Could your toilet water supply line flood your home?

We have had several customers call us in the Spring area this week.  A neighbor’s home was sadly flooded by an older toilet.  The water supply line going to the tank of your toilet should be replaced at least every 8 years.  You all know I need pictures to explain what that means to me.  Bear can get so frustrated with me, but he will just have to get over it won’t he : )

So I had him show me today what he replaced.  Guess what?  He said don’t take a picture of this toilet it has a stainless line which is ok.  He said go upstairs to our daughter’s bathroom…..of course hers is the kind which needs to be replaced, and you guessed it.  Hers is creeping up on 8 years.  So I have both the good and bad.  So when will my water supply line get replaced????? Who knows?  I just hope I am home if it does start to break and does not do too much damage.

So here is the good…                                                                                                                                       and the bad…

OK is it just me or do these look the same?  BEAR …… dear, can you please tell us what is breaking and causing the flooding?????

 Here is the skinny from Bear on the difference and what is actually breaking.  Do you see the white plastic pieces under the tank on both of the pictures?  It is the plastic that breaks not the line; however that is how he was explaining it to me so I of coarse was looking at just the line.  He prefers the stainless steel line as opposed to the reinforced PVC.  If you have any questions or concerns please give Bear a call.  One day you can call me, but as for now it is Bear.

About theplumbersbride

Born & raised in Houston TX Devoted wife of a master plumber and mother of three. One of my favorite quotes is. Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.
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21 Responses to Could your toilet water supply line flood your home?

  1. jgreeney says:

    I’m so glad you posted this. That plastic piece broke one day while we were not home and flooded our entire downstairs. We had to move out for 6 months. I strongly encourage everyone to look at theirs and call Bear to replace if it is not steel!

  2. Jen says:

    Bear needs to live next door to us. We have no idea on any of these things! SO glad there is a PLUMBERS BRIDE to keep us informed. 🙂

  3. bob says:

    Just went through the same thing. A crack in that plastic piece flooded the master bath on the 2nd floor, which in turn led to a collapsed ceiling on the main floor and a flooded basement.

    • cdcalifornia says:

      I have a two week old house and came home at lunch to find ny dog soaking wet a water fall in the garage from the bathroom above. The supply line completely broke. The plumber came and replaced with same thing and didnt replace the other two toilets. They are the plastic nuts and white tubes. The builder is covering everything but have a lot of damage to my brand new home.

      • There is nothing wrong with the plastic nuts and lines. The problem is installation. These need to be hand tightened!!!! Channel locks should never be used on plastic fittings. Most new construction technicians are not always a licensed plumber and make this mistake often. They should also not use any pipe compound or plumbers tape on these connections.

        Thanks for the comment.

  4. Lee says:

    Does this also apply to plastic supply lines for sinks?

  5. Scott says:

    Both are bad as far as I’m concerned. I had the exact same braided steel line as the first picture shows but the plastic nut that screws on to the bottom side of the toilet split right in half and flooded my master bathroom with hardwood floors, not a pretty picture. They need (if they do not have to have) a better nut that attaches to the toilet that will not break. The line that broke was 11 years old. Needless to say, I am replacing all my toilet supply lines today and make sure I replace again every 8 to 10 years in the future.

    • Scott thank you for your comment. There are generally three things that go wrong with those. 1. Is age. 2. Is over tightening – they should only be hand tightened. 3. Pipe compounds should not be used. FYI Eastman Flex makes one with a metal nut that screws to the toilet. Again thank you for your comment.

  6. Julia says:

    We just had a woven stainless supply line fail when the plastic nut broke apart. The problem is not the tube but the nut separating into two pieces. Same as Scott! I’d like to find the brand with the metal nut!

    • Julia,

      Thank you for the questions – They usually break because they were over tightened or they used some sort of pipe compound. We do use toilet supplies with plastic nuts, but we install them correctly, so it’s not a problem. Hand tight only.

  7. Craig A. Olson says:

    Water supply lines with plastic nuts should NEVER be used. They will all eventually break – sometimes early, sometimes later. Use lines with stainless steel nuts ONLY.

    • Craig,

      Thank you for your comment. They usually break because they were over tightened or they used some sort of pipe compound. We do use toilet supplies with plastic nuts, but we install them correctly, so it’s not a problem. Hand tight only.

  8. G M Andres says:

    We just had this happen last night….second floor kid’s/hall bath. My daughter had just turned off the shower….and my wife and I downstairs heard a roar—-followed by my daughter shrieking “OMG! OMG! Moooooom! Daaaaaad!”

    Long story?
    The toilet supply line (braided with white plastic nut) had broke at the nut. Thank God we were home! Quickly summoning 37 years Navy service in damage and flooding control, and unapologetically using Navy language shouting commands at my wife and son, while shutting the water supply, I had them running to create “towel dams” along the entire bathroom baseboard and doorway (entire perimeter, as in the short two minutes….we had an inch of water over the entire bathroom!!!!)….still, some water found its way to create dripping through the dining room archway, and front door entrance molding! Still, feeling lucky….!.

    Thinking I beat any major damage…..and congratulating myself on a “calm demeanor” (NOT!) with a double stiff martini…..sitting in the great room relaxing and eating my second olive, I saw a small shadow on the ceiling in the foyer…..which my eyes seemed to indicate was quickly growing. It grew quickly to twice the size of a football…it was a latex paint bubble. Great! Pricked that with a pin over a bucket — approximately 1.5 gallon came through….with dampening along the ceiling sheetrock seam for over three feet.

    I carry a thousand deductible…..likely will not exceed that. Depends I suppose how much damage in walls and ceiling. I have had my shop heater going all night in the kid’s bathroom…..hoping to heat out any moisture up there (having responded to New Orleans after Katrina….any potential of mold scares hell out of me!)

    Short story?
    House just over 5 years old. On Monday, all water lines to toilets and sinks are being replaced. I will pay for stainless nut and stainless braided lines!

    • Sorry this happened. The usual cause is two fold. New construction plumbers (sometimes licensed and sometimes not), will use a pipe compound on the plastic threads and this is not recommended. They also will over tighten the plastic nut and hence it will sooner or later split. The instructions on all supply lines say hand tighten only. Keep in mind when you have the new lines installed, that under the braided stainless steel cover it is just a rubber hose. These have a life span of about ten years. As far as your damage the good thing is that there is almost never insulation between the first and second floor, so once the sheetrock dries and it doesn’t sag, it can be properly repainted. Should you have any questions concerning this situation don’t hesitate to let us know.

  9. CDU says:

    Just had one break on my while I was out of the house and the restoration company is saying they might as well build a new house with the damage it did in the several hours I was gone. Never knew a tiny piece of plastic could do this much damage.

  10. Jim Scheuer says:

    All familiar stories…… I’m living the nightmare myself. Had a Watts acetal 6 rib toilet connector fail without warning in my upstairs bathroom and cause a flood. Operated flawlessly for 5-7 years. The failure mode was exactly as pictured in the settlement summary that can be found on the Internet. I’m replacing all toilet fill valves with Fluidmaster 400A with brass shank and all fill lines with Fluidmaster metal braided lines with stainless nut.

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