A couple of months ago, we featured flexi connectors on this blog. In that entry, we mainly focused on what they are all about and what they do.
However, there is so much information out there that we thought it warranted a second post (and possibly more in the future!)
There’s a lot more that can be said about flexi connectors.
As plumbing specialists, H2-Pro understands their importance. We figured we should revisit the topic… especially with recent articles claiming that flexi connectors are behind 20% of water damage claims!
In our experience, the majority of these claims come down to three things:
- Poor (or zero) maintenance
- Shoddy installation work
- Choosing the wrong type of connector
This time around, we’ll be tackling the third point. So, what factors should you consider when choosing flexible water connectors for your plumbing upgrade?
Choosing flexi connectors
Like we mentioned last time, flexi connectors are essential in home and commercial plumbing.
As such, choosing flexi connectors that can stand up to the strain of daily use is essential to a well-functioning bathroom, kitchen, or laundry.
Say you’re planning a plumbing upgrade. You’re at your local hardware store, looking at a range of flexi connectors. How do you know which ones are up to the job?
Here at H2-Pro, we choose to use burst-proof PEX core flexi connectors as they are not susceptible to perishing like rubber core ones.
What function will your flexi connectors fulfil?
When choosing flexi connectors, the first thing you should think about is where they’re going to be used.
The connector you end up choosing should match the fixture that it’s destined for.
The various plumbing fixtures around your home have different characteristics and measurements:
- Your toilet sees different volumes of water and water pressure than your run-of-the-mill bathroom sink
- The bathroom sink sees far less water than your washing machine plumbing
- And so on…
When shopping around for flexi connectors, be sure to research:
- Strength and durability
- Suitable temperature range
- How much pressure it can handle
- Flexibility and stiffness
- Material used
- Sound absorption
Each of these factors can influence how appropriate (or inappropriate) your flexi connectors are for the job you have in mind.
Size matters… choose flexi connectors that fit in the space you have
When you are trying to install a flexi connector, consider the space you will be working in and working on.
Yes, flexi connectors are flexible – that’s one of the reasons they’ve become the standard.
However, not all flexi connectors are made equal – depending on the material, different connectors might have different “bend factor”.
If space is tight like underneath a bathroom sink, you might need to choose a thinner material that bends more. Of course, that can potentially compromise durability, which is another consideration!
How is your flexi connector installed?
Depending on what is required by your fixture or installation, there are different types of flexi connector nuts.
- Manual Adjusting Nut – this is usually made of high density thermoplastic and can be adjusted by hand
- Metal Nut with Adjustment Wrench – this can be easily installed without tools
- Metal Nut – tools are needed to install this type of nut
Why does this matter? Because according to some in the industry, the connector nut is a common point of failure in flexi connectors.
(While we’re on installation, we can’t stress enough how you must never attempt to DIY – here are a couple of reasons why!)
Before purchasing flexi connectors that you will be using, think of your connector’s braiding and material.
When water runs through, the rubber expands – over time, this can potentially cause the pipe to burst.
To counter that, most connectors are protected by a flexible layer of braided metal strands; a bit like a rope. This holds the interior together, reducing your risk of bursting.
Naturally, you’ll want said braid to be as tough as possible!
When it comes to flexi connectors, you’ll want to choose braiding that’s:
- Tough, but still flexible
- Resistant to corrosion and rust
- Made with quality metal
- Within your price range
Some areas of the home require much stronger braids than others.
Bathroom and kitchen cabinets in particular are especially corrosive.
They’re closed 90% of the time, meaning moisture can’t escape. Not to mention, most of us store chemicals and detergents down there, which create potentially corrosive fumes.
Unsure whether you’ve chosen connectors with a strong enough braid? Your local Doncaster plumber can help you out!
Are you looking for a plumbing expert to help explain flexi connector concerns in your home?
H2-Pro’s Doncaster plumbers are one call away!
Despite recent backlash, flexi connectors are still a versatile and popular choice for many home plumbing applications. They will serve your plumbing system well… assuming you choose an appropriate one to begin with!
H2-Pro’s Doncaster plumbers will help you select and install suitable plumbing fittings, including flexi connectors. We’ll also help fix any problems should they arise!
Alternatively, get in touch via our website to schedule a job!