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Braided connectors on fixtures

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ethicalpaul
ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
edited June 2023 in Plumbing
Some time ago there was a thread with a photo of unknown origin that alleged that braided water supply lines were not as long-lasting as metal tubes, and that you were putting your installation at risk of explosive failure if you dared use one.

I was installing my new kitchen sink last night and I wondered...has anyone told the faucet manufacturers this? Is there a faucet sold today that doesn't use a factory-supplied braided line? Hmmm....



Yes I use Sharkbite, come at me :joy:
NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
Mad Dog_2Solid_Fuel_ManJakeCK
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Comments

  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,883
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    😕🙁☹️
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 22,254
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    I would say excessive pressure would cause early failure of flex supply lines. Pressure should note exceed 80  psi in a system. There are many different types of flex hoses. I prefer the stainless braided type to the  white vinyl

    I suspect water quality could effect the inner tube also. Once the inner tube  fails the leaks appear

    Fluidmaster is a reputable brand of stainless flex lines.

     A leak alert shutoff valve assembly on the mainline would add some extra protection.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Thanks, I should be OK, I'm lucky if I see 25psi.

    Fluidmaster sounds great, but again, you don't really get to pick what the faucet manufacturer puts on there
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Mad Dog_2
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
    edited June 2023
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    Oh Paul....just because "They" do something doesn't make it a SUPERIOR  installation.  Manufacturers are doing it to cater to DIYers like yourself.  My grandmother Ethel and Father Bart were do it yourselfers...not disparaging that at all. However, easy doesn't mean better..Unfortunately, the trend is away from craftsmanship and all about ease,  price and speed.  A Race to the bottom...What are you implying about the herniated flex supply I posted?  Unknown origin? That was MY picture of a burst flex supply that I replaced at a Home that had over 50 k in damage.  Convince yourself all you want, the pressure in this area does not go over 60 p.s.i.  How durable is a thin rubber tube?  That's what is containing the water. Its not even the thickness of a vinyl garden hose.   All the SS is doing is acting like muscles of the lower abdomen. Hernias in humans and flexes are not uncommon. This is not the only one I've seen do this.  Have fun with your Shark 🦈 Bites.  Make sure to square up your stops  and vacuum up after yourself!  Installation is not complete or code compliant without your escutcheons....Now you have to use split escutcheons.....An oopsy daisy...😬 😅.   Justify using quick, DIY gimmicks all day long, a solid copper supply tube will NEVER blowout and will outlast 3 or 4 flex supplies. Mad Dog 🐕 
    CLambBenDplumberSuperTech
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Thanks, I took the picture before vacuuming, I appreciate the critical eye :smile:

    > Manufacturers are doing it to cater to DIYers like yourself.

    Do the faucets you pros buy come with something other than flex lines? Honestly asking because as we all know, I am no pro so I have no idea.
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
    edited June 2023
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    I guess they don't...here's a $700 Kohler faucet. So I guess they are safe. Thanks everyone!


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    This reminds me of a certain "pro" calling out all of the other pros who claim they never use Sharkbites, yet the supply house was always out of them because they kept selling so many. But no one's using them.

    That was an interesting thread.....


    My favorite faucet brand is T&S brass. Do any of their faucets use braided lines?
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    BenDplumber
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
    edited June 2023
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    Here's a $3,000 Grohe faucet system, a DIY favorite! It makes chilled and sparkling water right out of your faucet. You know you've made it at this point :joy:


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    seized123
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    I too love T & S Brass, Chris.  I only use their Commercial KS models, including in my own home.  I can say with 100% certainty, that I have never used a Sharkbite. I had one in my truck 🚚 that I got as a free sample.  Never needed it..  Listen, I know I'm The Last of the Mohicans.   We only go through once, I want MY work to be outstanding and exceptional...that was always the goal. If your goal is to just git er done!  I'm cool with that.  Save some cash...play plumber for the weekend...all good.  That being said, I'll never agree that many of these new systems are superior or even equal. I enjoy working with all kinds of materials from PYREX glass acid waste, Plastic acid wastes, Duriron, CPVC, Cast Iron and everything else. I give everything a fair shake until I see a serious flaw.  Mad Dog 🐕 
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    > I give everything a fair shake until I see a serious flaw.

    Fair enough.

    So have you seen Sharkbites have a serious flaw? I honestly think they fail less often than sweat connections and are certainly safer to install (no fires). I do also use clamp type pex fittings, but in this case, this is what Home Depot had at 9pm :sweat_smile:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    BenDplumber
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 494
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       I'm ok with braided connectors as long as there are no plastic nuts.
        Undiagnosed water quality /supply issues can be the root of catastrophic leak issues. Waterlogged water storage tanks, or high public water supply pressure can contribute to water hammer & severe pressure spikes that can fracture toilet tanks & cause all types of connector failures. There is always a cause for an effect.
           
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    et tu, T&S Brass?


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Mad Dog_2
  • Alan (California Radiant) Forbes
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    I switched to braided ss supplies after one too many leaks with the 3/8" rigid connectors. We worked a lot on remodel jobs and often, someone would come in after us to clean up or adjust the cabinetry and create a leak, typically at the 3/8" ferrule which is prone to leaking if you mess with the riser. Never did any real damage, I just got tired of callbacks and realized it was less expensive and less irritable for everyone to use the flexible product.

    The 1/4" braided ice maker connectors were a godsend as the copper ones would leak if someone moved the refrigerator.

    I never got cozy with T & S faucets; have always been a fan of Chicago faucets. Solid!
    8.33 lbs./gal. x 60 min./hr. x 20°ΔT = 10,000 BTU's/hour

    Two btu per sq ft for degree difference for a slab
    ethicalpaulLarry Weingarten
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Actual Working Plumbers using sharkbites?? I honestly  don't know any plumber worth his salt that would use them on an installation...a repair in a rough crawlspace...I've seen a few.  Mad Dog 🐕 
    ethicalpaulBenDplumberSuperTech
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    That's Nice, Paul.  Don't use that model.  Mad Dog 🐕 🤣 
    PC7060
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Mad Dog_2 said:

    That's Nice, Paul.  Don't use that model.  Mad Dog 🐕 🤣 

    Which one do you use? If it costs way too much money my wife will probably love it!
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Alan (California Radiant) ForbesPC7060
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Thanks! Looks like their Eversteel line which has 1/2" NPT connections, you are safe!

    My wife won't go for it, she is now spoiled by the "single-point temperature and flow control"
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    When I Started in the 1980s, we still were using the 1/4" Chrome plated I.P.S. X faucet nipples.  You had to be dead on for your Croton Rough or you weren't  connecting the waters.  No  L.A. Traps on many jobs either.  Mad Dog 🐕 
    ethicalpaul
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Kids today got it too easy, am I right? :smile:
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    BenDplumberSolid_Fuel_Man
  • Larry Weingarten
    Larry Weingarten Member Posts: 3,331
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    Hi @ethicalpaul , I have seen a sharkbite leak and cause a lot of damage because it went unnoticed. I think they have a valid use as a temporary repair. I'm concerned about the long term viability of an "O" ring seal in aggressive waters. Crevice corrosion is a concern too. B)

    Yours, Larry
    ethicalpaulMad Dog_2BenDplumberSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    Thanks Larry! how many leaks have you seen in copper/sweat connections?
    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
    Mad Dog_2
  • MikeL_2
    MikeL_2 Member Posts: 494
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    Hi @ethicalpaul , I have seen a sharkbite leak and cause a lot of damage because it went unnoticed. I think they have a valid use as a temporary repair. I'm concerned about the long term viability of an "O" ring seal in aggressive waters. Crevice corrosion is a concern too. B) Yours, Larry
     Thanks, Larry for pointing out the possible fragility of O ring seals; I'm leary of pro press for the same reasons, and, don't have much faith in a 50 year warranty with a long list of disclaimers......

    MikeAmannSolid_Fuel_Man
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    Mad Dog_2 said:

    I too love T & S Brass, Chris.  I only use their Commercial KS models, including in my own home.  I can say with 100% certainty, that I have never used a Sharkbite. I had one in my truck 🚚 that I got as a free sample.  Never needed it..  Listen, I know I'm The Last of the Mohicans.   We only go through once, I want MY work to be outstanding and exceptional...that was always the goal. If your goal is to just git er done!  I'm cool with that.  Save some cash...play plumber for the weekend...all good.  That being said, I'll never agree that many of these new systems are superior or even equal. I enjoy working with all kinds of materials from PYREX glass acid waste, Plastic acid wastes, Duriron, CPVC, Cast Iron and everything else. I give everything a fair shake until I see a serious flaw.  Mad Dog 🐕 


    With all due respect Mad,
    You're no Chingachgook.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    SuperTech
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 297
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    You guys are creating a lot more work for me with your expertise, but that’s better than a water leak.

    So I’m installing a new sink for myself like @ethicalpaul (mine’s in a bath vanity). The stage I’m at is new 1/4 turn valves sweated onto the old copper feed lines, the outlet of the valves were going to go into the old Brasscraft flexible lines which I was going to put back (so easy!) (The valves also came with a compression fitting option for the outlet.) See photo, I didn’t know escutcheons were code but now I know (why is that, anyway?).

    So now based on all this discussion I’d rather use copper pipe to the faucet. I guess I’d use flexible tubing bent as necessary? 3/8 would be standard?

    Further questions are:

    1) I don’t know anything but I really don’t like compression fittings in my limited experience, and would probably like Sharkbite less, and so I would rather solder the valve outlet too. So far I don’t see any sweat x sweat faucet cutoff valves, do they exist, or when you guys do copper supply lines to the faucet do you always use compression fittings on the valve outlet? For some reason I don’t trust compression fittings as much as soldering.

     (Wait, can you even use compression fittings on soft copper?)

    2) What would I use on the faucet end? I’m guessing I’d use  some kind of 1/2 threaded x sweat adaptor like in the photo below? … Oh, can the copper adapter even go on the probably steel faucet, or do I need some kind of dielectric thing? (So complicated!) Another thing, the adapter in the photo is  “1/2 inch” on the sweat side but as for the soft tubing would it be nominal 1/2 or 3/8 soft tubing going into this thing, as I know soft and hard copper tubing is sized differently?

    3) We supposedly have bad water (well) for pipes. Been through numerous h/w heaters supposedly for that though we don’t really know the cause for sure. I see plenty of green corrosion around fittings, and after 30 years the porcelain in the old sink got eaten away. (On the other hand, in the plumbing systems 30 years we only have had one pinhole leak.) But if these joints into the valve and faucet are going to corrode I could just buy the Fluidmaster flex lines and change them every few years, which seems easier than un- and re-soldering. Still I like the copper idea better.

    I ran my thumbnail over the Brasscraft braids and they sure do seem like they could be plastic. Nowhere on the label does it say SS. On the other hand, what’s the difference, can the plastic fail sooner than the SS? (Still, I know the main issue is the rubber inside all braided lines.)

    Thanks in advance.
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    True Jamie. Large Diameter water hammer flexes/pump vibration hoses are much more durable than the Basin & W.C. supplies.  They usually have a hard plastic inner core like PEX.  Youre also not doing loop-de-loops with them.  As to Solder Joints. A properly cleaned, fluxed and heated solder joint (full penetration), if its going to leak, will do it immediately because u have a pinhole or gap.  As long as the Hot Flux is wiped off with a cleN damp rag, or papertowel and then followed up with another clean dry rag to get any Flux (mild acid) off, these joints can last 70-80 years...maybe longer. They WILL leak when this isn't done and you'll get the white crust corroding the joint, then it turns green, then it leaks.  Once again, sloppy workmanship is the reason why.  An even more reliable joint we use on overhead copper in New Buildings and renovations is a Silver-brazed joint.  A quick visible check of the completed joint, will reveal any gaps or pins holes.  Once a Copper or brass joint is Silver brazed, I  could see them easily last over 100 years. Mad Dog 🐕 
    ChrisJ
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 297
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    Forgot the photos:


  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
    edited June 2023
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    I believe those faucet connections are NOT NPT but rather NPS. There's no taper and I think you're supposed to use a gasket against the bottom face of them. However this is where experience comes in handy, because I'm betting guys can tell you what will work with it for sure.

    I don't know how you adapt solid copper to them. All of my last stuff was done with Uponor Pex A, expansion fittings and braided flex lines to the fixtures.

    This was after a lot of thinking, looking, listening etc that I made the decision to switch from type L copper to Uponor pex. I also started using braided lines on my toilets, all of which I had previously used flexible copper.

    In my case, I can solder copper beautifully, I can also braze it and as we speak I'm learning how to TIG weld it because it seems like a very handy skill at times. But for my plumbing, I decided Uponor was superior, for now... I reserve the right to change that opinion at any time.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
    Mad Dog_2
  • seized123
    seized123 Member Posts: 297
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    Thanks@ChrisJ. And @Mad Dog_2 we posted at about the same time but yours showed up 2nd, so you might have missed mine - please check it out, I am interested in your opinion.
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,738
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    @seized123 you need something like this. You can sweat the end at the risers rather than use compression fittings. You could just use ball valves and a 1/2-3/8 sweat adapter. Compression fittings are the more common way to go at the stops. I have also seen tube sweated directly to the faucet in some really old installations but I don't know if those were constructed differently or if someone used a fitting or swedged the tube or something.

    I would be curious to know the history of that connection at the faucet, it is both standard and the only place a fitting like that is used.
    Mad Dog_2
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    Couple of miscellaneous points here. First, I make no claim to be able to solder as well as the pros -- they've been doing it more often, and practice helps. I can, however, and do make solder joints which are neat and don't leak.

    However. If I am working in confined spaces in old buildings, or close to old wood, I'll use PEX and the proper fittings for it every time. Sharkbites if I have to transition from copper to PEX (threaded if I can go from old threaded pipe to PEX). Why? As I said, I simply will not wave a torch around, however, carefully, in the vicinity of structural wood which has been drying place for sometimes upwards of 200 years -- and I won't let anyone else do it either. I've seen too many fires, mostly minor but not all, in old buildings from hot work.

    On flexible tubing with stainless reinforcement for things like faucets. Well, if you have agressive water, such as might be low pH, I can assure you that flexible copper will pinhole and leak. It may take a decade or so, but it will. Quality reinforced flexible tubing won't. Take your pick.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    ChrisJethicalpaulMad Dog_2MikeL_2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
    edited June 2023
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    Couple of miscellaneous points here. First, I make no claim to be able to solder as well as the pros -- they've been doing it more often, and practice helps. I can, however, and do make solder joints which are neat and don't leak.

    However. If I am working in confined spaces in old buildings, or close to old wood, I'll use PEX and the proper fittings for it every time. Sharkbites if I have to transition from copper to PEX (threaded if I can go from old threaded pipe to PEX). Why? As I said, I simply will not wave a torch around, however, carefully, in the vicinity of structural wood which has been drying place for sometimes upwards of 200 years -- and I won't let anyone else do it either. I've seen too many fires, mostly minor but not all, in old buildings from hot work.

    On flexible tubing with stainless reinforcement for things like faucets. Well, if you have agressive water, such as might be low pH, I can assure you that flexible copper will pinhole and leak. It may take a decade or so, but it will. Quality reinforced flexible tubing won't. Take your pick.


    Pex works better in some situations and worse than copper in no situations other than maybe cosmetics. Less points to leak, less chances of it leaking from bad water.

    Copper works just fine for a very long time under many conditions but there's some conditions it doesn't.


    It's very hard to use Uponor Propex expansion fittings and not be impressed of it as a system. The tools aren't cheap and the fittings aren't cheap. All of my work is done with an older but barely used Wirsbo (Who I believe became Uponor) manual expansion tool. 1/2" pex is easy, 3/4 starts to suck, 1" oh boy.......

    It's also nice that you can expand the tube and then move it up, or down etc into place where the tool may not fit.

    But they're good solid connections that will last a very long time.

    While we're on the subject, PEX is crosslinked polyethylene. Polyethylene pipe has been around since what, the 1950s? Used on wells, sump pumps, pools, under ground gas piping, it's a fantastic material with a well proven history.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • ethicalpaul
    ethicalpaul Member Posts: 5,729
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    > So now based on all this discussion I’d rather use copper pipe to the faucet. I guess I’d use flexible tubing bent as necessary?

    i think this is a mistake. Soldering is not infallible:


    NJ Steam Homeowner. See my sight glass boiler videos: https://bit.ly/3sZW1el
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    If you have Well water, your water quality can be largely controlled with filtration, so that solves that.  Most buildings with "City Water" send out a controlled water product. 
    I never mentioned pinhole leaks, I mentioned catastrophic bursting, which is what that particular flex and others I have seen, did.  I'll take a pinhole leak over a burst any day.  I'll take that pick, Jamie. I'm sure you guys are a good solderers. Torch work is a highly developed skill that takes years or frequent practice to master.  Obviously the most important goal is 
    1) Start no fires 🔥...do no harm.
    2) A leak free joint.
    3) A neat joint with no Grapes 
    4) A clean joint free of corrosive Flux.

    Chris.  I'm with you in the WirsBRO (I'll also call it that...Where gas Wes gone? )Uponor.  I find it to be VERY trustworthy and the only I will use.  Tried Slant Fin and few others.  Clear Winner.  I did Night work in a hospital 🏥 cutting in New ball valves on old, 1 1/2" Galvanized.  We used Viega Press.  No torch, no firewatch.  The ceilings were so loaded and crammed and it was occupied.  The torch work wooda been hairy...Mad Dog 
    ChrisJ
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
    edited June 2023
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    Mad Dog_2 said:

    If you have Well water, your water quality can be largely controlled with filtration, so that solves that.  Most buildings with "City Water" send out a controlled water product. 
    I never mentioned pinhole leaks, I mentioned catastrophic bursting, which is what that particular flex and others I have seen, did.  I'll take a pinhole leak over a burst any day.  I'll take that pick, Jamie. I'm sure you guys are a good solderers. Torch work is a highly developed skill that takes years or frequent practice to master.  Obviously the most important goal is 
    1) Start no fires 🔥...do no harm.
    2) A leak free joint.
    3) A neat joint with no Grapes 
    4) A clean joint free of corrosive Flux.

    Chris.  I'm with you in the WirsBRO (I'll also call it that...Where gas Wes gone? )Uponor.  I find it to be VERY trustworthy and the only I will use.  Tried Slant Fin and few others.  Clear Winner.  I did Night work in a hospital 🏥 cutting in New ball valves on old, 1 1/2" Galvanized.  We used Viega Press.  No torch, no firewatch.  The ceilings were so loaded and crammed and it was occupied.  The torch work wooda been hairy...Mad Dog 


    How do you raise the pH of well water in a house?


    Grapes IMO are pretty low on the priority list as they don't actually do harm, they just look bad.
    If I see one I typically fling it off with my solder.
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    That's what The Culligan Man is for, right?   I Don't pretend to be a Chemist.  Leaving Grapes 🍇 is a lack of pride.  No reason for it...that's what 3 M Pads are for...wipe it as it clumps up.  I question what short cuts and slovenly work this same person does in a crawl space or behind a wall, when no one's around???  Pride of Craftsmanship means a great deal to me.  Mad Dog  🐕 
    GGrossMikeL_2
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,774
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    Mad Dog_2 said:

    That's what The Culligan Man is for, right?   I Don't pretend to be a Chemist.  Leaving Grapes 🍇 is a lack of pride.  No reason for it...that's what 3 M Pads are for...wipe it as it clumps up.  I question what short cuts and slovenly work this same person does in a crawl space or behind a wall, when no one's around???  Pride of Craftsmanship means a great deal to me.  Mad Dog  🐕 

    I have no idea.
    I'm genuinely curious if you can change the pH.
    I assumed you couldn't. Now I'm wondering if you can.

    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Mad Dog_2
    Mad Dog_2 Member Posts: 7,103
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    Chemistry can fix almost anything.  Mad Dog 
    Larry Weingarten
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 23,428
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    ChrisJ said:

    Mad Dog_2 said:

    That's what The Culligan Man is for, right?   I Don't pretend to be a Chemist.  Leaving Grapes 🍇 is a lack of pride.  No reason for it...that's what 3 M Pads are for...wipe it as it clumps up.  I question what short cuts and slovenly work this same person does in a crawl space or behind a wall, when no one's around???  Pride of Craftsmanship means a great deal to me.  Mad Dog  🐕 

    I have no idea.
    I'm genuinely curious if you can change the pH.
    I assumed you couldn't. Now I'm wondering if you can.

    Yes, you can change the pH, and with some well water it would be a very good idea indeed! The water is run though a tank -- which looks vaguely like a water softener, but isn't -- which is filled with marble or dolomite chips (marble if the stuff is really bad, otherwise dolomite). They neutralize the pH. Usually have to refill every few months. They also raise the hardness -- but if you have low pH, you most likely don't have particularly hard water.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
    DJD775
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