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braided or flex connectors hot water heater - consensus?

ron Member Posts: 217
over the years i've heard bad things about braided stainless flex hoses, that are sold at depot/lowes, for [easy] hot water heater installation? And there are also the hard corrugated flexible connections, like 24" in length or whatever.

however all these are sold at supply house, and i see them at my local plumbing supply place still for sale.

what is the consensus on all these? My thought is if they were really that bad they would no longer be sold... although they still sell S traps... ?


    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,010
    Why take the risk of using them? Just hard pipe it. A water heater doesn't move or vibrate.

    They are used on sinks and toilets which makes it easier for replacement of faucets and toilets. I think their use should be kept to a minimum. Leaking water causes damage.

    Then theirs the whole gas piping thing black pipe, appliance connectors and especially CSST which is my pet peave. Gas is too hazardous to be contained in tin foil
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,533
    i'd use an s trap long before i'd use either of those...

    the thing is that seismic code requires flexible connection to appliances in some areas. I think i'd use a stub to get away from the flue and use propex for the flex connection.
  • SlamDunk
    SlamDunk Member Posts: 1,290
    I have installed sst braided sharkbite hoses on several hot water heaters. The oldest being around 10 yrs old and counting without issue. I have them on my own heater for past five years with no issue. The reason I went that route was because hot water heaters don't last long anymore (in my experience, at my house, <10yrs). Every new heater comes in a different height requiring new, hard plumbing. This one I have now is a Rheem, with no feet, same 50 gal capacity and it was taller than the old one with feet. So I went the sharkbite route.

    When this one fails, I'll get a new one, plug and play in three hours, counting the drive time to and from Lowes.
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 2,549
    edited May 2021
    Hi, I’m in California and we “do” earthquakes, so the flex connector of choice is stainless corrugated. They flex better than copper and don’t have the flow restrictions in the ends that braided lines have. They don’t seem to work harden either. B)

    Yours, Larry

    Ps,, Replace the anode periodically and you likely will never need another heater.
  • rick in Alaska
    rick in Alaska Member Posts: 1,362
    Same here as far as earthquakes go. I have never had a problem with the flexible lines, they definitely make the job quicker, and with easier tank replacement in the future. As Slam Dunk says, every water heater is a different size, even if it is the same model, but in a different year.
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 1,843
    Dishwasher supply is my quandry. I'd pay extra for a hose that won't die.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 5,533
    I mean 3/8" or 1/2" copper tube isn't hard to work with.