flexible vs solid metal supply pipe???

jaansuJuly 31, 2014

I'm going to be hiring a contractor to hook up the supply pipes for a sink cabinet I am installing and have asked him to also swap out all the old frozen toilet and sink shut off valves in the house for new quarter turn valves. I thought he was going to use flexible steel braided supply line but he said they only use solid pipe bent to fit the application. His reasoning didn't sound convincing: hard to clean the steel braided lines, unattractive.

The solid pipe seems like an disadvantage to me that if I change the faucets someday, it probably won't line up with new equipment. At least that seems to be my experience when I have changed old faucets and toilets plumbed with solid pipe.

Am I off base here or isn't the use of flexible steel braided lines better, easier and cheaper?

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Find another plumber.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 9:15AM
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If you want flexible tell him to install flexible. You may have to pick up the pipe yourself at lowes or home depot.

Otherwise just get another plumbler.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 12:53PM
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I agree that the customer ought to get what he wants, my real question is does the plumber have any basis for his decision beyond enabling a higher charge for fabricating the solid pipe.

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 2:16PM
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It is a matter of professional pride for most plumbers to use faucets with copper tails vs. MIP threaded stubs for connecting to flex hoses, thus you will find the former only at real plumbing supply houses, while the latter is all you will find at Big Boxville.

As a landlord I find the copper tails both a) straighter and thus more out of the way, and b) are also a bit more resistant to the casual abuse of what peeps stow under sinks... as an added bonus it reduces to zero the probability that a tenant will steal my nice Moens, and try to substitute some Glacier Bay crap and think I won't notice... can you say "security deposit"?... LOL.

Once I learned the subtle art of tube bending, it was no problem to install the copper tails... first I form a shallow S-curve, sort of an extended "spring", thus getting the "right" length becomes less critical as I now have an inch of play in all axes... takes just a few minutes longer than flex hoses.

Counter-intuitively, the same model Moen w/ tails is $8-10 cheaper than the one w/ stubs, even though tails require more packaging. Then consider the cost of 2 flex hoses and I'm way ahead.

And of course if the supply lines are exposed, e.g. pedestal or wall sink, the copper tails LOOK way better... can even be "brightened up" and clear-coated.

Don't be afraid of real plumbers, or real plumbing. ;')

    Bookmark   July 31, 2014 at 6:50PM
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It's your house, Yours to deal with down the road.

Did I mention that it is YOUR house?

Honestly it sounds like a plumber that charges by the hour and is willing to suck you dry spending hours bending solid lines when a flexible one can be installed in 30 minutes.

Hope I did not forget to mention that it is YOUR house?

Get it done the way YOU want or get a new plumber.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2014 at 12:41AM
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