The Dangers Of Cheap Supply Lines To Fixtures

Under Pressure! Watch Out For Excessive Water Pressure That Can Burst Cheap Water Supply Lines.

The Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) calls for water to be delivered to homes for domestic use at between 35 and 80 psi. Many homes today are seeing 130 or more psi and it is causing burst water supply lines and hoses that run from the walls into appliances. Think about all the supply lines you have. Every sink has two, the toilet, dishwasher, clothes washer and ice maker each have one. Each of these are “serviced” by supply lines which can fail over time and cause water damage. Every year excessive pressure causes about $800 million in flood claims.

What To Do! When you turn on your faucet do you sense that too much (wasted) water is delivered forcefully? If so, call a plumber who will test your lines for excessive pressure. (all about water regulators) You can also do it yourself for (less than $10) at a home center by buying a basic pressure tester. A fancier one will have resettable needles that will record the pressure range allowing you to see what happens to the pressure when you aren’t watching (such as overnight). They will usually cost around $25.

If your appliances and plumbing are more than 7 years old you may want to replace the supply lines with more high tech hook-ups such as “Flood Safe Connectors” [

Ice Makers are the fastest growing source of problems as the supply lines provided at installation can fail quickly with fluctuating water pressure. High pressure separates the plastic line from the fittings and shut off valves.](“”)

Always recommend replacing rubber washing machine hoses with braided one! The Ice maker line would make a good suggestion also.

never use the cheap plastic icemaker line. Always copper. I once had one develop a leak in my crawl space, and didn’t know it until a few days when I noticed the icemaker wasn’t making ice. What a mess!

I came home home one afternoon to water in front of my refrigerator on the Oak floor.

The water lines to the ice maker had overheated from being to close to the compressor and the unit having inadequate air flow due to a tight fit in the cabinet opening.

Fortunately it was the line to the ice maker(cyclical pressure) and not the house line or there would have been a huge mess to repair as the area below is finished space.

A trip to 2 stores for the right size tube and fittings. A reroute of the tubing away for the compressor and I was good to go.

The problem with checking water pressure on a home that does not have a pressure regulator is during the day the pressure can test fine but at night when there is less draw on the system the pressure can stack as high as 40 psi higher. Plastic ice maker lines will split along the seam in the pipe and I have seen maintainence workers repair water heaters with flex lines. at night the pressure and temp stacks in the heater and pop goes the supply. They called saying the sprinkler system in the attic broke, but the water shot out the top of the hot supply on the heater, thru the ceiling, soaked all the insulation and filled the attic with water and collapsed the entire apartment ceiling, ruined three apartment levels…no profit sharing this month. Most flex supplies are poorly made.