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  • Water heater flexes

    What are some of the tell tale signs that a copper water heater flex line needs to be replaced?
    Washers can be replaced to stop some leaks and obvoiusly if it has a hole in it.
    I have had occasions when I thought the flexes were good but failed (popped through the brass nut) when I turned the water back on.

  • #2
    Re: Water heater flexes

    The real cost to replacing a water heater flex is the cost to get the plumber to the door. I think it would be prudent to replace a flex rather than trying to replace the washer. A lot of times your dielectric sleeve will crack as well and then it will start corroding even though you replaced the washer.

    Mark
    "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

    I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Water heater flexes

      The company I work for gives away washers but charges for flexes. Most customers would rather not pay! I am looking for something concrete so that I can tell a customer for sure they need new flexes.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Water heater flexes

        Here is all the CONCRETE you need to give to the customer:

        " the flex hoses cost 10 bucks each (or whatever the price is), but to have me come back in 6 months will cost you 200 bucks (or whatever you charge) PLUS the cost of the hoses...your choice"

        Once you touch a flex hose, you never 100% know how long it will last when reassembled.

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        • #5
          Re: Water heater flexes

          please excuse my ignorance guys.

          are flex supplies for a HWH/HWT for ease of installation, earthquakes?

          Vince

          i don't see too many of those up here
          Last edited by Vince the Plumber; 02-06-2009, 06:08 PM.

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          • #6
            Re: Water heater flexes

            Yes Vince they are. It is 99% of what we use here in Tucson. We are influenced by California code.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Water heater flexes

              I've NEVER seen a copper flex on a water heater

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Water heater flexes

                Of all the realestate I've seen in Toronto, I've never seen copper flex hoses on water tanks either. They are 99% hard copper pipe sweat-in with brass fittings.....but some DIY must use them since Home Depot sells those copper flex hoses. Home Depot NEVER carries stuff that no one buys...so someone is buying them...heehee

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Water heater flexes

                  Like anything there are pros and cons to the flexes. I do Installations for retailers, and they sell an installation but it rarely can be done for the price they pay at the store. When I add to the price I like to be able to say definitively that the cost is necessary. Gas flex lines must be changed because the manufacturers say so. Right now I have to add sediment traps to all installs. I would love to change every Gate valve to a ball valve and use brand new connectors. But the hot water heaters are $500 to $800 the installation package is $300. So I run into resistance when I add to the cost.
                  So if I can point to a specific defect or sign it is easier to manage.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Water heater flexes

                    Originally posted by plumberscrack View Post
                    I've NEVER seen a copper flex on a water heater
                    Oh, it's a beauty to behold. I often stand in awe when I seen them.
                    Anyone can tear a man down, few can build one up.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Water heater flexes

                      Originally posted by Vince the Plumber View Post
                      please excuse my ignorance guys.

                      are flex supplies for a HWH/HWT for ease of installation, earthquakes?

                      Vince

                      i don't see too many of those up here
                      It has everything to do with ease of installation and little to do with Earthquakes. Prior to the Northridge Earthquake the Code said only water heaters which were not hard piped needed to have earthquake straps. After the Northridge Earthquake we replaced 100s of flexes on water heaters which had broken flexes but no earthquake straps. We repaired 1-water heater which was hard piped in copper and did not have an earthquake strap. The problem was plumbers and handyman were doing change outs or repairs and using flexes instead of hard piping them and neglected to install the required earthquake straps. I don't care for water heater flexes as it is just one more step to dumbing down the trade. Many of the guys who complain about DIY and Handyman likely use flexes as well. When we allow the trade to be lowered to these levels we deserve what we get.

                      Mark
                      "Somewhere a Village is Missing Twelve Idiots!" - Casey Anthony

                      I never lost a cent on the jobs I didn't get!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Water heater flexes

                        these are very good.http://www.fluidmaster.com/index.asp?bhcp=1:)

                        you'll need to check the drop downs for the water heater lines.
                        Last edited by halfpint; 02-06-2009, 08:22 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Water heater flexes

                          I use copper flexes on most installations, and it doesn't hurt my feelings any, but I use the right length for the application with a clean gradual bend to the connections. I change them every time the heater is changed for liability reasons.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Water heater flexes

                            I Hate water heater flexes, Part of the reason being that I'm incapable of making them look good. I can make solder look like art, and I like to stand a tee up instead of an elbow on the cold side of the water heater for a place to install the expansion tank. We have a few guys in our shop from the west coast, and they all use the flexes, and my boss orders a set of them for every water heater "I always send mine back with the delivery truck"
                            No, it's not rocket science, it's plumbing and unlike rocket science it requires a license.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Water heater flexes

                              Flexible lines for water and gas are non code for water heaters, in Michigan at least. Whenever you see them on an install you can be certain that it was done by a homeowner or handyman.

                              Just because HD,Loews or Ferguson sells something, it does not necessarily mean that it is cade approved or a quality item. They all sell what moves.

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