and slide on a new 1/4 turn stop.

    You can cut the sleeve off with a hack saw, but any little slip and you have notched the copper.
    The sleeve puller is very quick.
    If the copper has been deformed by a previous over tightening, we can cut it back behind it and still install a new shutoff.
    Out of the hundreds of stops we replace, we have almost never resorted to using a torch.
    But then we do this all week long, on about 1/3 of our jobs.

    Some places we've worked, the old shutoffs have a different thread pitch. Those nuts would not be reusable with the new shutoffs anyway.

    As long as the corrugated tubing is only used once, you are fine. Let it set for a few years, and then rebend, and that's when you have a problem.

    Keep in mind, there are new construction plumbers, and then there are service plumbers. Whoever installs on a new job doesn't expect to ever come back. Service plumbers have to work with the old stuff, some dating back to the early 1900's
    They are totally different types of workers with a different mind set.

    I've done both and for different reasons enjoy both.
    When I was doing new construction, I could rough in five split level homes a week with an apprentice and a helper. There were two baths upstairs with a bathtub and shower pan to set and a future downstairs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2011
  18. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

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    Aug 31, 2004
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    > yes, corrugated stops are still used. In the contruction/rehab business, minutes = $$$$$.
    I was looking at the Hubbel Electric catalog. They now make a line of receptacles and GFI in what they call the "snap-on" line. At rough, a pigtail, similar to smoke alarm pigtail, is installed at the box. Very quick...3 wire nuts, wide open access. At final, that pigtail snaps onto the device. Done deal. They advertise savings of 3 minutes per device, and in that world, that is big.


    > regarding the compression nuts, one supply house around here still carries a compression stop called " old work...coarse thread nut". We usually have carried a couple of those around as time savers.
     
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